Roeland Park puts pause on public art plans for Johnson Drive and Roe development until plans for Mission Gateway, vacant lot become more clear


By Holly Cook

The process for selecting an art piece for the northwest corner of Johnson Drive and Roe will be paused until development plans for neighboring lots at the intersection are further along, Roeland Park councilmembers decided last week.

According to their agreement with the city, Commerce Bank and the micro hospital being built on the corner will spend 1 percent of total development costs on an art display.

While construction at the site is well under way, sections of land at the northeast and southwest intersections remain empty. Mission recently reached an new agreement with developer Tom Valenti to move forward with a $214 million mixed-use project on Mission Gateway site at the southwest corner. Roeland Park is still exploring options for the northeast corner, after the developer hired to look into a multi-use project on the site indicated it was pulling back from the idea last week.

The council and Mayor Joel Marquardt discussed the importance of coordinating the art with developments on the other corners to create a cohesive look.

“It is really important to know what’s sitting behind that and how it will all work together on both sides of the street,” Marquardt said.

Representatives from Commerce Bank and Embree Asset Group, the micro hospital developer, were present at Monday’s workshop and agreed with councilors to press pause on any art planning.

Earlier this year the Roeland Park Art Committee chair disagreed with the bank’s initial idea to install an architectural landscape feature to satisfy the art requirement.

A rendering of the projects under way on the Johnson Drive and Roe site.
A rendering of the projects under way on the Johnson Drive and Roe site.