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Roeland Park officials get look at concepts for redevelopment of Roe Boulevard, Johnson Drive commercial areas

Jay Senter - August 8, 2019 8:13 am
A bird’s eye perspective of one of the concepts for Roe Boulevard.

With the potential for redevelopment on the horizon in the coming several years, Roeland Park officials this week got a look at recommendations from a comprehensive study of aging commercial areas along Roe Boulevard and Johnson Drive.

Funded through a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council’s Planning Sustainable Places initiative, the Roe Boulevard and Johnson Drive Corridor Plan details a handful of potential concepts for the city’s main commercial areas. Chris Cline of the consulting first Confluence presented the results of the months-long study process at Monday’s council workshop. (You can view the full study report here).

Among the common themes from the concepts presented for the Roe Boulevard portion of the project were increasing connectivity to the community center and pool site from Skyline Drive, and the addition of restaurants to the area.

The first two concepts call for relatively minor reconfigurations of the site. The third concept includes the most drastic proposed changes from the current layout, including the potential relocation of Walmart to the land currently occupied by The Boulevard apartments, and the addition of multi-story mixed use buildings throughout the area.

Here’s a look at an aerial view of the site plan from the third concept:

This concept also includes the creation of a “civic green space,” a space currently lacking in Roeland Park.

“An important element in [this concept] is the civic green space that is the center piece of the mixed-use and commercial properties,” reads the report. “Together, the higher-density development and the green space foster a town center environment that is currently lacking in the City of Roeland Park. With regular and consistent programming of the green space, including festivals, outdoor movies, music performances, and community gatherings, this space will become a cherished and iconic public space for the city.”

Here’s a rendering showing the green space envisioned in the study:

In the southern portion of the study area, the strip of commercial property along Johnson Drive that faces the Mission Gateway site, the report envisions free-standing mixed-use, commercial and/or restaurant buildings that would tie in to the Gateway development. Those new buildings would replace the strip of former residential properties that are now zoned for commercial use.

Here’s a look at two of the concepts:

The study is purely advisory, and was intended to give city officials ideas for the types of redevelopment that might best activate the aging commercial sections of the city.

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