Overland Park retail, late entertainment center


Plans for a retail and entertainment center at 115th Street and Nall Avenue in Overland Park – a project plagued with challenges from the start – have been pushed back for a few years.

The owners of the upscale Galleria 115 have missed two recent construction deadlines for the project. At the city’s finance committee meeting on Wednesday night, the developers raised several issues, including site issues and the struggling retail market.

“You say the economy is great, but the Park Place (across Nall) retail business is for sale at a discount,” said attorney John Petersen, representing the developer, Block Real Estate. Services. “It’s a very tough retail and entertainment market. ”

The finance committee agreed to extend construction deadlines by two years.

Overland Park City Council first approved a development agreement in 2017 for the project, which includes a 548-unit luxury apartment complex, retail, restaurants, a grocery store and some sort of entertainment company, which was not named.

Council members predicted that the development, near the Overland Park Convention Center, would help transform the College Boulevard corridor and attract more high-end customers from Leawood. The city council agreed to create a community improvement district on the site, with a special sales tax to be used for development costs.

“(On College Boulevard), we don’t have the live, work, play combination you need,” City Councilor Dave White told the developer on Wednesday. “We have work to do, but that’s all we have. I was hoping you would provide us with those other two things.

Block has faced several issues since taking over the site. At one point, the team lost one of its development partners. Then the developer had to negotiate the purchase of land from Sprint Corp. And Petersen said that while the site can be a good location, it has been difficult to build, due to the rocky topography and the required utilities and infrastructure work.

Last year, city council agreed to increase the rate of the special sales tax from 1% to 1.5% to help pay the additional costs, raising the incentive cap to more than $ 35 million.

Operational advice
Render of a grocery store offered at 115th Street and Nall Avenue in Overland Park. Courtesy of Klover Architects

Petersen said another challenge has been to attract a grocery store and stores, especially with nationwide retail difficulties. City Councilor John Thompson said while retail is difficult to build today, he’s worried about the viability of the project in a few years.

“I hear a lot of concern about the fragility of a lot of the things that made this project unique, like the grocery store, which is a hard item to attract but has a lot of appeal,” said Thompson. “Are we going to see this again in two years?” “

Aaron Mesmer, another developer on the project, said he was committed to the original project plan.

“I can tell you that we are working very hard to attract the right quality of users and uses throughout this agreement,” he said. “If you think about the investment in the first phase of the multi-family building (apartment building), in this case it will be an investment of $ 80 million. There is no will on our part to put anything aside that will reduce the quality of that itself.

Members of the finance committee highlighted Block’s other projects across Overland Park, including CityPlace off College and Switzer Road, and said they were confident he would end up building a high-end development.

The committee agreed to extend the construction deadlines. It will probably take at least five years before anything opens.

In other cases, the finance committee has discussed whether to allow a public comment period at city council meetings. Overland Park is one of the few cities in the Kansas City area that does not allow the public to express themselves on matters that are not on the agenda. Council members raised the possibility of limiting the period to 30 minutes. The committee asked staff to develop the rules, which will likely be presented to city council in late winter.

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Sarah Ritter covers K-12 education for The Kansas City Star. Formerly a reporter for the Quad-City Times, Sarah is a graduate of Augustana College.


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