New dining plans at Leawood’s Town Center Crossing could cause parking challenges

Developers at Leawood's Town Center Crossing shopping center say the addition and expansion of three new restaurants aren't a parking concern, but the city disagrees. Above, a drone-captured view of "peak demand" parking at the center from a February 2022 study. Image from city documents

New dining plans for the Town Center Crossing could cause parking challenges for the Leawood shopping center.

Developers say the growing dining scene won’t impact parking, but city staff disagree. With new and expanded restaurants coming soon to the shopping center, the city could decide to request more parking.

What’s going on? Developers for the shopping center at West 119th Street and Roe Avenue have submitted a parking study detailing Town Center Crossing’s ability to provide enough parking with incoming restaurants.

  • Developers say the shopping center could accommodate those changes as is, but the city’s planning staff seem to disagree.

What’s coming in? Per city documents, the arrival of additional restaurant seating at Town Center Crossing is creating a need for additional parking.

  • The increase in restaurant seating partly comes from the expansion of North Italia on the west end of the center, which will give the restaurant a new total of 262 seats.
  • The pending arrivals of Cafe Europa and a new restaurant called the Rockhill Grill are also noted, adding 65 seats and 176 seats, respectively.
  • These arrivals will fill the vacant spots that were previously occupied by Mediterranean chain Zoe’s Kitchen and Spanish restaurant La Bodega.

What does that mean for parking spots?  City documents say these restaurant additions require a parking growth rate of one new parking space for every two restaurant seats.

  • This rate presents a new total requirement of 953 (at minimum) to 1,091 (at maximum) parking spots for the center.
  • As of right now, Town Center Crossing has a total of 745 parking spots.

What the study found: Per the parking study submitted by Washington Prime Group, 745 parking spots is already a deficit of 208 parking spaces and isn’t enough to match Leawood’s ordinance parking requirements as is.

  • But according to the study, developers say the shopping center’s parking lot was never more than 80% occupied during “peak demand” times.
  • The parking study counted occupied parking spots from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. on a Friday and Saturday in February.

What’s next? The Leawood Planning Commission is set to review the parking study next month.

  • The city’s planning staff is recommending denial of the plan, according to Leawood Planning Commission documents.
  • The case was supposed to be reviewed at this week’s meeting, but the commission continued it to July due to the length of Tuesday’s meeting.
  • The Leawood Planning Commission will revisit this item July 26.