Developers Emphasize Community at Developer’s Showcase

Gail BryantUncategorized

Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council investors learned new information Wednesday about two high-profile development projects in Lee’s Summit. 

Matt Pennington, the President of Drake Development, gave an update on the Streets of West Pryor and Ryan Adams, a Development Associate with Cityscape Residential spoke about new multi-family living coming to downtown Lee’s Summit.

Though the projects vary in size and purpose, both developers showed their appreciation for the ease of doing business in Lee’s Summit.

Unanticipated Assets  

Both Pennington and Adams faced hurdles in the early phases of development, but credited city staff and Lee’s Summit citizens with being approachable and helpful through the development process.

Pennington’s $180 million 70-acre mixed use development is the product of 13 parcels of land, which Pennington pieced together over the course of five years.

The property is adjacent to Lowenstein Park, which Pennington admits he initially saw as a detriment. But as the trend in housing progressed to a live, work, play environment and after consulting with neighbors in the area, Pennington said his outlook changed. In the end, Drake Development included connectivity to the park as part of its design.

“Anytime you’re putting together something as big as this, you need to listen to the homeowners. They’re the ones dealing with the long-term,” said Pennington. “We’ve not only turned it into one of the best assets to our development, but we look at it as we’re so blessed and lucky to have that next to us.”

As for his development, Adams said Cityscape Residential’s initial design had no plans to incorporate the former United Methodist Church, which currently sits on the site.

“We showed it to city staff and some people in the neighborhood and it was after that we really realized what kind of connection the church had with the community and with the City of Lee’s Summit,” said Adams. “We actually believe now it’s a big asset to our team versus the deterrent that we originally thought it would be.”

Cityscape hired an architect that specializes in historic renovation and plans to incorporate the old sanctuary into the development. The building will serve as a leasing office and amenity space.

Development-Friendly City

Adams’ team also struggled with an issue shared by many downtown areas — parking. To overcome the hurdle, Cityscape included a 473-car parking garage. Adams said the parking garage is expected to cost about $20,000-$25,000 per parking space, part of which is financed by tax increment financing.

Throughout development and incentive negotiations, Adams said the City of Lee’s Summit was welcoming.

“We’ve never had to wait on city staff, the council is always an email away,” Adams said. “It’s been a tremendous pleasure to work with you guys.”

Pennington expressed similar sentiment. As someone who is involved in developments across the country, Pennington said Lee’s Summit stands out.

“You’re really only as good as your city staff,” said Pennington. “Having a situation where staff has been so helpful in helping shepherd such a difficult project along — that helps me stick through.”

Exciting Future

Streets of West Pryor is moving at break-neck speed. Pennington announced two restaurant tenant commitments to LSEDC investors, in addition to the previously-announced grocery store anchor, McKeever’s Market.

McKeever’s Market is scheduled to open in the Spring or Fall of 2020, with apartments, retail, restaurants, senior living and a hotel to follow.

Cityscape Residential is expected to close on its property in December and quickly begin construction the following month.

 Drake Development was the title sponsor for the event.