Construction is well underway on two large additions to Overland Park’s Bluhawk development near 159th Street and U.S. 69 Highway.
Six months after an official groundbreaking, visible headway is being made on a new sports arena — formally dubbed AdventHealth Sports Park at Bluhawk.
That facility is working toward an opening at the end of 2024.
In addition, a second building meant to house a string of new retail tenants is also coming to the much-watched site.
The plan calls for a 420,000-square-foot sports complex
- The facility will remain open year-round and will house spaces for multiple sports — including basketball courts and a turf field for soccer.
- The facility will also include ice rinks, pickleball courts and volleyball courts.
- Outside of sports courts, the complex will host other amenities, including a fitness center, restaurant and bowling alleys.
- Developers Price Brothers Management Co. have hired Florida-based sports facility company SF Network to manage the facility.
- “That facility will have activity all year long, clearly outside of just the seasonality itself of those sports seasons,” said Bart Lowen, vice president of development with Price Brothers Management Co.
The arena is still in its first phase of construction
- That entails the building of four basketball courts, an ice rink, an indoor turf field, a fitness center and other amenities.
- The second phase after that will entail the building of a second ice rink, four more basketball courts, the volleyball and pickleball courts and the other amenities.
- Lowen said plans for sports tournaments following the facility’s opening are already being planned, and he expects the arena to have a “huge” impact on its surrounding 200,000-square-foot retail area.
- “The momentum is here — what is built in the project today is being leased, and what’s under construction today has very little vacancy in it,” Lowen said.
A new retail building is also going up
- Construction is also underway on a 50,000-foot retail building at the development, which is expected to wrap up sooner than the arena, near the beginning of next year.
- The building will neighbor the existing T.J. Maxx store on the west side of Lowell Avenue.
- This new building will have room for six retail tenants, with plans for yet another 50,000-foot retail building just east of it.
The work is getting state STAR bond funding
- In addition to private funding, Overland Park has been authorized to use up to $46.5 million in state-approved Sales Tax and Revenue, or STAR, bonds to fund construction of the sports arena.
- STAR bonds are a financing tool meant to help fund projects deemed to have a broader regional or even national commercial, entertainment or tourism value, but their use on other Johnson County projects, including the Prairiefire development, has proven controversial.
- City officials have said the second phase of work on the arena would begin after the surrounding retail generates enough revenue to support a second series of STAR bonds.