Metcalf 108 developers still looking for office tenants

One of the initial renderings of the hotel and office project.

The old 435 Overland Park Place Hotel is gone and its replacement is being built. But plans to put up a six-story office building near it have stalled as the developer looks for enough tenants to get the financing.

The Overland Park City Council Monday granted a one-year extension of deadlines related to the office building for the Metcalf 108 project, which is being renamed the Metcalf 435 Corporate Center for marketing purposes. Developers have been trying for about a year, but have so far come up short on getting committed office tenants, said developer James Clark, managing partner of Oxford Real Realty LLC.

Metcalf 108 replaces the hotel at one of Overland Park’s most prominent corners with a 123-room Staybridge Suites. The office building was for 150,000 square feet with a first-floor restaurant and a parking garage.

At a committee meeting before the council decision Monday, Clark said he had one prospective tenant for about 30,000 square feet. But about 75,000 square feet of tenant commitment is needed to get the financing to build, he said.

The developer has advertised the space to companies of more than 25 people in the metro area and promoted it with firms that specialize in finding office tenants, he said. He’s also put the space forward nationally.

“It’s a challenge because you’ve got to find a tenant who has two years left on their lease because that’s how long it will take us to develop the building,” Clark said. “We’ve got a lot of people working on it and a lot of people interested in the site but we haven’t been able to secure a tenant that allows us to go forward with it.”

The vacated Wright Career College across Metcalf Avenue hasn’t been a detriment to finding tenants, he said in answer to committee questions. Uncertainty over what will happen with office space on the Sprint campus has had more of an impact.

The council set up a tax increment financing district for the $70 million project in 2017. The deadline extension means the developer now has until the end of 2019 to submit a project plan with substantial completion of the office and parking structure at the end of 2022. Meanwhile the new hotel is under construction and will be done next year.