Overland Park leaders hope development plan will decrease crime in troubled area

Posted at 6:11 PM, Jun 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-15 20:44:51-04

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — Leaders in Overland Park hope a future development called Metcalf Crossing at the corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Metcalf Avenue will help decrease crime in the area.

Currently, two vacant hotels sit in the area — Ramada Inn and Knights Inn both closed on Dec. 31, 2017. According to nearby business owners, the corner is plagued with crime.

"A lot of drug action going on. You could tell there was drug transactions going on right there in front of your eyes," said Mike Kromer, owner of Don Freely Auto Clinic. 

The crime caused a magnet for law enforcement to the area.

"We had an inordinate amount of police calls when compared to other hotels and motels in Overland Park," said Overland Park Communications Manager Sean Reilly. 

But that atmosphere could change as the Overland Park City Council approved a new $39.1 million multi-use development on the property. It includes a new hotel, restaurants and a storage facility. 

"This is a perfect location, a perfect reason to do redevelopment," said Reilly. 

The new development hopes to calm fears from nearby businesses like Kromer who saw the crime first-hand.

"It wasn't the people you wanted to have around you when you own a business and you're responsible for other people's vehicles and stuff and you have these people wondering around after dark into the evening."

The development calls for $3 million in TIF and another $3 million raised through a 1-percent community improvement district sales tax.