Lenexa has advanced plans for a new mixed-use residential and commercial project near K-10 Highway and Ridgeview Road.
The Retreat at the Prairie is a new retail and multi-family development led by owner Ridgeview/K10 LLC on about 40 acres at the northwest corner of K-10 and Ridgeview.
Below is an overhead view of the plans:
After extensive discussion and taking public comments, the Lenexa Planning Commission on Monday night voted 8-0 to recommend approval of the proposed rezoning as well as conceptual and preliminary plans for the project.
Commissioner Jason Leib was absent.
The Lenexa City Council is slated to consider this project on Oct. 19.
The concept plan for the retail portion of The Retreat on the Prairie includes five buildings on 15 acres, while the preliminary plan for the multi-family portion consists of five buildings with 373 apartments on about 25 acres.
The site has some “challenging” topography that informed much of the design and layout of the project, said Weston Buckley, a representative of LANE4 Property Group, which is overseeing part of the project.
“This really gives these apartments a feeling of seclusion,” Buckley said. “This multi-family segment really has a nice balance between great access to the surrounding area and, as I said, sort of a feeling of separation or seclusion from the surrounding areas. We want our residents to wake up in the morning and get to where they’re going quickly and efficiently, and then when they come back, we really want them to feel like they’re in a separate place with its own special, unique qualities.”
Rezoning of the site goes from agricultural and commercial uses to commercial and high-density residential.
The project will abut the Ten Ridge development to the north and east, with Mill Creek Trail running along the border between the two projects.
Discussion centers on Mill Creek Trail access
Buckley said the developer opposes the city’s request to allow an easement that provides public access to Mill Creek Trail from Ridgeview Road through the multi-family portion of the project.
He added that issues of liability, potential congestion from trail users and privacy of apartment tenants could be at risk.
Scott McCullough, community development director for Lenexa, stood by the city’s position that creating easements for public access to trails is a typical, expected process for private developments.
Meanwhile, Tim Orrick with Orrick & Erskine LLP in Overland Park, who is serving as a legal representative of the neighboring Ten Ridge complex, also raised concerns about a number of issues with the project, particularly about a potential traffic increase that could cause congestion along Ridgeview Road.
“As you know, the devil’s in the details,” Orrick said. “And again, from a high-level view, a lot to like. But we do feel like there’s a couple very critical points that really have not, frankly, at least to our knowledge, been studied sufficiently, that we think need to be before at least we can be supportive of this project.”
Additionally, Jeff Miller, a Lenexa resident and user of the city’s trails, shared concern about safety, trail access and potential drainage issues of The Retreat project onto Mill Creek Trail.
Commissioners shared several thoughts on the project, particularly around access to the trail, traffic issues, landscaping, height of the buildings and other items.
In general, they showed support for the project, so long as some outlying issues are addressed when the commission considers final development plans.