ROELAND PARK, Kan. — Roeland Park, Kansas is one step closer to redeveloping the former city swimming pool property commonly known as The Rocks. 

Monday the Roeland Park City Council approved two land purchase agreements with Sunflower Development for roughly seven acres of land near 4800 Roe Parkway. The developer purchased four city lots for roughly $3.45 million. 

The council voted to approve both agreements 7-1, with only Councilmember Michael Rebne voting against the proposal.   

Rebne said he would like the council to ask the environmental committee for feedback on the proposal before committing to such a large development. 

“Hearing that the anticipated selling price, and understanding it’s in the neighborhood of 50% more than the general fund in our budget, I feel myself wanting to be a little more cautious,” Rebne said. 

Jason Swords with Sunflower Development said the closing date for Lot 1 is likely to be pushed back to better accommodate the relocation of city vehicles currently on the property.  

“During the next 90 days we are going to go further with design and further with pricing.It will move forward with the development agreement. At that point in time, it would be our objective to close on lots two, three and four at the time we’ve submitted and have a building permit in hand, so the day that I close, I’ve got a shovel and a bunch of guys out there the next day,” Swords said.  

Tentative plans for the property include the construction of a 220 unit apartment complex with individual units ranging in size from 670 to 1,200 square feet. Sunflower’s plan also includes additional retail and commercial space on the property. 

Rendering of proposed apartment complex

City council will still need to review and vote on any rezoning requests and a final development agreement prior to issuing a building permit. 

The development agreement will include more details on the proposed project including the square footage of retail space, square footage of residential property and number of residential units planned for the property. The sale agreement with the city includes a claw-back measure that allows the city to have final say on the aesthetics of each building.

“If the city is not willing to approve a development agreement, because they don’t like what they are seeing proposed, then the closing doesn’t ever occur,” City Administrator Keith Moody said.