The Shawnee City Council has advanced plans for a new senior housing development near Swarner State Park and the Shawnee Mission School District Softball Complex.
Located on about eight acres on the northeast corner of West 63rd Street and Maurer Road, Shawnee Senior Villas will comprise 42 multi-family units in a single three-story building for adults 55 and older.
The site is currently vacant and surrounded by other mixed residential developments.
After some discussion about accessibility and accommodations for older adults, the Shawnee City Council on July 26 unanimously approved a development plan and rezoning the site from agricultural to planned unit development mixed residential.
Andrew Danner with North Star Housing LLC, a developer based in Grain Valley, Mo., thanked city staff for their support and noted that the project “actually fits within the overall area, meets the comprehensive plan, [and] meets the long-term plan providing senior housing to help open up existing housing.”
“We think this is a great product that’s going to provide seniors with a nice place to live and stay in Shawnee, as the mayor had mentioned before,” Danner added.
A couple of councilmembers asked about elevator access, zero-depth entry points, and flexible design of the apartment units to help adults age in place.
Councilmember Tammy Thomas hoped to see covered parking, but overhead utility lines make it “extremely prohibitive” to add any structures in the parking lot, Danner noted.
Councilmember Lisa Larson-Bunnell also wanted to ensure the site was accessible for adults, particularly for those in wheelchairs, and also that there would be adequate ice and snow removal to avoid falls in the winter.
Danner said the units are adaptable to help older adults age in place, and have full appliances and hall closets. Furthermore, the site will have other amenities including a community game room and nature walks for older adults to enjoy green space throughout.
Balconies in their other residential projects don’t get used quite as much, Danner said, so they instead focused on nature walks and green space.
“We worked with staff very, very diligently on this over many months to make sure we could even fit it in here to make it work to where it’s at today,” Danner said. “Again, as staff has pointed out many times, it’s a very, very, very difficult site that has had lots and lots of options on it, and I think staff would agree with me in saying this is the best plan that they’ve seen on this.”
The project still requires city approval of final plans before construction can begin.
A recording of the meeting is below and on the city’s website. Discussion begins at 2:21:03.