If built, it will change the landscape of downtown Overland Park.
A $39 million mixed-use development, proposed for 80th and Marty, is inching closer to becoming a reality. At its meeting Monday night, the council approved a redevelopment district for the project, titled The Vue, which now makes it eligible for tax increment financing, otherwise known as a TIF.
The creation of a redevelopment district does not authorize TIF financing for the project, emphasized Kristy Stallings, the deputy city manager, to the council. It is simply an initial step in a lengthy process.
The developer, Hunt Midwest Enterprises, is seeking a $6.7 million TIF and also a $460,000 community improvement district.
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The project features 216 apartments and a parking garage. It also includes 10,000 square feet of retail space.
If approved, construction of The Vue would require the demolition of two buildings.
Only one resident spoke up at the public hearing on the issue.
Michael Millett, a criminal defense attorney who has an office in downtown Overland Park, told the council that while he’s grateful for the area’s revitalization, he’s worried about the influx of cars.
After all, he said, there are a few more major multi-family residential projects already in the works for downtown Overland Park, such as Interurban Lofts and Market Lofts.
“Downtown Overland Park is all two lanes streets and stop signs,” Millett said. “It’s difficult to get around as it is. When the Farmer’s Market is open, all the parking lots in the area are completely full.”
He added that he’s also worried about the increase in cars on Friday and Saturday evenings, when people are out seeing a movie at Rio Theatre or hitting up the bar scene.
“Part of the charm of downtown Overland Park is that it is accessible,” he said. “If you lose that, it might turn people off.”
Mayor Carl Gerlach told Millett that while he made a good point, the city has studied the issue diligently and is prepared to handle the increased capacity.
Council members agreed with the mayor.
“I think downtown Overland Park really has improved over the last five to 10 years,” said Councilman Paul Lyons. “It’s gratifying to see what’s happened down there. I’m encouraged there are developers who are investing to make downtown better because we need to bring in more people to make it more robust.”
Councilman David White said that the problem with success in an area is that it does draw more people. He said The Vue will have internal parking for its residents, as well as several public parking spaces, which could help relieve the parking problem downtown.
He said he’s excited about the project because he thinks it could be the spark that changes everything downtown.
Curt Petersen, the legal representative for Hunt Midwest Enterprises, echoed his sentiment.
“We are enthusiastic about redeveloping this site,” he said.
A redevelopment plan for the project will come before the council at a later date.
Later in the meeting, the city’s planning staff held a study session for council members to review the details of the proposed Brookridge redevelopment project.
The massive mixed use project is intended to replace the Brookridge Golf & Fitness Club on the northeast corner of Interstate 435 and Antioch Road.
Developers aim to transform 5.9 million square feet of the property into a hip, modern live-work-play environment.
The plan calls for 2.2 million square feet of office space. It also features more than 300,000 square feet of retail, around 2,000 multi-family units, a 650-seat movie theater, a 3,500 seat indoor performance venue, and a 550-room hotel. The project also features a large park along Indian Creek.
It will take approximately 20 years to complete.
The council had been set to consider rezoning for the redevelopment at its meeting this week, but a notification error pushed things back.
At its meeting on July 13, the Planning Commission approved rezoning to allow the redevelopment. But city officials later discovered the developer, Curtin Property Company, had not properly notified all the surrounding property owners, thereby invalidating the commission’s decision.
Whenever there is a request to rezone property, Kansas state law specifically requires written notification of all property owners within 200 feet of the project’s property.
Notification will be redone by the developer and a new public hearing for the project will be held during the Planning Commission meeting on Aug. 24.
Jack Messer, director of Planning and Development Services, told the council that city staff is satisfied with almost everything about the project, such as density, height of buildings, and proposed stormwater improvements.
It is even in favor of the proposed traffic improvements, which include additional lanes to Antioch and 103rd, plus changes made to the I-435 interchange at Antioch.
But, Messer said, as of right now, the reason city staff is recommending denial of the project to the planning commission is because those traffic improvements are speculative. Some of the improvements require the use of property which is not yet under the developer’s control, he said.
In order to make the full improvements, the developer needs control of 12 homes located on Antioch Road.
When asked by council members who would pay for the traffic improvements, Messer said at this point, the city has requested that street improvements be the developer’s responsibility.
Messer also reminded the council the planning commission had been in favor of the project, despite the staff’s recommendation of denial.
He told the council that at their last meeting, planning commission members felt comfortable with the proposed traffic and stormwater improvements, and several of them commented that they liked the mixed use nature of the project. A few were still concerned with the project’s density and building heights, though.
The council is scheduled to consider rezoning for the Brookridge project in September.
“I just want to thank the planning department for taking the time to do this presentation for us,” Gerlach told Messer. “This is a difficult decision and we want to be as educated as possible.”