The empty Mac’s 66 gas station – once a local emblem of mid-century modern architecture – has sat unchanged in the two years since the Overland Park City Council gave the go-ahead to develop a coffee shop there. This month enough permits finally have been issued to put things in motion on its redevelopment into a PT’s Coffee, said Fred Polzin, co-founder of the Topeka-based coffee business.
The company and city have worked out many details about getting the site at 8139 Metcalf Avenue in downtown Overland Park ready for its upgrade, Polzin said. “They’ve been working hard, it’s just been very slow,” he said.
But now that preliminary permits have been issued, he expects the site to come together quickly.
The gas station opened in 1956 and was a familiar landmark on Metcalf, with its triangular front spire supporting the pointed end of the low-slung roof overhang.
PT’s Coffee approached the city in 2017 about converting the space into a coffee shop with a drive-thru. The city planning commission initially turned the idea down because of concerns about whether the drive-thru and the parking spaces in front is compatible with the vision for the area. Vision Metcalf generally supports pedestrian friendly designs with buildings set close to the sidewalk over automobile-centric ones with drive-through windows.
The city council expressed some concerns about traffic from the drive-thru, but later decided to allow it because members said it would be a good fit for the area and it would preserve the architecture. The station is near the new apartment population centers of Avenues 80 and 81 and The Vue, as well as the Matt Ross Community Center.
PT’s Coffee has stores at the Crossroads and Power & Light District as well as in Lawrence and Topeka. The store specializes in single-origin coffees from sustainable and socially conscious sources.