Metcalf Crossing project nears finish line of approvals process in Overland Park

A preliminary rendering of the Metcalf Crossing development.

The last details of the Metcalf Crossing redevelopment agreement have been worked out and the project is headed for June 4 public hearings at the Overland Park City Council meeting.

The project, which replaces two run-down hotels at Metcalf Avenue and Shawnee Mission Parkway with a self-storage building, retail and another hotel, has been working its way through city offices since early this year but hit a minor snag recently on technical issues. City council members say they are keen to do something with the five-acre area because of the blight and police calls generated by the Ramada Inn and Knights Inn while they were partly occupied. Both hotels closed at the end of 2017.

Under the proposed timeline, demolition of the hotels would be done this year and a three-story self-service facility built by April of 2020. The new four-story hotel would go up by the end of 2022. There is no deadline for the retail shops.

The $39 million project proposed by Wes Grammer of Sky Real Estate, comes with some public financing asks. A tax increment financing district would generate as much as $2.9 million to the developer and a community improvement district with a one-percent sales tax district would raise $3 million for development costs.

Various city and planning commission members have signed off on aspects of the plan, but the redevelopment agreement was delayed while city officials and developers worked out how much approval power the city will have over future sale of components of the development.

They eventually agreed that the city will have approval power until “substantial completion” of the buildings. Afterwards, their sale can be made without city approval.

Some city council members have worried at previous meetings that self storage and another hotel won’t be a huge improvement on the intersection, especially if the developer never gets enough tenants to build the retail shops. But Todd LaSala, who gives the city legal advice on development questions, said during the council’s recent finance, administration and economic development committee meeting that high quality standards have been promised and that developers are motivated to build the shopping area because it will provide sales tax money to help pay development costs.

A unanimous committee quickly passed the plan on to the full council last week. Developers are facing a June 28 deadline to close on the property.