Promontory developers ask for delay to research market demand for planned multi-family housing

A rendering of the proposed southern phase of the Promontory project on Metcalf.

Developers of the Promontory mixed-use project have asked for a delay for the third phase as they consider the market for more apartments and the impact of the Shamrock project just down the street.

The Overland Park Finance, Administration and Economic Development Committee recommended a deadline extension that gives the developer an extra two years at the most to begin work on the southern part of the project. The first part of the project is built and open.

Part of that request is because the Half Price Book store has not yet relocated, said lawyer John Petersen, representing the developer. The book store lease doesn’t expire until July 2021.

But the developer also wants the delay to re-examine the market for multi-family dwellings and to see what Shamrock and other projects are doing, he said.

“We don’t want to overbuild multi-family if the market doesn’t want more multi-family,” he said. Although the economy has been good, the Promontory developers are being cautious, Petersen said, referencing numerous other apartment projects that are going up in roughly the same area.

Kurt Rhoden, a principal with Launch Development, said the first part of the project has been leasing for almost a year and is about 50 percent leased. But with some of the first leases reaching a year old, there may be attrition and Rhoden said the company wants to find the correct balance between the retail and residential components before proceeding.

Promontory’s development agreement with the city for public financing allows them that flexibility. The current deal calls for construction on the last phase to begin next year if the company decides to build retail, and in 2021 if it goes with residential. The extended deadline of Jan. 1, 2022 would apply to both options.

Petersen stressed that the developer needed more time to watch the market and carefully consider which would be the better option. There have been talks toward a retail and entertainment project in that area that could have a positive impact on Promontory, he said.

The Promontory project has had several other deadline extensions since its redevelopment deal was approved in 2015. Nevertheless, the FAED committee did not object or discuss much before giving its blessing to the extension.

“I’m detecting a synergy with Shamrock and you guys, especially as they put up their new building. It could be a win-win,” said Committee Chairman Dave White.