Plan for mixed-use development on former Sears site sees set back over concerns about apartment building

The company working to redevelop the former Sears building on Metcalf has delayed a rezoning request for the property.

One of the most notable outcomes from this week’s Overland Park planning commission were a pair of items that ended up not getting discussed.

Seritage Growth Properties, the company working to redevelop now-vacant former Sears buildings across the country, postponed consideration of a rezoning request for the land near 95th and Metcalf after Overland Park city staff raised concerns about their planned mixed-use project on the site.

The proximity of the planned four-and-five story apartment building to neighboring single family homes caused concern for Overland Park staff.

The company announced preliminary plans in November to transform the site into a mixed-use project with restaurants, retail space, a commercial fitness center, a movie theatre and a multi-family building.

At issue for Overland Park planning staff was the four-and-five story apartment complex on the eastern edge of the property, not far from the property lines of a neighborhood of single family homes.

“Staff is very concerned about the four/five story split building and the proximity to the residential properties to the east and south,” reads a memo authored by the city’s planning staff. “Even with the proposed landscaping staff does not feel that there is an adequate transition to the residential properties. Staff would recommend a building three stories and taller in height be located more internal to the site and away from residential properties or smaller buildings and not as long.”

Without a full endorsement from city staff, Seritage opted to continue its rezoning request to next month.

LANE4 Property Group, which owns the adjacent property to the north of the Sears site, withdrew its own mixed-use rezoning request to allow for the construction of a separate apartment building on its land from Monday’s planning commission agenda.

The Sears land proposal has drawn push back from some area homeowners, with a group of Nall Hills residents circulating a petition opposing the rezoning of the property to allow for multi-family uses.