Mission Bowl developer clarifies low-income requirements, commits to green certification ahead of key vote

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The Mission Bowl redevelopment project is one week out from being considered by city councilmembers.

The Mission finance and administration committee Wednesday finished its work on the project, which seeks to bring a five-story, 161-unit apartment complex at 5399 Martway Street.

Councilmember Nick Schlossmacher said he’s excited about the development.

“I think we’ve come together, and I feel that we’re working towards a really good plan to build back better the Mission Bowl site,” Schlossmacher said.

The city council reviewed a near final draft of the redevelopment agreement during a Wednesday evening finance and administration committee meeting, which included the developer committing to a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Silver (LEED) certification for complex.

Andy Hyland, a sustainability commission member, said as someone who has worked on these issues in the city for the last six years, the announcement makes him proud to be a Mission resident.

“I’m no fan of [tax increment financing projects] in general, but with these commitments in hand, this is a project I’m proud to support as a member of this community,” Hyland said.

Other adjustments to the redevelopment agreement, brought on largely by councilmember questions and discussion, are as follows:

  • As Sunflower has committed to reserving 32 units for low-income residents for 20 years, a low-income lease signed in the 19th year will remain low-income until the lease ends.
  • If over the course of a lease someone who is originally in a low-income unit begins to make more money, their rent will not be raised. If the lease continues for two or more years, though, the developer will need to remove that unit as low-income and assign it to another unit.
  • Obtaining a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver certification for the 161-unit apartment complex within two years of completing the project.
  • A “cure period” was included in the agreement in the event of a default, meaning, for example, the developer doesn’t meet the project deadline or maintain affordable housing or sustainability requirements. The cure period allows the developer 30 days written notice of such default and the city may allow the developer to work out the issue.
  • Language was cleared up to indicate the developers, Sunflower Development Group, will not go out to bid for general contractors but will go out to bid for each subcontractor. This ensures the money the city is offering Sunflower is being used wisely, land use attorney Pete Heaven said.

Following a public hearing, the city council will consider an ordinance that would approve the redevelopment agreement on Dec. 16. A link to that meeting can be found on the city’s website here.

About the author

Juliana Garcia
Juliana Garcia

👋 Hi! I’m Juliana Garcia, and I cover Prairie Village and northeast Johnson County for the Johnson County Post.

I grew up in Roeland Park and graduated from Shawnee Mission North before going on to the University of Kansas, where I wrote for the University Daily Kansan and earned my bachelor’s degree in  journalism. Prior to joining the Post in 2019, I worked as an intern at the Kansas City Business Journal.