Shamrock Trading buys French Market property at 95th and Metcalf for possible office tower development

The French Market property at 95th Street and Metcalf has been vacant for several years.

LANE4 Property Group announced Monday that it had completed the sale of the French Market property at 95th and Metcalf in Overland Park to Shamrock Trading, Corp., a freight company that operates out of the office towers to the west across Metcalf.

Shamrock leaders indicated that they may look to build new office towers on the site to accommodate their growing roster of employees.

The former Children’s Palace building is part of the purchase.

Three years ago, the French Market site as well as the Metcalf South Mall site to its south were the proposed location for a sweeping mixed-use development proposal that owners LANE4 and the Kroenke Group dubbed Central Square. But after those plans failed to get traction, the companies moved forward with a more traditional Lowe’s-anchored retail development on the Metcalf South site.

LANE4 was reportedly in talks with the city of Overland Park late last year about the possible sale of the French Market property as the site for a new city hall, a use envisioned at 95th Street and Metcalf in the Vision Metcalf comprehensive plan approved in 2008.

The sale of the 30-acre parcel includes the former K-Mart building facing Metcalf, the former Children’s Palace building facing 95th Street, and a handful of pad buildings. The Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants operating in the area are independently owned and were not part of the purchase.

The land involved in the sale also includes the proposed location of a senior living community project called Novel Place that LANE4 had been pursuing since last summer. Plans to build the 134-unit Novel Place facility on the site can no longer move forward, said a LANE4 spokesperson, though “they are reportedly looking at options on the southeast corner of the same intersection.”

Shamrock purchased the office towers at the northwest corner of 95th and Metcalf that were once part of Sprint Corporation’s operations and renovated them for occupancy by their employees several years ago.

Shamrock Chief Operating Officer Tom Sullivan said the acquisition of the French Market property had strategic advantages as the company looks to locate more and more employees. The company’s total number of employees has grown by 175 percent in three years.

“This is an exciting time in the history of our company. We still have a lot of work to do to determine the best development plan, but a property of this size could allow for continued growth for many years to come,” Sullivan said.

Owen Buckley, president of LANE4, characterized the sale to Shamrock as a potential boon to other redevelopment efforts along the Metcalf corridor.

“This project could mark a huge boost to the economic development engine in Johnson County, and it represents a potential catalyst to retail and residential plans in the Overland Park area,” he said.