After years of sitting vacant, work set to begin on new housing development on former Leawood Country Club site

The 16-acre site has sat vacant for 14 years since it was acquired by developers.
The 16-acre site has sat vacant for 14 years since it was acquired by developers.

By Alicia Allison

After more than a dozen years sitting vacant, the former Leawood Country Club property is set to see work begin on a new housing development within the next few weeks.

Developers Mark Simpson and Saul Ellis say construction could start on their Village of Leawood project, which will include 24 French provincial style single-family villas, as early as mid-July.

The project will also resurrect some fallow green space in the neighborhood. Earlier this month, the Leawood city council approved a measure that will allow the construction of a pedestrian bridge north of 91st Street and east of High Drive that will provide access to 7.7 acres of land set aside for a park and trail.

The Leawood Planning Commission in January had voted against the developers’ rezoning request after concerns about the number of homes that were planned for the site. After revisions, the developers got their plans approved.

“We look forward to having this completed,” said Leawood Mayor Peggy Dunn of the project. “I think this is going to be a wonderful addition to our community and it’s in a location that is extremely popular by our residents because it’s closed in by lots of large trees. I think it’s a beautiful area of Leawood, and I have no doubt that it will be most successful.”

Simpson and Ellis have tapped Ashner Construction, Allure Luxury Homes, and Starr Homes as builders for the villas. The developers and the city of Leawood came to an agreement to allow home buyers to make custom additions to the villas. Overall, the homes will be a reverse story and a half, resemble French villas with stone on the front of the homes and stucco on the siding and back outer walls, and include a three car garage. Landscaping and maintenance will be provided to homeowners in the development through Epic Landscape Productions.

Currently, the developers are finishing site preparation work. In July, they expect the builders to be able to pull building permits. Kathy Koehler, a realtor representing the developers in the sale of the villas lots, said prices on the villas will start at $700,000 and go as high as $2 million.