Riley Drive Entertainment preparing to build out The Yard mixed-use development at Lenexa City Center

A rendering of The Yard mixed-use development.

Riley Drive Entertainment, the restaurant and entertainment group that owns two restaurants at Lenexa City Center, has a slew of other activity brewing at Lenexa City Center.

In addition to its two restaurants already operating on site — Ignite Wood Fire Grill and Saints Pub + Patio, both of which are located along Renner Boulevard just south of West 87th Street Parkway — Riley Drive is developing The Yard, a $15 million development project on the City Center campus.

Scott Anderson, a principal with Riley Drive, which owns and operates more than a dozen restaurants and drinking establishments in the Kansas City, Des Moines and Omaha areas, said The Yard is the company’s next big project that is slated to begin this fall.

The Yard, a mixed-use development, will be located on 1.5 acres on the southeast corner of West 87th Street and Renner Boulevard — right next to The Lofts at City Center, a luxury apartment complex.

Anderson said that, once complete, The Yard will comprise of a five-story L-shaped building that accommodates the following components:

  • 33,000 square feet of office space
  • Two parking levels below the office space
  • Event and entertainment space and commons area
  • 6,000 square foot restaurant and 2,000 square foot rooftop bar
  • 3,000 square foot patio
  • Outdoor space for two pickleball courts, fire pits, game space and large outdoor television screen

Anderson said they hope to have the site fully activated in spring 2021. Here’s another rendering of the development:

The Yard has passed preliminary approval from the city, and the Lenexa planning commission is scheduled this evening to consider the final development plan for the project, which includes additional office and parking levels, he added.

“We actually had more demand from tenants to lease space than we expected, so we went back to the city and requested approval to add a floor to the office building and also expand the parking garage under the entire Yard,” Anderson said. “I’m pretty optimistic that we’ll have a good result.”

In addition to the restaurant space at The Yard, Riley Drive expects to open two other restaurants:

  • Jo & Hash, a breakfast and lunch diner — to be located on the new, nearly completed $10 million Central Green project, once it’s complete, on the southwest corner of West 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard, expected to open in August
  • Taco Hangover — to be located near Lenexa City Hall and slated for a November opening

Anderson said Riley Drive’s companion company, CRQ Development, is leading The Yard project in collaboration with EPC Real Estate.

The developers have requested the city allow partial tax increment financing and community improvement district funding for the project. He said the city has improved the public incentives, but how much they may receive in public financing has not been determined yet.

Anderson considers himself a “big proponent” of Lenexa City Center, since he houses his law firm office on site and has multiple development projects underway.

“I really think The Yard will act as a backyard for the city of Lenexa,” he said. “It’s going to be a place where families can gather on a Friday night. We can do some outdoor concerts.

“I think it’s going to be a great community gathering space. It’s something unique to the area, something I think people will really enjoy.”