Leawood approves first phase of work on project at 86th and State Line — here’s what happens next

Leawood planning commissioners approved the the first phase of work to be done on a mixed-used development near 86th Street and State Line Road, across from Ward Parkway Center. The initial phase of the project includes nearly 200 apartment units, 24 townhomes and thousands of square feet of retail and office space. Image via Leawood city documents.

The Leawood Planning Commission on Tuesday voted to approve the final plan and plat for the first phase for a mixed-use development on 86th Street and State Line Road.

The preliminary plan for the project was approved in June by the city council over some neighboring residents’ opposition.

At that time, some residents expressed concerns that the $50 million development would lead to a loss of green space across and possibly produce more traffic in already busy area of State Line across from Ward Parkway Center in Kansas City, Mo.

First phase

The first phase for the project will include the construction of the large central building for the complex, as well as:

  • 182 apartment units in the central building
  • 24 townhomes, which is aimed at buffering the large central building from the existing single family homes to the north
  • 5,790 square feet of office space
  • 9,633 square feet of retail space
  • Main entrance to State Line Road

Changes to original plan

Since its approval by  the city council this summer, changes have also been made to the preliminary plan, including:

  • An additional vehicular entrance and exit on the development’s south side
  • Fencing added to the rear yards of the planned townhomes
  • An incorporation of a dog park and trail in the southwest corner of the complex
  • A 50-foot tree preservation easement

Addressing traffic concerns

The Planning Commission did discuss one of the concerns neighbors had expressed about increased traffic congestion on streets connecting to 86th Terrace.

In June, the city council directed the public works committee to discuss potentially extending the median separating northbound and southbound traffic on State Line to prohibit northbound traffic from turning left, or west, onto 86th Terrace.

“It was determined at that committee that before any consideration of a medium break at 86th Terrace, the signal at 85th Terrace needs to be improved due to the limited sight distance issues as well as multiple accidents at the intersection,” city engineer Brian Scovill said.

Scovill said the improvements to 85th Terrace are not currently in the plan or budget for the city, but he believes the city council is looking to address the issue soon.

In the end, the Planning Commission approved the first phase of this project with an unanimous vote, but with small stipulations of changes they wanted to see happen to the project.

Particularly, the commission wanted to see changes to the types of materials used to build the complex, in order to make the mixed-use development fit in better with surrounding buildings in the area.

“We want to see real clay fired brick … and no veneer brick be used,” commissioner Steve McGurren said.