Lenexa council approves Sonoma Plaza road financing, setting stage for work on one of last large undeveloped tracts inside I-435

A marketing document from Colliers International shows the site of the Sonoma Plaza project.
A marketing document from Colliers International shows the site of the Sonoma Plaza project.

By Dawn Bormann Novascone

The Sonoma Plaza – a development estimated to bring more than 145,000 square foot of retail and residential to Lenexa – received critical approval for road financing last week.

The Lenexa City Council approved a special benefit district last Tuesday to finance Maurer Road at 87th Street. The plan calls for the city to pay for the estimated $4.4 million in road improvements. The city will assess the land owner a special tax on the project to recoup the funds. The improvements call for extending Maurer Road south from 87th Street. The road will lead into the Sonoma Plaza development. The city will be repaid in the next 15 years including interest by the owner, which is currently Oddo Development.

The closely watched development will occupy one of the largest and most desirable undeveloped tracts of land within the Interstate 435 loop in Johnson County.

Sonoma Plaza is expected to include a grocery store, senior living facility, several restaurants, a gas station and more.

Oddo Development held a groundbreaking ceremony on the project in August. Photo via Oddo Development on Facebook.
Oddo Development held a groundbreaking ceremony on the apartment project in August. Photo via Oddo Development on Facebook.

The city has received a preliminary proposal for the planned unit development but the City Council has not voted on final approval for any retail or residential construction, said Magi Tilton, Lenexa’s Planning and Development Administrator.

That could happen soon given that the roadwork has the green light.

The road improvement project signifies a major change along 87th Street allowing for a full access intersection at Maurer Road, said Tim Green, Lenexa’s Community Development Deputy Director and City Engineer. It replaces the T-intersection and allows traffic to flow south on Maurer Road.

It will also mean several changes for Loiret Boulevard along 87th Street. The city will encourage motorists to use the light at Maurer Road by prohibiting left turns from Loiret Boulevard onto 87th Street. The intersection is often backed up and poses several problems for motorists attempting to turn left, Green said.

The plan calls for Maurer to intersect with Loiret. It also means Loiret will go from four lanes down to two lanes north of Maurer Road, Green said.

The roadwork could be complete as early as fall 2018.

Motorists will notice work has already begun nearby. Just south of the proposed Sonoma Plaza development, crews are already working on high-end apartments called The Pointe at Sonoma Plaza. The complex is also being developed by Oddo Development. The Point includes 328 units. Oddo also proposed a second apartment complex called The Peak at Sonoma Plaza, which would be adjacent to Interstate 435. The complex has not received final Council approval but proposals call for 348 units.