Archive for Tuesday, May 16, 2017

New shopping center proposed in Shawnee

May 16, 2017

Several Shawnee residents got a sneak peek at plans for a proposed shopping center to sit at the still-undeveloped corner of Maurer Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway.

Developers for the proposed shopping center, titled Bellmont Promenade, held a neighborhood meeting last week to showcase their ideas for the area and collect residents’ feedback.

An architect and civil engineers were also on hand to answer questions.

The tentative site plan for Bellmont Promenade includes a 150,000 to 200,000 square-foot shopping strip, along with five to seven pad sites.

Keaton Knott, the chief development officer for Legacy Development, told residents at the meeting he is excited to help finish the puzzle at that intersection.

The development team also emphasized the importance of making that area unique.

“Our promise is we want new shopping opportunities that aren’t in Shawnee today,” said Greg Musil, the attorney for the development team. “We know residents want more amenities in the city.”

Knott told the Dispatch the tenant mix at Bellmont Promenade could be similar to other Legacy Development projects around the Kansas City area, such as Liberty Commons in the northland and Truman’s Marketplace in Grandview.

Liberty Commons shopping center includes an Academy Outdoor and Sports, a Natural Grocers and a Five Below.

Truman’s Marketplace includes a Burlington, Ross Dress for Less and a Shoe Carnival.

As for the pad sites, the hope is to attract a coffee or smoothie shop, a couple fast food restaurants, and sit-down restaurants which are not in Shawnee already.

“We want names that will pop,” said Knott.

Dozens of residents showed up for the meeting on May 10 and the reaction to the proposed development was mixed.

A few residents pointed out that they bought their acreage-heavy homes because they love the privacy of the area and they worry the new shopping center will ruin that aspect.

One of them, Pat Cooper, has lived in her Shawnee home, which is right against the proposed development, for more than 30 years.

She told the Dispatch she’s not opposed to new development, she just doesn’t want to live smack up against a shopping center.

Addressing the proximity concerns, developers reassured that there would be a significant landscaping buffer placed between residential properties and the shopping center.

Many residents also said they loved the idea of having new restaurants in their neck of the woods.

Shawnee resident Asta Vankeirsbilck, who lives near the proposed development, told the Dispatch she’d love to see an Olive Garden or Cracker Barrel come to that area.

She’d also like to see a dry cleaners or a new post office.

“It would be nice to walk over there if they had those things,” said Vankeirsbilck, who has lived in Shawnee for more than 50 years.

Knott said his team is pleased by the large number of residents who showed up at the meeting and they’re taking the public feedback very seriously.

He understands residents may be wary of future plans because of past attempts to develop the land.

In 2015, there were plans at the site for a shopping center, Shawnee Landing, but the developer eventually cancelled the project, citing in a letter to the city manager that development and acquisition costs, less-than-expected leasing revenue and a challenging development schedule combined to weaken the “feasible return on our significant investment.”

The site’s unusual terrain, along with the lack of a sewer line, makes it a challenging project for developers.

The next step for Bellmont Promenade will be a city council meeting on June 6 to discuss a tax increment financing and a community improvement district for the project.

The site plan will not be the focus of that meeting.

According to city documents, developers are seeking $19.5 million in public financing.

The city will be considering a TIF property tax increment at a 90 percent capture rate, a TIF sales tax increment from the city’s one percent general sales tax rate, a 1.3 percent CID sales tax and a special assessment at $1 per square foot of building area.

If the public financing plan and ultimately, the site plan, receive council approval, construction on the site could begin as soon as mid-September and it could take around a year to complete, said Knott.

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