New $500 million shopping center coming to Overland Park

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - The Overland Park City Council unanimously approved the financing of the $500 million Prairie Fire development at 135th and Nall Avenue Monday night.

Project developer Fred Merrill said residents wont see any changes in taxes because the project is funded mostly by private investors and Star and CID bonds. Construction will begin in early November.

The 60-acre lot between Nall and Lamar avenues will soon be the home to a new grocery store called Fresh Market and an outdoor sporting goods store called REI.

The plans also call for a new museum with an association to the American Museum of Natural History.

Overland Park resident Holly O'Keefe lives just a block away from site and said the area already has most of those types of businesses.

"We have lots of grocery stores and all have fresh fruit. We have an outdoor sports store, and we have apartments," O'Keefe said. "I don't know what it's adding other than the museum."

O'Keefe feels the added traffic and noise will hurt her property value. She said her home value has already dropped 10 percent.

But Merrill said the development will improve property value because it will have several first-to-market businesses within walking distance.

He said the Fresh Mart and REI and some apartments will be completed by fall 2013, and the museum will be complete by spring 2014.

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