No sale yet on Sprint HQ land slated to be Galleria 115, but buyer still confident

There’s no sale, at least so far, between Sprint and the Kansas City area developer trying to buy undeveloped land near the wireless carrier’s Overland Park headquarters.

Sprint had agreed to sell the land northwest of 115th Street and Nall Avenue in two parcels totaling $20 million. The first parcel was sold as planned.

Last Saturday was the deadline for entities led by Kenneth G. Block of Block Real Estate Services to complete the purchase of the second and larger parcel. In play are nearly 24.5 acres priced at $13.183 million.

It is land earmarked to become Galleria 115, a ring of retail spaces and restaurants kitty corner from the Park Place shopping center and near an estimated 30,000 workers, according to a presentation of the project. The project also includes multifamily residential development on land involved in the first parcel sold by Sprint.

galleria 115.JPG
An image of the proposed Galleria 115 project, which would be on land currently owned by Sprint.

Sprint, through spokeswoman Lisa Belot, said the second parcel sale did not happen. Terms of the deal provided that Block would lose $125,000 in earnest money if the sale did not close by the Sept. 15 deadline.

Neither side would say whether a sale is still possible, though the project was discussed Monday evening during a meeting of the Overland Park’s City Council’s Finance and Economic Development Committee.

“There is every intent of this party to move forward and close on that ground and confidence to do it,” John Petersen, an attorney who works with Block Real Estate Services, told city officials at the meeting. Petersen could not be reached Tuesday morning.

Sprint also is considering selling its headquarters campus and leasing space for its roughly 6,000 employees there. The campus was built when Sprint had far more local employees. Sprint also is in the process of seeking federal approval to merge with T-Mobile.

At the meeting Monday, Overland Park officials had raised questions about providing financial incentives for the project, given that Block had sued Sprint over the second parcel sale.

Block had sued in Johnson County District Court saying Sprint was trying to dictate what sorts of businesses could buy or lease space in the project.

In the lawsuit, Block acknowledged no AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile stores would be allowed. Other retail would be allowed, even a Best Buy store ,though the retailer sells cellphones on rival wireless companies’ networks.

But the suit said Sprint also was limiting other potential occupants to a short list of urgent care, unaffiliated emergency rooms, real estate brokerage offices and mortgage and securities offices.

Block asked the judge to block the Saturday deadline until the disagreement could be resolved. The suit said uncertainty about Block’s options at the Galleria 115 project could make it more difficult to find lenders and could limit the project’s potential benefits.

The Sprint spokeswoman said last week that terms of the sale agreement were “crystal clear and not subject to renegotiation at this stage.”

The judge declined the request to block the Saturday deadline.

At the Overland Park meeting Monday, Petersen and others made clear that the dispute with Sprint is over a small piece of the Galleria 115 project slated for offices. There is no dispute over the retail portions of the project, they said.

The Star’s Lynn Horsley contributed to this story.

Related stories from Kansas City Star