By Roxie Hammill
Overland Park residents will get their chance to weigh in December 18 on a proposed special sales tax to overhaul the Regency Park shopping center.
The council will hear comments at its regular meeting on whether developers of the center at 93rd Street and Metcalf Avenue should be allowed to charge a community improvement district sales tax of 1 percent to go toward development costs. The developers could use as much as $7.3 million from the special district.
Regency Park is an existing L-shaped center of shops where Michael’s, Micro Center and Natural Grocers are located. The redevelopment would update the facades of the center, which is about 82 percent occupied. It would also add a 5,000-square-foot freestanding building facing Metcalf.
The $7.3 million is an increase from what developers Mission Peak Capital had originally asked for the CID. The change was the result of negotiations over the freestanding structure known as Pad Site C.
When the idea was first presented in August, developers asked $6.4 million in CID financing. But the city wanted to be able to remove $850,000 if the developer never finished the separate building, which is in the second phase of the plan.
After negotiations, the city agreed to a $7.3 million CID limit, with the option of removing $850,000 if Pad Site C is never built.
The pad will likely be some kind of restaurant, but not a drive-through, development lawyer John Petersen told a city council committee recently. But developers couldn’t guarantee it would be built until a tenant is found.
Improvements that would put more modern skins on the existing buildings will help to attract tenants, said P.J. Ventola, of Mission Peak Capital. The crook of the center’s “elbow,” which is the site of a failed Marshall’s and a failed Dress Barn has been a particular challenge, he said. Getting rid of the overhang and improving the signage should give tenants better exposure, he added.
Work on the center is scheduled to begin in May 2018 and be completed by December 31, 2019, with the exception of Pad Site C.