In Indian Creek area, little progress on vision of creating ‘greenest hub’ in Metcalf corridor

A rendering of a concept for the 105th and Metcalf area from Vision Metcalf.

In recognition of the 10th anniversary of the adoption of Vision Metcalf, Overland Park’s guideline for the revitalization of its most prominent thoroughfare, we’ve been taking a look this week at which of the plans goals have seen good progress, and which are still unaccomplished.

Earlier this week we looked at the northern gateway and downtown Overland Park, as well as the 95th Street intersection.

Today we’re going to take a look at the Indian Creek area near I-435, as well as how the city has rated progress on Vision Metcalf in its own assessment.

Indian Creek

What Vision Metcalf called for:

  • Major investment to create a transportation hub as well as a series of parks that would make the Indian Creek section “the greenest hub in the Corridor.”
  • New mixed-use and residential project to increase the vibrance of the neighborhood.
  • A network of new streets to encourage walkability and improve accessibility.
A rendering of the 108 Metcalf hotel proposal.

What’s happened:

  • Among the five sections of Metcalf with detailed Vision Metcalf plans, the Indian Creek stretch has seen perhaps the least progress toward the Vision Metcalf goals.
  • With the tabling of plans for a bus rapid transit system up and down the Metcalf corridor, there has been no major investment in transportation hub infrastructure in the area.
  • The city has seen no new residential projects in the area, though Vision Metcalf calls for the creation of more than 2,400 new residential units.
  • Among the main new development projects since the adoption of Vision Metcalf was the construction of the Wright Business College — which opened at 107th and Metcalf in 2012, but closed four years later when the company filed for bankruptcy.
  • No significant investment has been made to turn the area into a network of green spaces and parks. Instead, Metcalf is still fronted by strip mall retail developments and fast food restaurants.
  • The city has approved plans for the redevelopment of the northeast corner of I-435 and Metcalf with an office building, parking structure and possibly new hotel.

How the city rates its progress

The city of Overland Park this week released its own report on the status of progress against Vision Metcalf, which highlighted the significant new investment the corridor has seen over the past decade.

The report notes that the corridor has seen more than $570 million in private investment since the plan was adopted. And Director of Planning and Development Services Jack Messer says the broad-strokes of the plan are still relevant today:

“When we asked the general public back in 2007 and 2008 about how they envision the future of the Metcalf Corridor in 4 to 10 years, they said they want to see an environment that inspires a number of redevelopment projects – large and small; new families would move close to the corridor to enjoy the amenities; developers and residents will make significant investments; and city offcials from across the country would see the Metcalf corridor as a successful case study for suburban redevelopment.

We are well on our way to meeting those visions expressed by the public and outlined in the recommendations of the plan, nearly 10 years ago. Vision Metcalf remains a guiding plan for this and will continue to be utilized in framing the expectations for redevelopment and revitalization.. This is an exciting time for our City and there’s more to come!

The city’s full update report is below:

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