Demolition of the 50 year-old Metcalf South shopping center could begin as early as next month to make way for a new retail project anchored by a Lowe’s Home Improvement Center following approval by the Overland Park City Council Monday.
The Council unanimously supported an $80 million redevelopment plan by 95 Metcalf South Properties that calls for a 121,134 square-foot Lowe’s to be built on the site of the vacant shopping center at 95th and Metcalf. Once a grand retail anchor of suburban Overland Park when it opened in 1967, the mall closed in 2014.
Owen Buckley of LANE4 Property Group said demolition of the old shopping center could begin as early as mid-January, although February was more likely. Only the Sears store will remain and it will be incorporated into the 95 Metcalf South redevelopment plan.
The Lowe’s project also includes a 31,667 square-foot garden center to the west of the store and a 364-space parking lot. If Lowe’s grants final approval as expected, construction would begin next summer with completion in 2018.
“We thank you for moving forward on this,” Mayor Carl Gerlach told Buckley before the Council vote. “That’s a very important corner in our city.”
The Lowe’s-anchored project is a considerably less ambitious redevelopment than the first project envisioned after billionaire investor Stan Kroenke bought the Metcalf South property about three years ago. That Central Square concept called for a heavily landscaped blend of retail, restaurants, offices and upscale residential. It also would have required substantial incentives from Overland Park. Owens said that plan was dropped in August 2015.
“We came to a spot with the city where what they wanted and what we wanted were two different things,” Owens said.
The Lowe’s-based project was substituted last spring and a preliminary plan was approved last August by Overland Park. In addition to Lowe’s, the developer also plans to attract restaurants and other retail to the development site, but no tenants have been identified.
The development group also owns the former K-Mart-anchored retail area north of 95th Street. Owens said there have been conversations regarding the future reuse of that property, but there are no definite plans at this point.