Lenexa approves 1% CID sales tax for portion of Jayhawk Ridge mixed-use development

The Lenexa City Council has approved a 1% CID sales tax for Vista Village, a section of the Jayhawk Ridge mixed-use development. Above, a rendering of the proposed project to be located at the southeast corner of Prairie Star Parkway and Ridgeview Road.

Lenexa has approved a Community Improvement District, a public financing package, for Vista Village (formerly Jayhawk Ridge), a 25-acre section of a large, proposed mixed-use development.

Located in the southeast corner of Ridgeview Road and Prairie Star Parkway, the $100 million mixed-use project is part of a sprawling 170-acre commercial site under various stages of development. The entire site is being marketed as The Vista.

Lou Serrone, a former city councilmember who works with West Star Development, the developer, said they are seeking to create a destination and gateway in this area of the city.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Serrone told the Lenexa City Council on July 7, noting that he first started working on the project in the late 1980s. “To see the transformation for this project has been phenomenal. If you saw the property when it first started, it was like a moonscape out there. A lot of money has been expended to create a site and a place just like you’ve created here at City Center.”

Elements of the 25-acre site include:

  • A 5-story mixed-use building with about 15,000 square feet of retail and 150 residential units
  • A 3-story climate-controlled self-storage facility about 100,000 square feet in size
  • About 36,000 square feet of retail uses in six buildings
  • Related infrastructure such as access roads, surface parking, sidewalks, landscaping, site development, surface remediation and reclamation

The Lenexa City Council on July 7 voted 6-0 to approve establishing the Community Improvement District (CID) as well as a development agreement, and issuing up to $2.5 million in industrial revenue bonds for the construction of the first phase of the project. Councilmembers Tom Nolte and Joe Karlin were absent.

The CID would be used to reimburse the developer up to $5 million for CID-eligible costs with construction of the project, according to city documents. Here are some of the key points of the CID and development agreement:

  • The CID will be funded with a 1% sales tax over the project area
  • The CID will extend for 22 years from the date the sales tax begins, which is estimated to start Jan. 1, 2022
  • The developer will receive 100% of the CID revenues generated from the sales tax for reimbursement of project costs

The first phase includes construction of a 7,000 square foot mixed-use building. Serrone said they’re planning to lease the space for retail, banking and/or restaurant uses.

There was no public comment during the public hearing on the CID.

Lenexa still owns a few public right-of-way tracts on the site, a remnant of the construction work on the newly opened section of Ridgeview Road.

City Attorney Sean McLaughlin said the city council earlier this year approved a TIF agreement for the project. That agreement allows reimbursement of up to $16 million in TIF-eligible costs — $8 million for the developer and $8 million for the city — over 22 years.

Serrone said the site will be ready for graded and ready for pad site development to begin in spring 2021.