Garmin Ltd. has been given the green light to expand in Olathe.
At its meeting Tuesday evening, the City Council voted unanimously to approve the technology giant’s plans for a major expansion.
Garmin is proposing a 712,842-square-foot warehouse and manufacturing center to be built at its headquarters, near 151st Street and Ridgeview Road. The expansion will be large enough to accommodate 2,700 more jobs at the company. The company currently has nearly 3,000 employees at its Olathe headquarters.
“Its a pretty clear decision for me,” said Councilman Jim Randall. “I think it is not only the best land use the city will see for that property, but I think its the best land use for our citizens.”
He added that he thinks the project will improve traffic in the area.
Dozens of residents and Garmin employees showed up to the council meeting to offer input, both positive and negative.
Several residents of the surrounding neighborhood expressed concern that the expansion would decrease property values for nearby homes.
One of those residents was Travis Snyder, who lives adjacent to the land intended for the expansion. The new Garmin building will be 107.5 feet off his property line.
“Once this monstrosity gets built, it will be like having the Great Mall of the Great Plains in back of my house,” he told the council. “I’m sure this is going to be a pretty awe-inspiring campus from the front, but I’m going to get the rear end of it backed up to my property, with just a few trees and bushes to block my view.”
Last week, Patrick Desbois, the vice president of operations at Garmin, told The Kansas City Star that it would take two years to construct the new building, as well as another two years to convert the existing warehouse into office space.
The company does not have a date set to begin construction.
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