Update 9/11/19 – Overland Park officials are becoming cautious of changes to the Metcalf Crossing mixed-use project. Since the original proposal was made more than a year ago, the size of the self-storage facility has grown to 114,000 square feet and the office to 14,250 square feet. The city council has voiced frustration over the direction of the proposal and this week balked at replacing the original retail components with a five-bay Charlie’s Car Wash. It delayed a decision on the development until Oct. 7, according to the source.
Council members appear unhappy that the plan is moving further from city’s desire for pedestrian-friendly, walkable areas. During a meeting on Monday, some officials voiced doubt that the office component would ever be built.
“I’m very, very, very disappointed,” councilmember David White said in addressing the developer. “I have absolutely no confidence the office will ever get built. I think you’re going to dumb it down and essentially going to put an industrial area right next to a residential area. That’s not what we promised those people.”
“I just can’t see an office tenant moving into a building that’s next to a storage facility and a car wash,” added councilmember Paul Lyons. “Had I known that this was going to go down this path, I would not have supported the [tax-increment financing].”
Demolition of the existing hotel structures was originally scheduled to begin later this month, but city staff indicated that appears unlikely, the source reported.
4/19/18 – Overland Park officials have scheduled a public hearing on June 4 to give residents the opportunity to comment on the special sales tax and redevelopment plan connected to the Metcalf Crossing self-storage, hotel and retail project. Among the topics discussed will be the Community Improvement District (CID), which would initiate a 1 percent sales tax within a defined geographic area, according to the source.
The CID would be set up as a “pay-as-you-go” system for development costs. The tax would be collected over 22 years, the source reported.
3/23/18 – The Overland Park City Council has approved the rezoning and special-use permit required for the $39 million Metcalf Crossing project to move forward. A final review and vote must still be held before the existing hotel structures can be razed and replaced by the mixed-use development. Though city officials view the project favorably, multiple council members expressed some apprehension toward the business uses, including the self-storage facility, which is expected to be constructed first, according to the source.
The council also voted to designate the site a tax-increment financing district to help Sky Real Estate cover some expenses. The district is expected to provide about $2.6 million to pay upfront for demolition, land acquisition and site preparation, the source reported. A special, 1 percent sales-tax district designed to raise another $3 million in public financing will be discussed at a later date.
Despite their apprehension about the mix of businesses, council members acknowledged the project will be a welcome improvement to a site riddled with crime and vandalism. Councilmember Curt Skoog called the property an “open wound.” Between 2010 and mid-2016, nearly 7,000 incoming police calls were related to activity on the property, according to a study commissioned by Sky Real Estate. Of those calls, 238 arrests were made, mostly for drug-related crimes and traffic warrants. The hotels had nine times the arrests of others in the city.
“I think that since it is a safety concern, we should be investing in this area,” said councilmember Gina Burke. “I just hope that we get the entire project and not just the storage facility.” Fellow councilor Dave White also said he wasn’t “looking forward to only having a storage facility.”
1/10/18 – The Overland Park Planning Commission recommended approval on Monday for Sky Real Estate’s mixed-use project. The 77,250-square-foot storage facility is expected to be built north of the 108-room hotel. The permitting process is anticipated to extend through the spring, with a ground-breaking in the summer, according to the source.
The retail-center component of the project is expected to comprise 8,600 square feet, while the sit-down restaurant and fast-food eatery are planned for 5,600 and 2,500 square feet, respectively.
“This is one of the most troubled sites in Overland Park,” Korb Maxwell, an attorney representing the developer, told the commission. “So, bringing forward a bright new future for it that has development like you see here—first-class, high-quality, modern, class-A retail, hotel and storage—seems like an excellent use given its location.”
Commissioner Mike Flanagan was among the planners who agreed with Maxwell’s assessment, calling the site “one of the key intersections in the city” that’s needed “some improvement for many years.”
A request by Sky Real Estate for tax-increment finance and community-improvement district incentives is expected to be reviewed by the city council’s Finance, Administration and Economic Development Committee on Jan. 31.
10/11/2017 – Developer Wes Grammer of Sky Real Estate LLC submitted a proposal last week to build a mixed-use project in Overland Park, Kans., that will comprise self-storage, a hotel, and retail and restaurants. The plans for the property at 7240 Shawnee Mission Parkway include demolition of an existing Ramada Inn, according to the source.
The three-story storage facility facing 62nd Street would comprise 25,750 square feet. It would be east of a four-story hotel, which would face Shawnee Mission Parkway. An additional three structures, ranging in size from 5,000 to 6,100 square feet, would be placed along the southern edge of the parcel.
The storage facility will require a zoning change. Icon Architecture and engineering firm Olsson Associates have been contracted to work on the proposal, which will be heard by the Overland Park Planning Commission next month, the source reported.
Last spring, Sky Real Estate filed a zoning request for another self-storage project in the state. Grammer faced opposition to converting an empty warehouse in the River Market neighborhood of Kansas City, Kan. The property at 417 Grand Blvd. sits on a corner across from the Arabia Steamboat Museum and east of the historic City Market, a farmer’s market that also contains restaurants and retailers.
The former chief development officer for Legacy Development, Grammer is also converting the seven-story American Electric Co. building in St. Joseph, Kan., to 140 apartments.
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