Developer proposes $350 million mixed-use plan in Overland Park

12/04/2013 10:36 AM

12/04/2013 10:36 AM

A $350 million plan that would develop what is now mostly 138 acres of farmland in the heart of Overland Park at U.S. 69 and College Boulevard is scheduled to be taken up again in January by the city Planning Commission.

The proposal by BK Properties calls for 1,554 apartments and four office buildings totaling 587,000 square feet to be developed, and 32,000 square feet of retail. The apartments would be located in four-story buildings, and the tallest office buildings would be six stories, according to plans filed with the city.

Developer Ken Block described the site of what’s being called City Place as one of the last major close-in development opportunities in Overland Park. The development, if approved, would be built in phases over eight years. BK Properties is an entity sponsored by Block Real Estate Co.

“It’s the last great piece of ground on College Boulevard,” Block said. “We want to make sure the uses all fit on the site.”

The planning commission has scheduled a second public hearing for Jan. 14 for the proposal. Commissioners voted unanimously to continue their review following testimony at a session last month.

The City Place development is being proposed for an area that had been slated for a project called the Galleria in 1984. The Galleria development would have added 1.6 million square of commercial space including high-rise offices, a hotel, retail and a cultural center.

After that plan failed to materialize, the property, owned by B.F. Saul Co. of Bethesda, Md. has remained essentially pasture and cropland.

“What we’re planning now is a substantially reduced, more mixed-use and less retail,” Block said.

The City Place proposal however, has some significant issues that prompted the additional public hearing in January.

The proposed development is divided into two parcels, a 44-acre tract northeast of College Boulevard and Nieman Road, and a 93-acre parcel southeast of College and Nieman. The smaller north parcel, which calls for 335 apartments in nine, three-story buildings, has the support of Overland Park planners.

Planners however, object to the proximity planned for several four-story apartment buildings in the larger parcel to nearby homes. The apartments would be 60 feet from the Blue Valley Estates and College Park Estates subdivisions. They also don’t support a plan by the developer to relocate a stream corridor.

The stream corridor would be moved to make way for the proposed extension of Switzer Road from an existing bridge to College Boulevard to serve the City Place project. In addition, 113th Street would be extended from Nieman Road to connect with the new section of Switzer.

Block said his firm anticipated more work would be required to refine the development proposal and welcomed the additional public hearing.

“We want a project that everybody is happy with,” he said.

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