Overland Park sets public hearing on community improvement district sales tax for Metcalf Crossing

A preliminary rendering of the Metcalf Crossing development.

Residents will get their chance June 4 to be heard on two key aspects of a plan to redevelop the corner of Metcalf Avenue and Shawnee Mission Parkway.

The Metcalf Crossing development plan would demolish the now-closed Ramada Inn and Knight’s Inn on the northwest side of that intersection. They would be replaced with a smaller hotel, self storage and some retail.

The public hearing will focus on a special sales tax for the area, as well as its redevelopment project plan.

The council has already set up a tax increment financing district to contribute $2.9 million to development costs. A Community Improvement District would define an area where a one-percent sales tax would be charged to raise another $3.1 million of the $39 million project.

The CID is on a pay-as-you-go basis with the city for development costs. The tax would be collected over a 22-year period.

Overland Park officials have been eager to make changes on that corner, because the hotels attracted crime and a disproportionate number of police calls. Although they both closed only last December, they had been cited for health and safety code violations in the previous years.

Even so, some council members have said they are underwhelmed at the idea of another hotel and self storage facility as replacement. Some worried in past meetings that the development would stop before the promised retail is built.

Council members set the hearing date with relatively little discussion. Councilmember Logan Heley said, “I hope the applicant is making efforts to engage the community,” apparently referring to another agenda item on apartments at 127th Street and Metcalf Avenue in which neighbors complained of not receiving notification.

Members of the council have likened the vacant property to an “open wound” that attracts crime.