May 13, 2006

$250M Mixed-Use, Pedestrian Friendly Development Planned Near K.C.

"Construction will start in June on the $250 million Park Place, an urban-style, mixed-use community in Leawood, complete with ice rink and luxury hotel," the Kansas City Star reports. "Several restaurant tenants have already signed, and more retail tenants are expected to be announced soon."

A focus on pedestrians and entertainment makes the project more than simply an outdoor "lifestyle center" mall, the paper concluded. Jeff Alpert, a partner in the firm developing the quarter-billion-dollar project, told the Star: "What we’re creating is totally different from any other suburban shopping center in our district or in Johnson County — the mixed use, the design, the sidewalk dining, the public spaces."

Ah, to have had sidewalk dining at the re-done Natick Mall....

Park Place will feature 20-foot-wide sidewalks with "heavy landscaping" and outdoor seating at all restaurants, the paper noted. "The developers hope to create a high-energy, pedestrian-friendly place where the residents, employees and tourists can interact." Plans call for an outdoor illage square to host "fairs, festivals and concerts" in good weather and ice skating in winter.

That's a lot more than adding condos to a conventional indoor mall.

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