Limited access to Roe hindering tenants for Roeland Park intersection development

Commerce Bank has been advertising for other partners at the Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue site.
Commerce Bank has been advertising for other partners at the Johnson Drive and Roe Avenue site.

Starbucks, Natural Grocers and a restaurant are some of the potential partners who have walked away from locating on the Commerce Bank owned property at the corner of Roe and Johnson Drive.

A problem that has stood in the way of a deal, according to Commerce Vice Chairman Jay Reardon, is the inability in the current plans to turn northbound onto Roe Avenue from the site. Commerce bought the property on the northwest corner of the intersection from the city and intends to build a Commerce branch bank. Last year, the bank asked for an extension on its deadline to develop the property and informed the city that it was looking for other tenants to share the space, which is directly across the street from the Gateway project in Mission where Walmart is relocating.

Commerce plans to pay for a new traffic study to see if options are available that would allow a left turn out onto Roe. “We feel if we can get a full median break,” Reardon said, one of those potential tenants might still be interested. Commerce is looking for tenants that would bring more customer traffic onto the property, noting a tire store inquiry was rejected as not being as compatible. He said some of the potential tenants are now looking at options farther west in Mission. Natural Grocers had been discussed last summer as a tenant in the proposed redevelopment of the Keystone auto property on Johnson Drive.

Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt having full turn out access for the city-owned property on the northeast corner of the intersection could be helpful. The city is working on redevelopment options for that corner as well.