By Leilani Haywood
The Lee’s Summit City Council reviewed a presentation at the May 17, 2018 meeting covering the proposed $50 million Summit Orchard development that’s projected to bring 300 jobs and generate an estimated $1.4 million in annual property taxes and $442,500 in sales taxes. The proposed high-end retail and restaurant complex would be southeast of the Summit Technology Campus on 16 acres on Chipman Road within Northwest Chipman Road, Northwest Donovan Road and Outerview Road.
Assistant City Manager Mark Dunning said the project received preliminary approval in May 2016. “What’s being considered is the preliminary incentive request in form of a Community Improvement District (CID),” Dunning said. “There is a funding agreement tied to the project for private roads that will be for public use.” Christi Development Associates LLC is asking the city for approval to form the CID for a one percent sales tax to fund private roads. Construction would begin in August 2018 with a projected completion date within 18 months.
Ferdinand Niemann IV, director of development and acquisitions for Christie Development Associations LLC, said Summit Orchard would be “a destination to come, hang out and spend money.” Summit Orchard would include a surrounding perimeter with $500,000 worth of high end art and a 12,000 to 15,000 square foot common area with open space seating, aluminum trees, and gazebos. “We’re in negotiations with an ice cream shop,” he said. “You could get an ice cream and walk over to the common seating area and hang out.”
Summit Orchard would also include new high-end restaurants and fast-food casual eateries that are new to Kansas City and the Lee’s Summit area. David Bushek, City’s Economic Development Counsel, said, “The CID is just for public improvements and it’s just an additional one percent sales tax proposed. This only applies within the geographic limits and doesn’t apply to anywhere else. The city will collect and disburse the dollars.”
Bushek added, “There is one issue we will be dealing with is long term maintenance of these improvements and city allowing private streets to fall into disrepair moving forward. We want to make sure these improvements don’t fall into disrepair. If the improvements are owned by the CID what happens if the CID goes defunct? We can address these concerns with a cooperative agreement.”
The next step for the project is review and approval of the funding agreement for the Summit Orchard project.