The Market Lofts multifamily development in the heart of downtown Overland Park has endured years of delays, has had its taxpayer incentives slashed, and is now the subject of several lawsuits.
But construction activity is finally picking up, and developer Paul Goehausen hopes the 36-unit apartment building at the northwest corner of 80th and Marty streets will be nearly complete by the end of January.
“I can see the end,” Goehausen said Wednesday, referring to the development process, which he said seems like it began “about three lifetimes ago.”
“We hope by the end of January to have our temporary certificate of occupancy,” he said.
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Market Lofts, previously estimated to cost about $10 million, has encountered numerous reversals and delays dating back years. Overland Park created a tax increment financing district as long ago as 2008 but the recession stalled the project.
Construction started in late 2016 but new delays arose over the burying of utility lines. As building activity crept along, residents, merchants and customers complained about disruptions to traffic and pedestrians along 80th Street, where construction of The Vue, a $49 million, 291-unit apartment/retail development by Hunt Midwest, is also underway.
Market Lofts was supposed to be done by December 2017. When it wasn’t, a frustrated City Council tried to hasten progress by saying it would reduce the maximum TIF payment from $1.18 million to $1 million if Goehausen didn’t achieve substantial completion by July 31, 2018. The TIF cap would be further reduced to $907,232 if he didn’t achieve completion by Dec. 31.
That Dec. 31 deadline is going to come and go, and the TIF penalty will apply, but Goehausen said it won’t halt the project. He declined to say his total investment now.
Earlier this fall, Goehausen fired the general contractor on the project, 2 Point Construction Company. In September, 2 Point Construction sued Market Lofts LLC, Goehausen and others involved in the project, alleging breach of contract, wrongful termination and other grievances and seeking damages in excess of $1 million.
Market Lofts LLC filed its own lawsuit in November against two top executives of 2 Point Construction, alleging that 2 Point received $75,582 in payment for a performance bond for the project but failed to obtain that bond. The lawsuit also alleges 2 Point over-billed Market Lofts for work performed by subcontractors, leading to more than $220,000 in damages for Market Lofts.
Goehausen said he couldn’t comment on the litigation. A court conference is scheduled Jan. 29 for one of the cases in Johnson County District Court.
Goehausen has hired a new general contractor, Brookbank & Sons, to complete the job. He said work is underway on sheetrocking, painting and trim. The building, which has a parking garage, will have one- and two-bedroom units with monthly rents ranging from about $1,500 to $2,000.
Across 80th Street, The Vue also encountered some delays in completion, especially because of the terrible November weather, said Brenner Holland, vice president and general manager at Hunt Midwest. He said the leasing office will open the first week in January and he expects residents will start to move in by the end of January.
The Vue will have Parisi Cafe and Evolve Juicery & Kitchen among its retail tenants. Holland said he hopes they will be in by the end of the first quarter 2019.
Construction has also started on the $53.8 million Edison District, an office/entertainment complex underway at the southwest corner of 80th and Marty Streets. Developers Tim Barton and Matt Druten hope for completion in the latter part of 2019.