The proposed Olathe Soccer Complex moved toward reality Monday after getting the nod from city planners.
The Planning Commission voted unanimously at its regular meeting to recommend approval of rezoning almost 37 acres at the northwest corner of 106th Street and Ridgeview Road to allow the construction of nine soccer fields and a three-story, 110-room hotel. Commissioners also recommended approval for the final plat of the encompassing 73 acres that would include the soccer fields, the hotel and eight retail buildings.
Combined with nine existing buildings in the Ridgeview Marketplace development at Ridgeview Road and Kansas 10, the overall project is expected to have 230,000 square feet of retail space and draw more than 1.3 million visitors a year.
“We’re pretty excited to get started,” Pete Heaven, an attorney representing developer Michael Christie, told the commission.
The Olathe City Council is scheduled to vote on the project on March 7.
Assuming the council grants approval, the developers plan to begin construction immediately and have the first soccer field ready to go in time for tournament play in June 2018.
Developers for the $27 million project are planning to ask the city for a combination of tax increment financing, industrial revenue bonds and a community improvement district to help offset some of the development costs.
With tax increment financing, or TIF, developers can use future gains in property or sales taxes to pay for eligible costs. The City Council late last year approved creating a TIF district for the property before developers disclosed their plans for the soccer complex. The developers said in presentation materials filed with the city that the TIF revenue would go only toward building the soccer fields and not the retail areas or hotel.
Industrial revenue bonds generally allow developers to avoid paying sales tax on construction materials for the project. A community improvement district, or CID, lets developers levy an additional sales tax on purchases made within the development district to help pay for the project.
In the project materials, the developers said two soccer clubs have already agreed to lease the fields. Heartland Soccer Club, which has more than 30,000 children enrolled, will rent the fields on weekends and manage the complex while Sporting Olathe Club will rent the fields during the week.
In other business:
▪ The commissioners voted 4-3 against approval of a proposed retail development on 2.7 acres near 135th Street and Pflumm Road. The owner, American Home Estates, has proposed developing a set of a two-story, mini-storage buildings and a separate retail building.
This is the second time the commission has dealt with the project.
It approved a different version of the mini-storage building concept last fall, which was rejected and sent back by the City Council. Faced with the continued problems of developing the very narrow piece of land – along with concerns from nearby residents about the project’s potential effects on property values and crime in the area – commission members said they couldn't find a good compromise.
“Just because someone owns land in the city does not mean it is developable,” said Chairman Dean Vakas.
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