Plan for Shawnee senior living facility on difficult-to-develop site moves forward

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Plans are moving forward for a St. Louis-based network of senior care facilities to a open a new location in Shawnee.

On Monday, the Shawnee Planning Commission approved rezoning plans for Cedarhurst of Shawnee, an assisted living and memory care residential facility planned to be built on 20 acres of undeveloped land at 6920 Lackman Rd.

The land will be rezoned from its current designation for agricultural use to one that allows for some commercial and residential uses.

The commission voted 7-0 in favor of the rezoning. Councilmembers Bill Holick, Amit Bhakta and Bruce Bienhoff were absent.

Topeka, Kansas-based engineering firm Bartlett & West is the applicant. Cedarhurst Senior Living is the developer.

The facility will include 80+ beds

The Cedarhurst plan includes a two-story, 70,595-square-foot building that will contain 85 beds.

The facility will be built around an open interior courtyard and also include an exterior patio, landscaping and a community activity room.

The center will be built on undeveloped land, which includes a predominately wooded area
with significant terrain, according to city documents.

Still, it is the most fitting location for the facility, developers say, on Lackman Road between Shawnee Mission Parkway and Midland Drive.

“The site has been a challenge. There’s a lot of topography, a lot of trees,” Darron Ammann Vice President of Bartlett & West, said at Monday’s commission meeting.

Cedarhurst of Shawnee land
Aerial view of property where Cedarhurst of Shawnee would be developed. Image via city documents.

Commissioners had questions that site

Commissioner Leo Nunnink asked the applicant to clarify how much land would be used for the facility.

Only part of the almost 20 acres of the property will be used for the facility, while the rest has yet to be determined, depending on if the land can be developed, Ammann said.

“There are long-term options, especially with the (nearby Cross Points Church) to the north or the football field,” said Doug Allmon, Shawnee community planning director. “On the south side, there’s potential to redevelop that so they have access to Lackman. But my guess is it would be some sort of loop street that comes up off of Midland.”

The land has caused problems for developers in the past, Allmon said.

“We’ve seen multiple layouts on this lot over the years that tried to take down the back half and they just could not make the dirt work and everything pencil out,” he said. “So this use actually is the first one that’s kind of made sense.”

The facility would be part of a network of centers

Cedarhurst Senior Living has more than 50 senior living centers across the Midwest, including in Indiana, Missouri and Kansas.

It recently opened up facilities in Salina and Lawrence.

Cedarhurst Senior Living is owned by Dover Health, which is a part of the Clayton, Missouri-based Dover Companies, which also provides development, construction and financing for senior living facilities. Dover Health also provides health care within the Cedarhurst Senior Living communities.

The thought of having more senior living facilities is a good idea, Commissioner Kathy Peterson said.

“I’ve recently dealt with this with a family member, and it’s a terrible situation to be in,” she said. “The access to beds in Shawnee will be incredibly helpful and it’s necessary to keep (residents) closer to home so you can still interact with them and I appreciate that.”

The Shawnee City Council will take up rezoning for the facility at its meeting on July 8.

More Shawnee care center news: How two child care centers are trying to meet growing demand in Shawnee

About the author

Andrew Gaug
Andrew Gaug

👋 Hi! I’m Andrew Gaug, and I cover Shawnee and Lenexa for the Johnson County Post.

I received my bachelor’s degree in journalism from Kent State University and started my career as a business reporter for The Vindicator in Youngstown, Ohio.

I spent 14 years as a multimedia reporter for the St. Joseph News-Press before joining the Post in 2023.