Overland Park council advances developer’s request for $6.5 million in public financing incentives for renovation of Regency Park center

Completed in 1990, the Regency Park center at 93rd and Metcalf has aging facilities that its owners say make it hard to attract tenants.
Completed in 1990, the Regency Park center at 93rd and Metcalf has aging facilities that its owners say make it hard to attract tenants.

The Overland Park city council on Monday directed city staff to begin finalizing an agreement with the owners of the Regency Park shopping center, located at the northwest corner of 93rd Street and Metcalf, that would provide public finance incentives for the renovation of the shopping center.

The ownership group, led by Kansas City, Mo.,-based Mission Peak Capital, submitted an application in July for the creation of a Community Improvement District at the center that would impose an additional 1 percent sales tax on purchases, the proceeds of which would go to help fund a “full façade demolition of the shopping center and re-clad with modern materials and contemporary color palate.” Additionally, the CID funds would be eligible for costs associated the construction of a new 5,000 square foot building along Metcalf. Rendering submitted to the city show Starbucks signage on the proposed new building.

The developer has also requested that the city consider the issuance of economic development revenue bonds, which would allow them to be exempt from sales taxes on the purchase of construction materials, equipment and furnishings for the project.

Regency Park was completed in 1990, and currently includes approximately 207,000 square feet of retail space. The owners project that the complete renovation project, which would also include major upgrades to existing sidewalks, parking lots and landscaping, would cost around $30.5 million. They have requested $6.5 million in CID funds that would be used to pay for the majority of the costs associated with the façade renovation, new building construction, site work and tenant improvements.

The council’s unanimous vote to advance the developer’s request is just the next in a series of steps required before the public finance agreement would be finalized and approved. A potential timeline prepared by city staff would have a development application go before the Planning Commission and Finance, Administration and Economic Development Committee in October, with a potential public hearing and vote on the creation of the CID in December.

In its application to the city, the developer notes that the center currently has two large vacant spaces — a 9,600 square foot space and a 10,894 square foot space — and that it believes the renovation of the center will help it attract “large regional retail development which will produce significant sales and real property tax revenue for the City.”

“This project will promote rejuvenation and redevelopment within the City through significant renovations to a prominent and aged shopping center along the major thoroughfare of Metcalf Avenue,” reads the application. “The planned improvements will inject life in a dated center that currently does not offer the modem aesthetic appeal favored by sought after tenants. Further, these renovations will enhance the shopping experience for Overland Park’s residents by providing more shops, services and restaurants that complement and enrich the existing tenant base and serve the neighboring community.”

If the CID is approved, the developer suggests that it could begin construction in early 2018, with a 12 to 18 month construction timeline for completion.

The city council on Monday also approved a request from the owners of the Promontory project, just a few blocks to the north of Regency Park, to extend the completion deadline for tax increment financing project area 2, phase 1B from August 31, 2017 to October 31, 2017. The developer, Arbor Development, LLC, cited extensive rainfall in causing delays that put it behind schedule.