OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — The Overland Park City Council is expected to vote Aug. 15 on a 446-unit apartment complex developers want at 135th Street and Antioch Road.
The 17.5 acres there is an old garden nursery dating back to 1977.
The developer, Ryan Companies, envisions the complex having dog parks, a pond, a courtyard and more, across from other businesses and entertainment.
“[We’re] creating a lot of opportunity for cross pollination between commercial and residential, and servicing the community to its highest and best uses,” said Ryan VP of Development, Brandon Brensing.
Many neighbors in the area are raising concerns about traffic and overall safety. A crowd of 50-plus people opposing it met with FOX4 Monday afternoon, many holding signs reading, “Stop High Density Apartments.”
“[We need] the city council to stand up and say, ‘No,’ in response to the good folks here who don’t want this,” Overland Park resident Chris Confer said.
Butted up against the Blue Valley Recreation Sports Complex, where children play, many worry it is a safety issue.
“We’ve got kids that play sports three or four months out of the year,” Confer said. “Not to mention over at Deanna Rose, it sees about 500,000 visitors a year, little kids and also the Scheels complex. It’s going to be funneling all the traffic right here on 137th Street.”
“I don’t think we’re against any type of community or housing, we just don’t want four and five story buildings to be right here in this corner, because it just does not fit,” neighbor Sheila Ost added.
Documents show the complex is mostly four stories but would have one five-story building.
A traffic study was done, but outside of peak times. A follow-up study will be presented to the city council.
Brensing said the project improves the area by adding infrastructure like a left turn lane off Antioch into the complex.
“That will allow for cars to move to the north easier and not be backed up trying to cross traffic,” Brensing said.
We will soon learn how the council votes, but for these neighbors, it’s a hard no.
“What we certainly don’t need on this particular plot of ground is high density apartments,” Confer said. “This is the proverbial square peg in the round hole. It doesn’t fit.”
Brensing said the complex is entirely made up of private funds. He hopes to break ground in the spring and have residents move in two years later.
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