After several years of debate, developers are breaking ground on East Leawood Village.

Rendering courtesy of Klover Architects Inc.

This could be the last fall harvest for the farmland at 135th Street and Stateline Road in Leawood. After years of debate over the merits of a massive development project known as East Leawood Village, the City Council finally approved the first several phases of the $300 million development project that will see homes, shops, parks, trails and, eventually, an amphitheater replace acres of farmland.

It hasn’t been easy for Rick Oddo, president of Lenexa-based Oddo Development, who is spearheading the project. The last few years have been contentious, with Oddo, residents and city planners often at odds.

“People are afraid of the unknown,” Oddo says, adding that most people like many aspects of the development, such as the new parks and trails.

However, locals have raised concerns over design elements, the number of homes planned and the traffic that comes along with so many new residents. After several concessions, Oddo won his battle to rezone the one hundred and sixteen acres last year and then received preliminary approval with a 5-4 City Council vote. This spring, Oddo won final City Council approval of the first two phases of his several-phase plan.

Currently, there are six phases planned for the East Leawood Village development. The first four focus primarily on residential properties with single-family homes, brownstones, “mansion-style” homes, twin villas and condos. Phases five and six will focus primarily on retail space and senior living facilities. Future phases are still a ways off and have yet to be discussed by council members in a public forum.

Part of the development also includes what the developers refer to as Chadwick Park, an entertainment center that “all of Leawood will want to attend,” Oddo says. The park will have an amphitheater and host popular community events, such as theater in the park and family movie nights. Along with residential and commercial areas, there will be greenspaces with bike paths and hiking trails, including a natural habitat, according to site plans.

The entire project will take anywhere from six to ten years, with the timespan largely dependent on the state of the economy, specifically inflation, Oddo says. “Lower interest rates are always going to be better for us,” he adds.

However, with the first two phases approved, Oddo hopes to break ground after this fall. 

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