The Overland Park City Council on Monday night took the first step in creating a TIF district for a mixed-use development that would replace the former Sonic drive-in restaurant and O’Neill Honda buildings on the southeast corner of 80th Street and Metcalf Avenue.
The council voted unanimously to create a redevelopment district in the one-square-block area, which Deputy City Manager Kristy Stallings characterized as moving the project one-third of the way through the legal process. The city will subsequently need to approve a more detailed project plan and a development agreement.
Terry O’Leary spoke for the developer, Kansas City, Mo.-based ePartment Communities. He said the Crossroads 80 project would include about 230 apartments and 16,000 square feet of office and/or retail space, plus a multilevel parking garage.
EPartment Communities is also the developer of the mixed-use Village at Mission Farms at the corner of Mission Road and Indian Creek Parkway in Overland Park, among other projects.
“We are excited to create a housing opportunity in this area to jumpstart the Vision Metcalf plan,” O’Leary told the council, referring to the city’s master plan for the major north-south thoroughfare.
“We have a gut feeling this historic area of Overland Park is ready for redevelopment. … The multiplier effect will be great,” O’Leary said.
The TIF, or Tax Increment Financing, district will allow the developer to retain increased property taxes generated by the redevelopment to subsidize it.
To create the redevelopment district, the council had to certify that the existing buildings were at least 35 years old and that they met at least two of several other conditions, such as that they were obsolete, deteriorated and/or vacant. They did so almost without discussion after Stallings showed them photographs of leaky roofs and cracked pavement.
“This is a great partnership,” Mayor Carl Gerlach said after the vote. “Increasing residential development downtown will be a great thing.”