Lenexa may become a national hot spot for futsal — a five-player version of indoor soccer — if a $94 million development project at Prairie Star Parkway and the future Ridgeview Road becomes reality.
The development, which includes indoor and outdoor playing fields, restaurants, retail, a hotel and apartments, is expected to attract 30,000 visitors a year to regional and national tournaments, said Pete Heaven, who represents developer Mike Christie and West Star Development in the project.
If approved, it will be home to the former Futsal KC, which was recently acquired by the Heartland Soccer Association. Heartland Futsal, as it is now known, bills itself as the largest futsal league in the country, with 400 teams playing in the most recent season.
The concept recently won approval for rezoning and preliminary plan from the Lenexa’s planning commission and the full city council. The developer will also seek sales tax revenue (STAR) bonds to finance the project, Heaven said. That financing is restricted to projects that create unique tourist destinations and attract visitors from at least 100 miles away. To get it, the city must submit a request for review by the Kansas Department of Commerce. Heaven said he expected the application to the city for its participation to be completed within the month.
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“We’re pretty excited about this project,” Heaven said.
The plan covers about 48 acres that have been vacant since 1986. The eastern part of that acreage has been mined, making it difficult to build on. The developer addressed that by including five outdoor soccer fields in that area, with 30-foot-tall netting around the perimeter to catch stray balls.
The project will belong to a corridor that will stretch from Kansas 10 to Prairie Star Parkway after an extension of Ridgeview Road is completed. Plans are for a 128,800-square-foot National Futsal Training Center, which will include nine indoor fields, restaurants, retail and office space; a six-story 150-room hotel; 100 apartment units; 60,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space; a 391-bay climate-controlled self-storage facility and the outdoor fields.
The development’s northwest corner will be across the new Ridgeview Road from the Mill Creek streamway trail.
That shouldn’t change anything as far as trail access goes, said Bill Maasen of the Johnson County Park and Recreation District.
The part of the development that will be most visible to the trail will be the storage facilities and hotels and a couple of the taller buildings, Heaven said.
Maasen said the higher planned elevation of Ridgeview and the cleanup of waste piles that are now in that area may even be an improvement, as far as the view goes.
Some details on stormwater drainage are still being worked out. The developer asked the city to waive requirements for stormwater detention release rates. A review committee said it could not agree to lifting all requirements because of the nearness of Mill Creek. Stormwater detention requirements are intended to protect streams from degradation.
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