OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Since 2007, Historic Downtown Overland Park has undergone some changes. City Councilman Paul Lyons and many others feel it has been much needed.
"Ten years ago, downtown was in trouble," Lyons said. "We had a lot of empty store fronts. We just had a major fire on Santa Fe. The Farmer’s Market was in trouble, and we needed to do something to really turn that around."
Lyons said in just the last few months four new apartment complexes -- Inner Urban Lofts, Market Lofts, The View and Avenue 80 -- have popped up in the area. And they join a list of many new projects that have popped up in the historic downtown as the city has tried to rejuvenate the area over the last 10 years.
"We wanted to make downtown Overland Park sustainable for the next 50 years," Lyons said. "The only way to do that is to bring more people to downtown Overland Park in order to provide patrons that are going to patronize the businesses that are down here."
But not all are on-board with this push for progress.
"I’m not against change or progress here in downtown Overland Park, but I think the buildings that are going up and that are planned to be going up -- it is disrupting the harmony of historic downtown," long-time resident Kelly Morrow said.
Morrow said the influx of people and traffic will ultimately hurt and take away from what makes the area great.
"We have one historic downtown Overland Park. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. This is the beginning," he said.