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New development planned at old Metcalf South Mall site in Overland Park

Posted at 6:11 PM, Nov 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-20 19:11:19-05

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Overland Park city officials hope to make 95th Street and Metcalf Avenue a retail destination once again — similar to the bustle of the former Metcalf South Mall, but better.

"When we moved in, it was totally active," said Laurie Crawford, who bought a house on Glenwood Street in 1980 with her husband, Bill. "All the stores were full. We hopped the fence to go to the movies with the kids. It was great living on the fence with Metcalf South."

New development is on the horizon, which makes many homeowners excited. 

"I'm all for it. It's just been a dead property," Crawford said.

Keith Gooch, senior planner for Overland Park, showed the plans to 41 Action News. 

The nearly 19-acre site will need to be rezoned. The current zoning worked for Metcalf South Mall, but developers said that zoning isn't flexible enough for mixed-use.

Restaurants, both sit-down and fast-food, will line 95th Street going south. A multi-story apartment complex and senior living facility will sit south of the newly constructed Lowe's store and edge up against the homes on Glenwood Street. A theater, fitness center, gas station and various retail sites are also included in the plans.

Two developers, Seritage Growth Properties and Lane4 Property Group, hope to finish the project in the next couple of years. 

Sears, the last remnant of what once was at the site, will be demolished. 

The developers are expected to apply for public financing to help with demolition and construction costs, but the city couldn't say how much.

"I don't have any objections to commercial property being there. It's just going to be a little closer than it was, because it was quite set back," Crawford said.

The 60-foot proximity to residential areas is one main concern that city officials and neighbors voiced. The developers will have to come back to the planning commission with revised plans on how to buffer the increased noise and lighting that would be expected with two new residential buildings.

Shamrock Trading also plans to expand its office space on the north side of 95th Street, where the old Kmart used to be. All the other restaurants and retail spaces in that area have gone out of business. The lone survivors, a Red Lobster and Olive Garden, will remain.

Shamrock's tax increment financing request is pending. The city said Shamrock has a $40 million cap for public financing. A TIF diverts part of the development's sales taxes that will help pay off the project.

Both Shamrock and Seritage will go before the planning commission with their plans on Dec. 10. Lane4 will go back before the commission on Jan. 14 with its revised plans.

"It's just a lot more activities for the corner of 95th Street that haven't been there for several years," Gooch said.