Northeast Joco

Meadowbrook developers sign new partner, shrink project

The Meadowbrook site is bordered by 91 st and 95 th streets and Nall and Roe avenues.
The Meadowbrook site is bordered by 91 st and 95 th streets and Nall and Roe avenues. Prairie Village

Developers for the Meadowbrook project in Prairie Village have found a new partner to operate a retirement community on the property, although it will likely be smaller than previously announced.

Justin Duff, director of development for VanTrust Real Estate, on Monday told the Prairie Village City Council that the company has signed a contract and is doing due diligence work with Dial Senior Properties, an Omaha, Neb., company that operates a dozen senior living centers in four states, including some in the Kansas City area.

Dial would replace Legend Senior Living, which left the Meadowbrook project last summer. Under the original plan, the Wichita-based company was going to build a senior living center with 120 assisted living units, 120 independent living apartments and 90 rehabilitation units on part of the former Meadowbrook Golf and Country Club, bordered by 91st and 95th streets and Nall and Roe avenues.

Eric Westman, an Omaha-based architect for Dial, told the council that the new center would have the same types of units, but that the size has shrunk to 146 units. Duff said there was room on the 8.5-acre site to expand up to 230 units, depending on demand.

“We’re comfortable with this growth pattern compared to the 330 (units),” Duff said.

Mike Day, a managing member of Dial, stressed that the company was early in the process.

“It’s a changing plan, but right now we’re excited and look forward to moving forward,” Day said.

Funding for the Meadowbrook project includes $19 million in tax-increment financing bonds. These bonds are supposed to be paid off with incremental increases in future property taxes generated on the site, but if those amounts aren’t sufficient, the city is required to pay off the bonds.

“We have a vested interest in making sure this project succeeds,” Councilman Eric Mikkelson told the developers.

Jeff White, the city’s bond counsel, said that while Dial’s proposed center has fewer units than originally planned and would be expected to generate less property tax in the future, the expected values of single-family homes, town homes and apartments being built elsewhere in the Meadowbrook development have continued to increase and should make up any difference.

“The market itself is helping us,” White said. “Based on all the available information that we have today, we actually think we’re a little ahead of plan even with the change in the density of the senior living.”

In other business:

▪ The council approved a contract of almost $430,000 to Kansas Heavy Contractors to build a walking trail along a section of Tomahawk Road. The project also will include a pedestrian bridge over the creek at 71st Street and Tomahawk, additional sidewalks to connect the trail to the Village Shops, underground stormwater drainage pipes and pedestrian islands at Oxford Road and Prairie Lane.

First Washington, which operates the Village Shops, is contributing $10,000 to the plan. The bulk of the money is coming from a special community improvement district sales tax paid for years by Village Shops customers.

▪ The council voted 10-1 to approve a series of changes designed to make city employee salaries more competitive with surrounding cities. A recent compensation study found that Prairie Village employee salaries were 9 percent lower than the market.

Among the changes, the city plans to adopt the new salary ranges on July 1, which will require increasing some salaries immediately and create a strategy for ensuring well-performing employees reach the midpoint of their salary range after seven years of service.

City Administrator Quinn Bennion said the changes would cost an estimated $227,887 during the 2018 budget year, although the council won’t formally approve those changes until it votes on the final spending plan.

David Twiddy: