Olathe & Southwest Joco

Olathe Station developer tells Council it hopes to add second hotel

A developer told the Olathe City Council on Tuesday that they would like to build a Marriott TownePlace Suites at Olathe Station
A developer told the Olathe City Council on Tuesday that they would like to build a Marriott TownePlace Suites at Olathe Station TownPlace Suites

The company currently renovating the Olathe Station shopping center on Strang Line Road said Tuesday it is adding a second hotel to the project.

Eric Gonsher, representing Holmes 111 LLC, told the Olathe City Council on Tuesday that the developers plan to build a four-story, 112-room Marriott TownePlace Suites in the northwest corner of the shopping center, just north of the four-story, 119-room Courtyard by Marriott currently under construction and expected to open in July.

Gonsher said the Courtyard by Marriott approached Holmes 111 about adding the TownePlace Suites. The new hotel will take over space originally planned for a new 4,000-square-foot restaurant when the project was first unveiled in May 2017.

The developers have had trouble finding tenants for both the 4,000-square-foot space and a 10,000-square-foot restaurant space, given the amount of competing restaurants in the area. Instead, Gonsher said the company will build a single, 7,000-square-foot restaurant near the TownePlace Suites.

“There’s a major need in this trade area for that extended-stay product,” Gonsher said, adding that the hotels will add more than 230 rooms for “hungry people that can now support the existing restaurants and retailers.”

The new hotel will increase the value of the project from $26.2 million to $33.8 million. However, Gonsher said the developers are not requesting additional public incentives for the project.

Olathe officials in 2017 approved a 20-year, 1 percent community improvement district sales tax for parts of the development that will provide $2.4 million to help pay for certain development expenses.

Gonsher said the developers have already completed renovating the center’s 1990s-era building facades and signs, attained full occupancy of the retail areas and cleared the former Joe’s Crab Shack building on the northeast corner of the shopping center for a Chuy’s restaurant. He said construction has begun on a community gathering pavilion and replacing areas of the parking lot and landscaping. The project does not include the AMC Studio 28 at the rear of the property or four commercial plots in the middle of the property, which Holmes 111 doesn’t own.

The development agreement reached between Holmes 111 and the city on the project currently allows only one hotel on the site. An amendment that would include the second hotel must still go before the planning commission on Jan. 28 before coming back before the council for approval.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to approve a 24-acre multi-use development planned along the southern border of Ernie Miller Park and Nature Center. The developers of Stag’s Ridge are proposing three commercial buildings with almost 45,000 square feet; a three-story, 104,000-square-foot climate-controlled storage building; and a four-story, 100-unit senior living apartment building northwest of the intersection of Kansas Highway 7 and Spruce Street.

Responding to concerns from staff and the Johnson County Park & Recreation District, which operates Miller Park, the developers have widened the buffer with the park from the required 20 feet wide to 30 feet. Council member Jim Randall attempted to require a 50-foot-wide buffer, but his proposal died for a lack of a second.

Kevin Tubbesing, representing the developers, told the council he will continue to work with staff and could eventually get to a 50-foot buffer with the park but requested that the wider buffer not be made a requirement.

David Twiddy: dtwiddy913@gmail.com