Planning Commission focuses on future mixed use commercial development

Kevin Jeffries News

The Leawood Planning Commission met on February 27, and the majority of the discussion focused on mixed use development in Leawood.

Mixed use development is a term that describes the effort to integrate office, retail and residential uses in a manner that ensures the long-term health of the development. Traditionally development has occurred with each of these land use types separated. The urban planning concept of mixed use tries to mimic many of the older traditional neighborhoods in more urban areas and smaller cities. It encourages walking as a mode of transportation and less reliance on automobiles.

Park Place (117th & Nall) and Mission Farms (Mission & I-435) are examples of this style of development in Leawood.

Park Place

Mission Farms has not yet started their final phase, but the developer of Park Place has presented a plan to the Planning Commission, some 15 years after the start of the development, that will allow the completion of the last vacant land in this project. Market demand and lessons learned have caused the plan to evolve from its original vision in 2003, but it still retains the mix of apartment living, high quality office, and retail offerings that makes this development one of Leawood’s destination gems.

The retail component, which includes a mix of restaurants and shops, proposes flexibility in the location and amount of floorspace to compliment the other uses, but the final proposed phase will go a long way to bring more customers to the area for the retail merchants.

New offerings will include the addition of two office buildings totaling over 190,000 square feet, a new 4-story 133 room hotel, and 81 residential apartments. Two additional decks will be added to the parking garage to the south of AMC’s world headquarters to supply parking for the new office building going in adjacent to AMC. The new hotel and apartments will offer a mix of podium style, surface and structured parking. Amenities such as green space and water features will compliment this final phase of the development.

Other items discussed

In other business, the Planning Commission gave approval for backup generators enclosed in sound deadening enclosures for the new CrossFirst Bank headquarters building on Tomahawk Creek Parkway, as well as a residential backup generator. They also approved an outdoor short fence surrounding the patio area for the new Ainsworth restaurant at Park Place, as well as some façade changes for the expansion of Lululemon at Town Center Crossing.

They also approved a preliminary plan for the Hills of Leawood, a new single family residential development near 151st and Mission. These homes are anticipated to range in price from $800,000 to $1.4 million. The development will provide connection to the Leawood trails system for residents.