Shawnee council approves request to delay demolition on Westbrooke Village buildings

Shawnee city leaders granted the requested delay on demolition work for Westbrooke Green, but construction is still moving forward on schedule.

The Shawnee council in its Monday meeting granted the delay in a 7-0 vote.

John Petersen, the developer’s legal counsel from Polsinelli, said the delay was only for demolition of existing buildings on Westbrook Village site at 75th Street and Quivira. Construction on the project is still moving forward, he added.

“If I was here asking for a delay in commencement of construction, that might be a different thing,” Petersen said.

Before the vote, Ray Erlichman, a Shawnee resident who lives across the street from the Westbrooke Green redevelopment site, expressed concern with the delay.

Erlichman said he had asked the council to table when the development until a new council was sworn in in January 2018, but he was told at the time that the developer “needed to move forward” with development.

“Well, that didn’t come true did it. Now we’re postponing it, and this seems to be a trend in Shawnee,” he said, adding that the city is “running into the same thing” with the Bellmont Promenade project on Maurer Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway.

“Why can’t we hold these developers to their original agreements with us?” Erlichman asked the council, adding that he also would like to see a list of retail and restaurant vendors that will occupy the Westbrooke Village site. He also thinks the city should receive letters of intent from vendors to move into the new development.

“I’d like to know what the real plans are for this development before any extensions (are made) or I’d like to see these people held to their contract,” Erlichman added.

The full project proposal approved by the city in December 2017 included:

  • Eleven commercial buildings for office and retail use — 10 new and one existing — containing about 108,500 square feet;
  • Five new multifamily apartment buildings with about 530 luxury units;
  • Amenities including structured and surface parking, street parking, garages, an open courtyard space, a town square, an amphitheater, an outdoor dining area, landscaping, lighting, utilities, storm water improvements, water features, sidewalks and walkways, and streets and drives, according to the project plan.

Westbrooke Green is a “big project” with a number of players whose needs were factored into their request to delay demolition work on site, Petersen said.

“We don’t anticipate being at this podium asking for an extension on every milestone, but this one, to do it right — again, to be respectful for everyone involved — we ask that we be granted this privilege of an extension till August of next year,” the legal counsel added.

Petersen said the developers hope to still begin demolition “well before August,” and construction will proceed with the original timeline.