LANE4 secures extension on start date for Village Shops CID construction project

Prairie Village city staff recommend that LANE4 extend the wide trail section that was started along Mission Lane when the UMB Bank was built in 2011.

Village Shops owner LANE4 on Monday secured an extension from the Prairie Village city council that will allow the company to postpone the start of the redevelopment of Mission Lane.

The Community Improvement District agreement approved by the city in September 2010 required that the company begin renovation of Mission Lane by Nov. 2, 2012. But LANE4 executives requested to have the required start date pushed back six months in an effort to minimize inconvenience to Village Shops patrons.

“We could start construction Nov. 2 if that’s what you would like us to do,” LANE4 president Owen Buckley told the council. “But we feel it would be an inefficient use of CID funds and it would extend the total time construction is going on at the shops. We learned from Corinth Square that you want to get in, do the work, and get out as soon as possible.”

Buckley and attorney Curt Petersen argued to the council that by postponing the required start date until May 2, 2013 — around the time work is expected to begin on a major extension of the Village Shops Hen House — the company would be able to minimize disruption to both patrons and Village Shops merchants.

That request proved relatively uncontroversial, passing by a 9-2 vote. Councilor Michael Kelly, who was an outspoken opponent of the original CID agreement, and councilor Brooke Morehead, voted against the measure.

But LANE4 was unable to secure a second concession from the council, which would have done away with a requirement to provide a trail for bicycle and pedestrian use on the east side of Mission Lane. LANE4 said that, given construction requirements for the Hen House, a full eight-foot trail along Mission Lane would be burdensome, cutting into parking and narrowing the street. The council refused to give that concession, and instead asked the company to go back to its designers and engineers to see if a compromise could be reached. LANE4 suggested that a trail approximately six feet wide would likely be possible.