Archive for Wednesday, November 8, 2006

City, developers mull over downtown ideas

November 8, 2006

Downtown Basehor, an area currently home to a few businesses and vacant buildings, may be a completely different scene by summer 2008.

The property, previously owned by Jerry Mussett, was sold for development purposes to Affinity Development Inc., based in Overland Park. Mike Duncan of Affinity presented the original sketch plan for development in the area including artist renderings, the first draft of the site plan, retail and municipal features as well as a timeline to city council members Monday evening.

"I was here in July to discuss the feasibility of the project and the community interest in the project to move forward on commitments," Duncan said. "Now, I've sat down with planners and engineers to start developing a plan and we've completed the boundary survey."

Duncan started with a summary of projects Affinity had been involved in, including several homes and condos in Branson, Mo., and a shopping center in Weston, Mo. Major elements in the plan for downtown Basehor include a community center, a retail village, an active adult community, a police station and sports fields. An artist rendering also showed a larger, improved city hall with a town square layout around it.

"We're really big on creating a theme and identity for the community," Duncan said. "We don't currently have a heart or center of the community that brings us together."

Other elements included on the plan were a library, a new elementary school and a grocery store. However, since plans are already in progress for a new library and grocery store in other locations, the plan will be adjusted accordingly, Duncan said. He also said he would need to synchronize plans with the school district.

The purpose of the presentation was just to get the project on the table, Duncan said. Several steps still need to be taken before a formal proposal is made hopefully in December. The timeline also showed that construction on the project was set to begin in Aug. 2007, while opening day for some of the first elements in the plan would be July 2008.

In other action Monday night, the council:

  • Denied, 5-0, the consideration of an ordinance requiring annexation of all properties that connect to the city's sanitary sewer system.
  • Approved, 5-0, to adopt the 2003 International Residential, Fuel Gas, Building and Fire Codes and the 2002 Electrical Code.
  • Approved, 5-0, an updated agreement with Leavenworth County for maintenance of roads in the city.
  • Met in executive session for 45 minutes to discuss item d on the agenda and property purchase.
  • Approved, 5-0, the letter of intent concerning economic development intentions.

Benchmark Management Inc., recently secured an agreement with Affiliated Foods Midwest to open a grocery store in the Wolf Creek Junction development. While a Transportation Development District has already been approved for the property as well as participation in the neighborhood revitalization program, Benchmark requested seven other incentives. Revisions were made to the first six and approved by the council. The council decided not to take action on the seventh incentive involving sales tax abatement until more information was gathered.

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