Ward Parkway Center will add 6 more restaurants

Ward Parkway Center is set to develop the former Dillard’s site — six years after the department store closed.

Plans currently call for a 31,000-square-foot, U-shaped addition with six restaurant tenants and a pedestrian plaza, all on south end of the center.

The two middle buildings would be 18,000 square feet with smaller tenants on either side. Buildings on the north and south end of the addition would include patios.

Legacy Development, which manages the property and is overseeing the development, is in talks with about a dozen restaurants and is focusing on the best tenant mix of four full-service and two limited-service operations. The tenants will be announced during a groundbreaking ceremony in January.

“We think it addresses a void in the market and we couldn’t be more excited,” said Dave Claflin, spokesman for Legacy Development.

Sources say Legacy is in talks with such restaurants as Ted’s Cafe Escondido, Bar Louie, Tucanos Brazilian Grill and Menchies Frozen Yogurt.

The northernmost portion of the addition — dubbed the south lifestyle section — would be two stories tall and connect with the existing mall; the remainder of the building would be one story.

Service areas for the tenants will be on the east side of the building with views blocked by an existing office building. Masonry walls and wood fencing will block the service area view from the south.

The front facade will be made of wood, metal mesh and brick. It will have a metal canopy over the pedestrian plaza, which will include fountains and seating areas. Two of the tenant spaces will include outdoor patio areas. A new “Ward Parkway Center” monument sign listing the tenants will be on the State Line entrance.

A sidewalk will be added in the right-of-way along West 89th Street and plans call for 32 short-term bicycle parking spaces. Eight long-term bicycle parking spaces are available in service areas on the east side of the building.

Legacy has already put the infrastructure in place to support the restaurants, including 369 parking spaces, access off of State Line Road and West 89th, as well as to the mall.

Dillard’s was converted into a clearance center in mid-2008 and then closed in late 2009. Contractors started demolishing the store and parking garage at 8800 Ward Parkway in mid-2011.

In other Ward Parkway Center updates, Dick’s Sporting Goods will close on Jan. 4 after more than 15 years in the center. The company opened that store and four other area locations on Oct. 1, 2000, in the largest single-day opening in the company’s then 52-year history. Dick’s declined to comment on the closing but Claflin said the current store footprint, in Suite 2002 on the Ward Parkway side, is not really large enough.

Claflin said Ross Dress for Less is scheduled to open in the spot. Ross officials confirmed Monday that the lease has been signed.

Ross Dress for Less, one of the country’s largest discount department store chains, also is opening a location in St. Joseph. It has area locations in the Northland, Blue Springs, Independence, Olathe, Overland Park and Lawrence.

Joyce Smith: 816-234-4692, @JoyceKC