Archive for Monday, June 18, 2018

Shawnee City Council approves creation of TIF redevelopment district for new Bellmont Promenade project

File photo. Shawnee City Hall is located at 11110 Johnson Drive.

File photo. Shawnee City Hall is located at 11110 Johnson Drive.

June 18, 2018

An updated version of the much-anticipated Bellmont Promenade project is in motion.

Last year, it was proposed to the city as a retail and commercial site.

Now, the plan includes a residential component, making it mixed-use.

Nearly a year ago, in July 2017, the council approved a $19.5 million incentive package for Bellmont Promenade, which is set to sit at the southwest corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Maurer.

For the new mixed-use plan, the developers are requesting the same amount for a TIF and CID.

So, it’s going through the process all over again.

At its meeting on June 11, the Shawnee City Council approved the establishment of a redevelopment district which will make the $92.6 million mixed use project eligible for tax increment financing.

Councilman Mike Kemmling was the sole member of the governing body who voted against the item.

The creation of the district is simply the first step in the TIF process and does not mean the city has approved the project or incentives.

The previous Bellmont Promenade plan included 150,000 to 200,000 square-feet of inline retail and 35,000 to 65,000 square-feet of commercial retail and restaurants on five to seven pad sites. It was estimated to cost $59 million.

The new plan will feature approximately 200,000 square-feet of inline commercial and retail, plus 230 apartment units with at least 12,000 square-feet of commercial and retail on pad sites, which will include a restaurant pavilion similar to the one at Ward Parkway Shopping Center.

Greg Musil, the attorney for the development team Bellmont Promenade LLC, told the council the new plan is an improvement.

He pointed out the new restaurant plaza will incorporate more sit-down restaurants, which is what many Shawnee residents requested from Bellmont Promenade developers during a neighborhood meeting last year.

He added that the plan will only bring new stores and restaurants to Shawnee, which will increase revenue and vitality to the city.

He also noted the apartments are medium-density, not high-density, and they will serve as a traditional buffer to the surrounding single-family homes.

A couple Shawnee residents who spoke out during the public comment portion of the meeting told the council they were not impressed by the new plan, however.

Alan Godsy, who lives near the property, told the governing body he was unhappy the project would put apartments against his neighborhood and he is personally opposed to the city publicly financing development projects.

Don Lysaught, who also lives near the site, agreed he is against TIF financing for this type of project.

He told the council that he has met with the developer a couple times, with the hope of working things out, but he still finds the project troublesome, especially since many of its details remain unknown.

“We have been told repeatedly, these apartments are the greatest thing since sliced bread,” he said. “It’s what the millennials want. If they’re that good, let it stand alone. I don’t understand why we’re trying to give away money before we know what we’re giving away money for.”

Now that the TIF district has been established, there are still a few more steps needed to be taken before developers get a green light.

At its July 2 meeting, the Shawnee Planning Commission will consider rezoning for the project.

On July 23, the council will hold a public hearing, plus consider rezoning, the incentive package and the project plan, among other related items.

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