October 23, 2021

Mallory Herrmann
Staff Reporter

The Downtown Market Plaza project is moving ahead, with ongoing development planning picking up in the coming months.

During a presentation to the city council this week, city staff and the developer outlined the behind-the-scenes work that has been going on. David Bushek, chief counsel of economic development and planning, said that they’ve been holding bi-weekly meetings to meet with master architect candidates, work on redevelopment plans and prepare for stakeholder meetings.

A series of these stakeholder meetings will be held on Monday, Oct. 25, in the Stanley Event Space. These meetings are intended to facilitate discourse and get public feedback to inform the development process.

From 11 a.m. to noon, the team will meet with downtown businesses, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street and downtown residents. From 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., with arts, culture and education organizations. And from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., with elected officials, planning commissioners and the management team. The public is invited to participate in any or all sessions.

Brandon Buckley, of the master developer LANE4 Property Group, stressed that this will be the “first of many public forums” for this project.

The final conceptual master plan and preliminary budget are expected in March 2022, and construction of the public components is projected to be complete in early 2024. Buckley added that the dates are “very conservative” but that this is a very complex project.

“This is something we really gotta maximize for the long term,” Buckley said. “We’re looking 60, 80 years out. We want this to be a feature of the community in the downtown area.”

The plaza will be located near Southeast Green and Third Streets, and the conceptual plan includes a boutique hotel, apartment complex, retail and restaurants, conservatory, outdoor performance space and a permanent farmers market. The city will continue to own the land, establishing long-term lease agreements with private users for individual spaces.

The presentation at the city council’s Oct. 19 meeting was informational and no action was taken by the council. Councilmember Trish Carlyle was absent.