Big changes are slated to start in spring of 2017 at the business intersection of Interstate 29 and 64th Street. Street realignment work will coincide with the development of 8 acres, which will include a new Wendy’s restaurant and a five-story hotel.
The Kansas City Council approved zoning changes Dec. 1 for an 8-acre undeveloped track of land south and west of the intersection. The area included in the rezoning was originally part of the Tremont Square commercial development approved almost 30 years ago. As retail developments have grown in the area, traffic has become a problem.
The original on and off ramps for the highway and the configuration of the nearby access roads were not designed to handle the kind of traffic load that now comes through the area. A redevelopment plan will reroute the access road for the highway and a round-about, and connect a road that currently dead ends.
Jim Bowers, a development lawyer for White Goss, has been working with property owners in the area to get the needed road re-alignments. Bowers says planning for the construction, which will begin in the next couple of months, started eight years ago. It required the creation of a transportation sales tax district on the south and north side of the road and gathering promises for a combination of city, state and federal funds.
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“It takes a lot of cooperation of state and city officials and the property owners to get this kind of a project completed,” Bowers said. “The intersection doesn’t function as well now as it will after it is reconstructed.”
Nearby residential neighbors did oppose the final plans, but no representatives of those groups were present at the final planning and zoning meeting in which board members voted to recommend city council approve the project.
Developers already have commitments for a new Wendy’s and a five story hotel, which should be constructed at the same time as the road –realignments. Re-zoning created three other pad sites for development on the acreage. Bowers says they are slated for either restaurant or retail businesses.
Construction on the north side of 64th Street will include an extension of North Chatham Avenue from north of Hy-Vee to NW Prairie View Road, which is the access road west of Interstate- 29. That construction should last between six and nine months. On the south side of 64th street, a portion of NW Prairie View Road will be removed.
The road will be re-routed along the south side of the new retail development and through a traffic circle, which will connect it to North Chatham Avenue.
Drivers will be able to take the new stretch of the avenue north to reconnect to the NW Prairie View Road on the north side of the 64th Street. Construction on that portion of the project is expected to take about 18 months.