Olathe Great Mall developers want public incentives for $300 million project

Posted at 5:23 PM, Oct 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-17 18:44:38-04

OLATHE, Kan. — Developers on Tuesday announced plans for a $300 million redevelopment proposal for the site of the former Great Mall of the Great Plains.

Salt Lake City-based Woodbury Corporation plans a mixed-use development at the location near 151st Street and Interstate 35 in Olathe.

The development would include 300 apartments, two hotels, 250,000 square feet of entertainment/retail/restaurant space and 200,000 square feet of office space.

“We’re looking at this as a regional destination,” said Tim Danneberg, Olathe spokesman. 

The company has dubbed the project, “Mentum.”

“The council has been patiently waiting for something to come along that is meaningful to the community,” Danneberg said.

The Great Mall of the Great Plains closed in the fall of 2015 after the site failed to attract enough shoppers. But the city believes this development won’t suffer the same fate.

“We have confidence in the developer, and this is not your run-of-the-mill development. It's a true mixed-use development that has balance,” Danneberg said.

The project also includes a 4,000-seat multi-purpose arena, serving as a home for the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association. 

“What has been our challenge is that we just have not had enough ice in Kansas City to help facilitate to transitioning those players into getting into youth hockey in KC,” said Tom Tilley, president of KCYHA.

The Association would have a total of four rinks, increasing its presence in the region in hopes of hosting tournaments.

“Two sheets inset is enough to bring out 64 teams,” Tilley said.

But the developers want the public’s help to foot some of the bill for the roughly $300 million project — nearly $70 million through sales tax revenue bonds, TIF and other assistance.

“The council will be looking at this very closely and seeing, does this make sense,” Danneberg said.

The City Council will hold some public hearings on the development and figure out how many public incentives they want to put toward the project.

It could take until the end of the year before the development is approved.