A 606-unit mixed-residential project in Gardner won approval from the City Council for a financing package that will provide a sales tax exemption for the development.
Olathe-based Austin Park LLC seeks to construct University Park’s next iteration, which covers 35 acres from 163rd Street to 167th Street west of University Drive. It will offer 32 three-bedroom townhomes, plus 31 three- or four-story buildings totaling 574 one- or two-bedroom apartments. Amenities include a dog park, two ponds, a pool, 10,000-square-foot clubhouse and playground.
The first phase will include five apartment buildings and 13 townhomes and is anticipated to start grading in March and wrap up next October. Phase two will follow from August 2023 to March 2024 with the construction of four apartment buildings, eight townhome buildings and 495 parking spaces.
On Monday, the City Council approved issuing $97 million in industrial revenue bonds to finance a sales tax exemption on construction materials, equipment and furnishings for parts of one or multiple phases. No property tax abatement is associated with the bonds, according to documents filed with the city.
The property is in the process of being zoned an RP-4 District (Mixed Density Neighborhood) with an approved preliminary development plan.
In May, officials approved Austin Park’s rezoning request and preliminary plan, two months after they tabled discussion to rezone the property because of concerns about traffic volume and school impacts. Since then, the developer worked with city staff, and the Planning Commission recommended approval on April 25.
In 2003, the city annexed approximately 157.5 acres for University Park, a mix of multifamily and commercial uses. The only multifamily development that’s been constructed sits east of the 606-unit site, where Austin Park converted single-family homes into duplexes that abut a separate multifamily community called Tallgrass Apartments.
The development’s players include Olathe-based Phelps Engineering and Prairie Village-based NSPJ Architects.