Archive for Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Commercial buildings target highway

June 23, 2004

While Basehor city officials are hopeful other parts of the city will develop commercially as well, the current development of new businesses in Basehor lies on the city's two major highways -- Kansas Highways 24-40 and 7.

Most of the business development in Basehor is occurring along those two highways and 158th Street, a road that feeds into 24-40, Basehor city codes administrator Mike Hooper said.

"Developers have looked primarily to the highways because of the access but we're seeing some on 158th Street too," Hooper said. "There are some in progress there that we expect will be assets to the city."

Developments on 158th Street include:

Prairie Gardens, a multiphase, 400-acre development that includes 40 to 50 acres of land slated for commercial use. The development is primarily residential but also has land slated for a new Basehor Community Library and Basehor Historical Society Museum and Conference Center. Prairie Gardens is currently building in phase two.

Creek Ridge, a 40-acre development at 158th Street and Parallel Road, also primarily residential, will include 10-acres of ground for commercial businesses. Creek Ridge developers are currently installing streets and sewers, Hooper said.

Hooper said other developers have inquired about building on 158th Street but thus far Prairie Gardens and Creek Ridge are the only two to have started construction.

While 158th Street has seen some development, the principle focus of builders has been along K-7 and 24-40, where there are five developments in Basehor under construction.

On K-7, one development is platted on the city's books. The Zarda Center, an 80-acre commercial development that sits just east of the Falcon Lakes residential area and golf course.

All 80-acres of the Zarda Center will be for commercial, office or retail uses, Hooper said. Developers have not yet announced tenants of the development.

Basehor City Council president Julian Espinoza said the city wants commercial development in all areas of Basehor, but at least for now, expects most development to occur along the highways.

"I think right now, yes, that will be the case," he said. "You've got people actually working hard to develop those properties. That's not saying we won't see development in other places, but right now it's going to be on those areas near the highways."

One area the city is optimistic could develop in coming years is vacant ground along 155th Street, which the city believes could develop into a refurbished, revitalized downtown area for smaller "mom and pop" businesses. Earlier this year, the city council voted areas along 155th Street as their preference for a downtown district.

A three-member committee completed rough plans for the revitalized downtown district earlier this year; those plans hinged on the city building a showpiece parkway for the downtown district that would essentially connect all areas of the city.

While there has been no land purchases along 155th Street, city planners are currently working on designs to develop the area for the downtown district, Hooper said.

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