Thanks to proper moves by Johnson County officials, the dilapidated King Louie building could be transformed into a well-designed Arts and Heritage Center by 2017.
The County Commission bought the empty building after it had become a blighting influence on a heavily traveled stretch of Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.
After early plans to put a national museum of suburbia fell by the wayside, county leaders developed more positive plans for reusing the structure.
The Johnson County Museum will take up residence there, as will a site for early voting, plus spaces for theater and parks programming.
Never miss a local story.
Architects recently released initial renderings of the design. The new center would retain the accordion roof that many people associate with King Louie, plus much of the stonework as well as the iconic sign.
The $21 million in bonds approved for the project have drawn criticism in recent months.
However, the most recent proposals for the Arts and Heritage Center sound realistic. They are designed to attract a large number of people for multiple kinds of events.
And it’s sensible to provide a new home for the museum, which is now in a setting that suffers from mold and leaking water.
The Overland Park City Council and city staff will review proposed parking, traffic and landscaping changes at the site in the coming weeks.
Those issues matter to nearby neighbors. It’s crucial to make sure any concerns are heard and dealt with as best as possible, to avoid creating lingering animosity about what has evolved into a solid project in Johnson County.