Overland Park & Leawood

Former Brookridge golf club in Overland Park sets sights on millennials

This is the developer’s rendering of the retail village, which will include both office and residential uses above retail and restaurant space.
This is the developer’s rendering of the retail village, which will include both office and residential uses above retail and restaurant space. Curtin Property Co.

It just might be the new hot spot for Overland Park millennials.

A developer wants to turn Brookridge Golf & Fitness — a 200-acre country club at 103rd Street and Antioch Road — into a mixed-use paradise with the help of state and city development incentives.

Not only would the project potentially boast office, retail and living space, but it could also feature a sprawling public park with fountains and a high quality performance venue for concerts and Broadway shows, developers told the city council at its committee of the whole meeting on Monday evening.

And although the plan is still in its infancy, and details are not concrete, the city council is optimistic about its potential.

To get the ball rolling, the council directed city staff to work with the developer, Curtin Property Co., to flesh out financial incentive possibilities and schedule public hearings.

The developer plans to ask for several incentives, city staff said, including STAR bonds, which are issued by the state and paid off by sales taxes collected by the businesses in the development; tax increment financing, which uses property taxes to pay development costs; a community improvement district, in which an extra sales tax is levied to pay for costs; and economic development revenue bonds.

Curtin Property will submit a proposal to the planning commission on Oct. 22.

Several months from now, when the details are ironed out, the council will vote on whether to approve the project and the proposed incentives.

One of the key components behind the new development is attracting millennials, the generation of people ranging from early 20s to mid-30s, said Chris Curtin, the developer.

Unlike their parents in the baby-boomer generation, millennials are trading in home-buying for a mobile lifestyle, preferring a walkable urban environment.

“Millennials are the heart of economic development in any city,” Curtin said. “They’re our future.”

With high-end restaurants and shops, Curtin also told the council he believes the development will increase property values for homes surrounding the area.

Plus, with its easy access to the interstate, the development has a higher chance of being successful to the entire Kansas City area, he added.

A project on such a massive scale, however, will not be built overnight.

If the council ultimately approves the new development, it could take around 15 years to complete, said John Petersen, the legal representative for the project.

Despite the council’s interest and enthusiasm toward the project, many of the council members have concerns.

Councilman Paul Lyons is worried about the traffic that will be brought upon Antioch Road by such an intense development.

Petersen responded that there will be an in-depth traffic study performed to spell out any potential problems.

A few council members expressed concern that the project might not be completed, as has happened to other developments around Johnson County.

But Councilman Richard Collins said it was too early for pessimism.

“All of our concerns are premature,” he told his fellow council members. “We need to see something in a concrete format before we can discuss anything. Right now, it’s just abstract.”

He also said that by approving city staff to start working with the developer, it didn’t mean the council was solidifying the project.

In the end, it was the vision and passion voiced by Curtin which prompted the governing body to move forward.

“I think it’s a great project,” Councilman David White said. “Unfortunately, I’ll be in a geriatric center by the time it gets built, but I’m sure my wife will be shopping there.”

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