OLATHE, Kan. — A local nonprofit has big plans in store to create a new type of apartment complex for adults with special needs. 

Inclusion Connections, an Olathe-based nonprofit, is requesting the city approve a special use permit (SUP) and preliminary site development plan to create an apartment complex specifically designed for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). 

The proposed 27,481-square-foot mixed-use building would be constructed on roughly three acres of undeveloped land near the southeast corner of 115th Street and Ridgeview Road. 

Map showing the proposed project location.

The BelongKC project would provide residents with customized supports to allow them to live independently. 

“We are developing a building that does not exist anywhere in the county,” Greg Highbarger with H-D Architecture said. ‘Oftentimes adults with developmental disabilities, they are in group homes or they live with their families. Giving them an opportunity to live independently, supporting themselves, it’s a real sense of joy for me. I think its something that Kansas City should, and will be really proud of.” 

The three-and-a-half story building would include 6,898 square feet of retail space on the ground floor to house the PawsAbilities dog bakery and two other retail shops. 

“The other spaces on the first floor that are not residential unit are what we call day services. There are other things in there like a salon or a little medical clinic, things specifically to support the residents that live there,” Highbarger said.  

Highbarger said the first floor will also include a transition academy to teach residents life skills and provide them with job training and educational opportunities.

Once complete, the top two floors will include 25 apartment units capable of housing up to 50 residents. The proposed facility would include an indoor dining hall and fitness center for residents. 

The complex would also offer private outdoor features like a dog park, walking trial, exercise field and a garden. 

On Monday, the Olathe Planning Commission voted 8-0-1 to approve the SUP and preliminary plan. Commissioner Chip Corcoran opted to recuse himself from the vote, because his employer was involved in drafting the proposal.  

The Olathe City Council will now review the preliminary development plan and SUP on Tuesday, April 18.