Developer pitches revised plans for Overland Park apartments

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – More than two months after sending plans back to the drawing board, an out-of-state developer is hoping Overland Park leaders reconsider plans to build hundreds of high-rise apartments near the Blue Valley Sports Complex.

Minnesota-based developer Ryan Companies is requesting an urban rezone of approximately 17 acres at 135th Street and Antioch Road to make way for a new mixed-use development.

In August, the city council voted 9-3 to send the proposal back to the planning commission for further review.

On Monday, the Planning Commission voted 8-0 to recommend the city council approve the updated request. Commissioner Rob Krewson recused himself from the vote because his employer was working on a traffic study for the proposed project.

The the original proposal including the construction of a 446-unit apartment complex with additional retail space.

The updated plan reduces the total number of apartments from 446 to 413 units and increases the number of parking spaces from 602 to 707. The revision also reduces the height of buildings in the complex from five stories to four.

Ted McBride, president of the Nottingham Forest South Homeowners Association, said density was still the biggest concern of nearby homeowners. McBride said the homeowners asked the developer to consider a 15% density reduction, reducing the number of units to 379.

“(Ryan Companies) told us they couldn’t reduce the density because it wasn’t economically feasible,” McBride said. “But in September, you all (Planning Commission) just approved the RP-6 apartment project in corner of 135th Street and Pflumm which has 252 units on 13 hectares. Somehow the developer found it financially viable.

“They ultimately did not facilitate the density and ordered us to sign a document that would silence our entire neighborhood, prevent us from legal challenges and promise things that the city planning staff did not weigh. We could not agree to this, so they ignored our negotiations until then and submit a different proposal,” McBride said.

Commissioner Kip Strauss said he felt the number of apartment units requested was appropriate based on other developments around the project site.

“If you think about the US 69 corridor, 135th Street is the most developed east-west corridor. I think it’s being close to the US 69 corridor, which has improvements made for the next few years, I think this type of density is appropriate in this area,” Strauss said.

Overland Park City Council is scheduled to review the rezone request on Monday, December 5.

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