By Roxie Hammill
The public will be able to weigh in March 19 on plans to bulldoze the now-closed Ramada Inn at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Metcalf Avenue and replace it with a different hotel, shopping and a storage facility.
Redevelopment of the five acres on the northwest corner of that intersection, dubbed the Metcalf Crossing, would include public financing in the form of $2.96 million in tax increment financing plus another $3 million from a 1-percent sales tax in the area.
The $39 million development, by Wes Grammer of Sky Real Estate, got a green light recently from the city’s finance committee, which reviews requests for public financing. The committee agreed city staff should work with the developer to come up with a finance plan for the city council to consider. The public hearing on that, plus consideration of rezoning and a special use permit, will take place March 19.
The corner has been a concern of city officials recently, who have called the area an eyesore that absorbs city resources for security. Some council members have also said the project could become a catalyst for other development along the Shawnee Mission Parkway Corridor.
“This is a classic project for a (tax increment financing plan),” said council member Dave White. “This is a win-win for everybody that gets rid of a blighted area, gets rid of a troubled area and puts something new in that could possibly be a sparkplug for the entire Shawnee Mission Parkway corridor.”
White also noted that the hotel was one of the first Holidome indoor recreation centers by Holiday Inn and was competitive with the White Haven motel and Glenwood Manor in the 1960s.
Now, however, “it is way past its useful live,” White said.
The council voted unanimously to move forward with the idea without further discussion.
The new four-story hotel, with 90 rooms, would be smaller than the Ramada, which had 195. The plan also calls for a three-story storage facility and retail and restaurant pad sites totaling 22,100 square feet.
Representatives for the developer have promised aesthetically pleasing architecture for the storage facility as well as the other buildings.