A revised redevelopment agreement that includes an apartment building with 10% “attainable” housing moved ahead in Overland Park Monday night.
The city council voted 7-4 in favor of writing a new definition for the Metcalf 108 project in the area near Interstate 435 and Metcalf Avenue.
It was one of several legal steps required before developer Metcalf 108 Redevelopment Investors LLC can work out a public financing package with the city that reflects the new reality of multi-family housing where office space was once planned.
The vote split was the same as last month, when the council agreed to the change in use.
Second phase of project
The project began in 2017 as a potential solution to the blight at that intersection, where the former Overland Park Place Hotel once stood.
The original plan was to redevelop in two phases. The first included demolition of the hotel and the construction of a new Staybridge Suites on the site. That part has been completed.
The second phase would have been an office building, with public money going to support the parking garage. But after months of looking, the developer could not find enough potential tenants to make the building feasible.
So a new proposal was drawn up for 220 units of multi-family housing instead of office space. Of those, 10% would be offered at lower than market rates.
Councilmembers commenting Monday night expressed no change in their views from previous meetings.
Councilmember Jeff Cox said he sympathizes with the developer, who has fulfilled its side of the bargain so far, but did not like the project being proposed. Councilmember Scott Hamblin expressed sympathy as well, but voted against it.
Councilmember Faris Farassati, who has often been skeptical of tax increment financing deals except for in blighted areas, said the new hotel on the spot has removed the blight at I-435 and Metcalf
“It seems to me that all roads end to some sort of tax incentive in Overland Park,” he said.
Mayor Curt Skoog reiterated that none of the public money will go towards the hotel.
The plan approved Monday only redefines the area as required by law so that the developer can ask for tax increment money later.
Even so, less than seven votes would have likely meant the end of a multi-story building plan for that area, according to the developer at a previous meeting.
Skoog said the apartment plan fits with Vision Metcalf, the city’s long-term plan for the corridor that calls for multi-story buildings and a more walkable, less car-centric environment.
A new TIF plan still would have several steps to go before the council can consider it. The new public financing would require a nine-vote supermajority.
Voting yes were Paul Lyons, Jim Kite, Sam Passer, Melissa Cheatham, Scott Mosher, Fred Spears and Holly Grummert.
Voting no Monday were Councilmembers Hamblin, Cox, Farassati and Tom Carignan.
Councilmember Logan Heley was absent.
Roxie Hammill is a freelance journalist who reports frequently for the Post and other Kansas City area publications. You can reach her at email@example.com.