Merriam Kmart redevelopment talks are underway again — Here’s how we got here

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After standing vacant for nearly a decade, the former Kmart site in Merriam could be transformed into a new mixed-use development.

What you need to know:

• An Overland Park-based developer has proposed a $136 million mixed-use redevelopment for the one-time Kmart site in Merriam.

• It’s not finalized yet, and developers still need to get several approvals from the planning commission and city council before moving forward on the project.

• The Kmart property has been vacant for nearly a decade. The last major project for the site fell through in 2015.

Overland Park-based Drake Development wants to bring more than 300 apartments, restaurants and retail space to the former big box retail store located at the prominent corner of Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road.

This is the latest development envisioned for the site, which has seen prospective plans come and go over the years, most notably when home improvement chain Menards briefly eyed the spot for a new store before pulling the plug in 2015.

This newest $136 million proposal is far from being set in stone. Iterations of it, in fact, have already changed.

For instance, an earlier version of the plan filed with the city earlier this year included a grocery story, but that’s no longer part of developers’ designs.

The Merriam Planning Commission will consider development applications at its June 1 meeting. If approved, those items will then go to the city council for approval on June 27.

That that meeting, the council would also take up a proposed redevelopment agreement and consider also setting a public hearing for a tax increment financing application.

In the meantime, here’s a breakdown of the Kmart property’s history and how we got 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.