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Lenexa Civic Center is main dish at October CREW KC luncheon

Construction and project updates for Lenexa’s landmark $75 million, 200,000-square foot Civic Center development were on the menu at CREW KC’s quarterly luncheon, with project managers from the City of Lenexa, PGAV Architects, JE Dunn Construction and CBC Real Estate Group offering insight into everything from design challenges to project timelines.

Beccy Yocham, City of Lenexa director of community development, provided an overview of the multi-use project at 87th Street and Renner Blvd. In July, the new City Hall and Recreation Center opened, followed by the Lenexa Public Market in September. By the end of the year, construction will begin on a new branch of the Johnson County Library, as well as a $22 million Shawnee Mission School District aquatic facility and parking garage just north of the civic campus.

Jennifer Goeke, project manager for PGAV Architects, and Susan Schaefer, senior project manager for JE Dunn Construction, provided insight into the meticulous care and challenges involved in the design and construction process.

“Our goal was to create a unique sense of place for the City of Lenexa with pedestrian connectivity and really ‘activating the streets.' " Goeke said. “There was a lot of intent involved with the selection of materials and overall design to express the different components of the City Hall, Public Market and Recreation Center. One of the challenges was incorporating building services such as transformers, trash, utilities and loading docks because the buildings in this project don’t have a back side. They are all 360 degrees facing either public plazas or neighboring developments.”

Constructibility challenges included the 5-story, 500-space parking garage with a slight bend along 88th Street to maximize space within the project site. “This slight kink in the garage design added a month to the engineering process and at least a week to the erection process,” Schaefer said. "This was a 100 percent collaborative effort from beginning to end."

The collaborative spirit helped create friendships that made for a bittersweet conclusion to the massive three-year project, according to Michelle Kaiser, senior project manager for owner’s representative CBC Real Estate Group.

“The team spent a lot of time together over a two or three-year period, working all day and then bonding at Happy Hour ‘work sessions.' " Kaiser said. “It’s sad when you end such a great project after working with such a great team. There’s a bit of a let-down.”

Lenexa Civic Center is part of Lenexa City Center, a 200-acre, mixed-use development spanning all four corners of 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard. For more information, click here.

Lenexa Director of Dommunity Development Beccy Yocham teed up discussion of the Lenexa Civic Center project at  CREW KC 's quarterly luncheon at  Grand Street Cafe .

Lenexa Director of Dommunity Development Beccy Yocham teed up discussion of the Lenexa Civic Center project at CREW KC's quarterly luncheon at Grand Street Cafe.

Vertical construction moves forward on Belton Gateway Phase Two

Infrastructure, pad site preparation and road reconstruction for the $63 million Phase Two of Belton Gateway are underway, with the first restaurant scheduled to open later this year and five new retailers on target to open in early 2018.

The future home of Kneaders Bakery is under construction at Christie Development Associates LLC's 47-acre, $136 million retail center just west of I-49 along Y Highway, and crews are preparing pad sites for Ross Dress for Less, MarshallsParty City, Petco, and Five Below.

“Belton Gateway is quickly becoming Cass County’s premier retail destination, thanks to its location just west of I-49 and Y Highway,” said Belton Community and Economic Development Director Jay Leipzig. “We are seeing a tremendous amount of activity in this corridor, which offers retailers great visibility and convenient highway access due to a new interchange.”

Relocation of Turner Road is on target for completion in the third quarter of 2017 and will improve traffic flow from Y Highway/163rd Street to Belton's North Scott Redevelopment Corridor. 

Developed by Christie Development, Belton Gateway’s two phases include more than 182,000 square feet of developable space adjacent to the recently constructed I-49/Y Highway interchange that carries an estimated 85,000 vehicles daily.

The project’s $70 million Phase One developed in conjunction with Block & Company, Inc. included a 58,000 square foot Academy Sports and Outdoors store, 55,000 square foot Hobby Lobby, and two multiple-tenant retail buildings that are home to Belton Family Dental Care, Fazoli’s, and Cricket Wireless. The project's master plan includes construction of a 20,000 square foot hotel.