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Developers propose scaled-back Corinth Square South center to Prairie Village council

A news plan for Corinth Square South.
A news plan for Corinth Square South. First Washington Realty

The owners of Corinth Square South on Monday unveiled a scaled-back proposal for redeveloping the shopping center.

Representatives of First Washington Realty told the Prairie Village City Council that they are looking to demolish the former 50,000-square-foot home of the Mission Road Antique Mall in the southwest corner of the property and replace it with a strip of shops split by a narrow plaza.

They would also extend the building in the northwest corner that currently houses a First Watch restaurant and two smaller tenants.

In total, the two sites will shrink from 85,000 square feet of space for retail and restaurants to 55,000.

The proposal comes a year and a half after the company, which already receives revenue from a 1 percent community improvement district sales tax on both parts of Corinth Square, unsuccessfully lobbied the council for additional public incentives for a much larger redevelopment.

That plan called for removing both the mall and the nearby building that houses a First Watch restaurant and two smaller tenants. In their place, the company wanted to add two small strips of retail spaces and a three-story building of offices and shops connected to a multistory parking garage.

First Washington eventually abandoned the idea after getting only lukewarm support from the council and hearing objections from some residents about the redevelopment’s added density.

“We’ve spent the last year trying to figure out what the best option was,” said Gregory Zike, senior vice president for First Washington. “What we’ve determined … is something a little more low-scale. Similar building footprint to what’s there now.”

The antique mall building includes the former Woolford Farms stables, the home of Lawrin, the only Kansas-born winner of the Kentucky Derby, which he won in 1938.

Kevin Berman, an architect with Hoefer Wysocki, said the new structure would acknowledge the site’s history, perhaps with a plaque.

Zike did not disclose the cost of the redevelopment and said many of the project’s details are still being developed. The city’s planning commission would still need to approve the plan.

▪ In other business, the council voted 8-4 to ask staff to research the potential cost and administrative requirements of creating a program that would match volunteers with seniors and disabled residents needing their driveways cleared following heavy snowstorms.

Council member Jori Nelson proposed the “snow angels,” based on a similar program that the city of Olathe has operated for more than 20 years.

“I think it would be a great benefit to our seniors that live here, it would help them to age in place, and it’s just a very goodwill kind of program,” Nelson said.

While most council members said they liked the spirit of the program, some questioned why the city would need to operate it instead of simply connecting residents with churches, Boy Scout troops or homeowner associations that could clear the snow, as well as provide other needed services, such as leaf pickup or house maintenance.

They also said they were concerned volunteers injuring themselves while shoveling could affect the city’s insurance.

“I think it’s a fantastic idea, I just don’t think it’s an idea for the city to undertake,” said Councilman Andrew Wang, who voted against it.

▪ The council also voted in favor of setting aside $140,000 in next year’s budget to complete installing a series of designated bicycle lanes and share bike routes throughout the city. An additional $60,000 for the project is in the current year’s budget. Public Works Director Keith Bredehoeft said the lanes and routes will be labeled with signs and special pavement markings.

David Twiddy: