Developers revise plan for old Sears site on Metcalf, removing apartments and adding day care

The former Sears building has been vacant since late 2017. Originally, developers proposed a four- to five-level apartment building on part of the site, but residents in a neighborhood nearby raised concerns. A revised site plan no longer includes the apartments, among other changes. File photo.

 A 300-unit apartment building that had prompted neighbors’ concerns is no longer part of the redevelopment plan for the former Sears building near 97th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.

The removal of the planned multi-level building, which was near a neighborhood to the south and east of the property, is part of several significant changes that are being proposed for the nearly 19-acre property on the south end of the site once occupied by Metcalf South Shopping Center, which was mostly demolished in 2017.

The former Sears building is the only remaining structure from the mall. The north end of the old mall tract is now taken up mostly by a Lowe’s home improvement store at 95th and Metcalf.

In a presentation for neighbors Tuesday, Henry Klover, president of Lenexa- based Klover Architects, outlined changes in the site plan for the southeast corner of 97th and Metcalf.

Proposed changes

Klover presented a plan Tuesday that has several major differences from past proposals for the site, including:

  • replacing part of the former Sears that had been planned as a four-and five-level apartment building and parking garage with surface parking and wider setbacks from the adjacent neighbors;
  • rehabbing a part of the Sears building toward the middle of the property to make two levels of the 164,000-square-foot building into an office for about 1,000 workers, rather than the originally planned retail space. (Klover said he could not divulge the tenant but said the workers will be there in shifts from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.);
  • replacing a previously planned 20,000-square-foot retail market south of the Sears building with a day care center of 13,000 square feet;
  • and removing a health clinic that had been planned for the northwest corner of the tract due to loss of that prospective tenant and replacing it with an 8,000-square-foot building marked as a restaurant with a yet-to-be-determined tenant.

Meanwhile, pads for other restaurants have been somewhat reconfigured.

There are also plans for a coffee shop and a gas station/convenience store. Klover said he could not mention the name of the gas station, but materials sent out to the neighborhood showed a picture of a Quik Trip.

Although the plans for the apartments drew considerable interest from neighbors when proposed two years ago, only one neighbor attended the virtual meeting on Tuesday, and that person did not speak or ask questions.

The new plan will still have to go through the city planning department for rezoning, now that the apartments are not part of the plan.

Klover said he hopes to have permits in order this fall.