Developers for the $1.8 billion mixed-use project at Brookridge Golf and Fitness got the Overland Park Planning Commission’s blessing Monday for major changes to part of the project to make way for a 400,000-square-foot office building.
The changes would raise the height of a building in the central part of the project, reduce some setbacks, replace a pond with a plaza and water feature and eliminate a planned 650-seat movie theater. The commission unanimously voted to recommend approval of the changes by the full city council, which will discuss it at its June 5 meeting.
The Brookridge development at Interstate 435 and Antioch Road has been a 2 1/2 -year effort by Curtin Properties to turn the country club into an area with office, retail, apartments, a hotel, performance venue and a nine-hole golf course.
The developer asked for the changes after finding a potential tenant interested in the larger space. The proposal calls for changes in the height and setbacks for Building 250W, which is along Antioch Road north of Indian Creek. That building would grow two stories taller from its planned 10 stories. Its setbacks would be reduced from 108 feet to 80 feet.
To offset the larger building, the developer proposed a reduction in the height of three residential buildings by one story apiece. Two would be shortened from 10 to nine stories and a third from 11 to 10 stories.
Space for apartments would shrink by 41 units to 2,035 and retail square footage would be reduced by more than 4,700 square feet. Meanwhile the 650-seat theater and pond would be removed, with one-story restaurants fronting a plaza and water feature where the pond is now.
Some neighbors have pushed back against the Brookridge development since it was proposed more than two years ago. Five of them spoke out against the development at Monday’s meeting, reportedly concerned about the impact of the setback reductions and building height.
The developer of an iconic former gas station along Metcalf Avenue that was in operation for 60 years has lost one battle in efforts to turn the building into a coffee shop with a drive-through lane.
The now-vacant Mac’s 66 station at 8139 Metcalf Ave. would keep much of its 1950s-era look to become the flagship store for PT’s Coffee under a proposal put before the planning commission on Monday. The new store would have limited parking to accommodate customers inside and would include a drive-through lane. PT’S Coffee is a craft roaster that originated in Topeka
But the commission unanimously recommended denial to the city council, which will hear the idea at its June 5 meeting. The reason: The drive-through lane could result in cars backing up on 82nd Street, creating a traffic hazard and making the area less friendly to pedestrians that Vision Metcalf guidelines are trying to encourage.
Developer Complete LLC had asked city officials to rule that the coffee shop plan conforms to the building requirements for businesses in the revived downtown area. Planning guidelines for the area call for pedestrian-friendly design with a mix of varying modes of transportation.
Austin Chamberlin, partner at Complete LLC, said the company wants to make use of the iconic architecture of the station. “None of us wanted to see it turned into a used car lot,” he said.
But the drive-through lane is completely full at 14 cars rather than the 16 the city wants, and that was the main sticking point with the city staff and planning commission.
With apartment projects going in nearby, a coffee shop would be a natural fit and good community space, he told the commission.
Chamberlin said any drive-through backup could be handled by sending an employee out to take orders as people wait in the line. He added the coffee shop use would encourage more pedestrian traffic in the area while accommodating drive-up customers.
The plan would not be feasible without the drive-through lane because of the expense of getting rid of gas station infrastructure to make it useable, Chamberlin said. The changes to the site would cost an estimated $1 million, he said. The developer is not asking for any public incentives for the project.
Chamberlin said he still hopes to get the city council’s support next month. If not, he said he would have to seek some other potential user.
Mac’s 66 was a landmark along Metcalf Avenue, opening in 1956. When it closed recently, it was one of the few full-service stations still in existence in the area.