A 1-acre public gathering spot will be at the center of New Longview in a plan that moves forward uncompleted development efforts started 18 years ago.
The development just got another push thanks to the approval of a Community Improvement District by the Lee’s Summit City Council. While plans are still conceptual, a 1-cent sales tax on the commercial district will help provide money to complete an activity plaza and streetscape plans for the neighborhood.
Corey Walker, the senior vice president of Platform Ventures LLC, which is developing the area, says the activity space will host special events and public concerts.
“We want a central focal point for the neighborhood, and the way some of the private businesses will interface with it will create a neat area. We want to try to make this a neighborhood center of the western part of town,” Walker said.
The space will include terracing and a pergola in a 1-acre area. The spot, which will be owned by the commercial association, will be restricted against future development.
Platform Ventures LLC has been the managing developer on New Longview since 2014. The developer worked with the neighborhood association and the city to restructure a Tax Increment Financing plan from 2002. The original TIF plan had tied development of the area to the renovation of historic Long View Farms buildings, and had been unsuccessful in helping fully develop the area.
The updated TIF plan allowed the group to work with historic real estate developer Sunflower Development Group to complete the stabilization of four of the historic buildings on the site and a $3 million renovation of Longview Mansion. It also allows the construction of residential units to move forward in a way they could not before.
Assistant Lee’s Summit City Manager Mark Dunning says the improvements to New Longview made possible through the CID will be a great addition for the City of Lee’s Summit as it continues to grow.
“We’re excited that residents will have more options to choose from when it comes to restaurants, shopping and entertainment,” Dunning said.
Walker points out that the retail environment has changed significantly since 2002. Current development plans contain much fewer square feet of retail space than the original plan.
The area is already anchored by a B&B theater. A vet clinic and a Taco Bell are also committed to coming into the area. The newly approved CID is key to raising the money necessary to complete streetscaping in the area.
“The CID is the next step, which allows us to be able to make the design and upgrades needed for the walkable village center that everyone wants out there,” Walker said.
Walker says they will take some time coming up with the final plans.
The CID goes into effect on Oct. 1. Walker is hoping the developer will be able to break ground in 2020.