Corbin Park in Overland Park has rebounded in recent years, with the addition of Sprouts Farmers Market, Scheels All Sports, Dave & Buster’s and other retailers.
But the developer thinks the shopping center, located at the southeast corner of 135th and Metcalf, will do even better with the addition of residents living within the development.
On Monday night, the Overland Park City Council agreed, unanimously approving a rezoning and preliminary plan for a six-story, mixed-use building with five levels of apartments, totaling 225 units, plus a parking garage, all built on an underused part of the center’s south side.
“All these apartments will breathe life into that side,” said Jeffrey DeGasperi, president of DeGasperi & Associates Architecture, who spoke Monday night for the developer, Mike Schlup of Aspen Square Inc. “It’s a unique opportunity for people in an apartment to have all these amenities,” he said.
DeGasperi said the developer hopes to break ground on the parking garage in late January and the apartments next spring, with completion about a year later.
With little comment, the Overland Park City Council approved a rezoning request for a 5.3-acre tract of land in the center.
Schlup wants to convert an underused surface parking lot on the center’s south side into a six-story building with first floor retail and parking and five levels of apartments, totaling 225 units, on upper floors. The building and a four-story parking garage to the east of that mixed-use building would replace an approved 22,000 square foot, one-story retail building.
Carson Towers Apartments are planned in a building just south of the Von Maur store, between J.C. Penney on the west and Scheels All Sports on the east. Revenues from an existing community improvement district sales tax can be applied to the parking garage, but tax incentives will not be used for the apartments.
The comprehensive plan for the property calls for commercial uses. The proposed mixed-use zoning does not conform to the comprehensive plan, but one of the city’s goals is to encourage mixed-used centers at major thoroughfares, so city staff said the area’s character is not adversely affected by the change to residential units above proposed commercial tenant spaces.
In November, the city’s planning commission approved the rezoning, 11-0, with the stipulation that the development be limited to 225 apartment units and 24,280 square feet of commercial space.
Schlup bought the Corbin Park development for $8.1 million at a 2011 bankruptcy auction. At that time, Von Maur and J.C. Penney were the only stores built. But since then, the tenant list has grown to Scheels, Crowley Furniture, Sprouts Farmers Market, Spin Pizza and Dave & Buster’s.
In 2016, Schlup had asked to use money from two special taxing districts to pay for a new hotel behind the Von Maur store, but the city council rejected that plan.
On Monday night, the City Council also narrowly approved tax incentives for a new office development at the northeast corner of I-435 and Metcalf Avenue, but final approvals for that project remain uncertain.
By a 7-5 vote, the council approved an agreement for a 100 percent tax increment financing deal for developer James Clark. It would allow reimbursement for eligible expenses from 100 percent of the new taxes generated by the project, estimated at about $16.3 million over 20 years, as part of the overall $64 million development.
The developer has already demolished a dilapidated motel at the site and has prepared the site for a new parking structure, a new Class A office building and a new hotel.
Attorney Curt Petersen said the 100 percent reimbursement was necessary to make the financing work for the project, although some council members were skeptical of that. He said the incentives were necessary to help with the costs of the parking garage, and the project would bring much needed Class A offices to a highly visible intersection in Overland Park. The incentives would not kick in until the office building is completed, and no incentives would go for the hotel construction.
Five council members voted against the plan, saying it violated their policy of granting no more than 90 percent tax increment financing reimbursement of eligible costs.
The developer still must submit a project plan by December 31, 2018 for city council approval, and it would require nine votes to pass.