Plans for a shopping center at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Maurer Road – long on the wish list of Shawnee City Council members — are back on the table again with a proposal for a new shopping center with $19.5 million in public financing.
The Shawnee Council set a public hearing June 6 to discuss taxpayer investment in Bellmont Promenade, at the southwest corner of the intersection. The council did not discuss the merits of the developer’s application for public financing, which was submitted April 19.
The 26-acre site has been problematic because of the topography and lack of a sewer line. The city council thought they had the problem solved in 2014, when a contract sewer district was set up for the proposed Shawnee Landing development.
Residents to the south sued because the lines would have to run downhill and would take out large numbers of trees in their wooded area. The residents, who had septic systems, also would not have been allowed to hook up to the line without a considerable fee.
The controversy died down for a time after the original developer withdrew the application in 2015.
Now a different developer, Bellmont Promenade LLC, wants to build an in-line shopping center plus individual pad sites on the area. The current plan is for 150,000 to 200,000 square feet of connected shopping and six or seven separate buildings. The developer also is committed to putting in businesses that are new to Shawnee, according to city documents.
The structure of taxpayer commitment has not yet solidified, but both Tax Increment Financing and a Community Improvement Districts are under discussion. The city is considering a 90 percent property tax increment capture, sales tax increment from the city’s one percent general tax rate, a 1.3 percent sales tax within the Community Improvement District and a special assessment of $1 per square foot of the building area.
City leaders have long wanted to develop the site because it is the last corner in an intersection near Interstate 435 that is already filled with other shopping areas.
Also at the meeting, council members approved final plans for the Nieman Now! – a building project to manage flooding along Nieman Road and improve the street’s look.
The multi-phased project encompasses the area between Shawnee Mission Parkway and 55th Street, which is near the Turkey Creek tributary and has had flooding problems during heavy rains. In the process, the city will reconstruct Nieman Road, making it three lanes with pedestrian and bicycle access.
All of that involves installation of culverts and channels, the burial of power lines and in some cases, easements and purchase of property.
On Monday the council approved purchase of a shopping strip from 10914-10924 Shawnee Mission Parkway to make way for the stormwater work. The city will pay $450,000 for the building and $50,000 for its demolition.
Council member Eric Jenkins noted that the cost to buy and raze the building was less than the $940,000 it would have cost to leave it in place and work around it.
The council also approved a budget increase for the project because of unexpected increases in the cost of burying power lines. Kansas City Power and Light had originally estimated $1.9 million for relocating the lines, but recently increased that to $3.4 million because there was more conflict with existing underground utilities and less space than anticipated.
The increase brings the total cost of the project to almost $8.7 million, which comes from a variety of city and county funds.