OVERLAND PARK, Kan. - Could the future of the Metcalf South shopping center be a catalyst for miles of Metcalf in Overland Park?
While the struggling shopping center is losing major retailer Macy's and the dozens of jobs that go with it, city councilman Curt Skoog sees a silver lining.
"This will be the new beginning of the future of Overland Park," he said, thumbing through colorful pictures of the city's concept for the future of 95th and Metcalf.
The pictures are a part of Vision Metcalf, the concept the community created in 2007. The 30-year plan included mixed-use retail, residential and office space dispersed in a walkable nine-mile stretch with an urban feel.
Right around the time Vision Metcalf was created, Skoog said the nation's economy faltered and developers disappeared with it. On their own, city leaders took small steps forward like building transit stops on Metcalf and rezoning downtown Overland Park to make redeveloping with that urban feel easier for developers.
James Bearden has been waiting to see 'Vision Metcalf' for years. Bearden Stained Glass has been a mainstay on Metcalf, but he is leary to re-invest right now.
"I'm going to wait until I have a little bit of thrust behind me," he said.
Now, with Macy's departure, Skoog hopes developers are one vacancy closer to coming back in the picture at Metcalf South.
"The hope is that we see a plan from the land owners by the end of the year," he said.
Sears will be the only major retailer remaining at Metcalf South. Any impact Sears would have on redevelopment or if and when redevelopment would happen is unclear. Calls to the management company were not returned.