By Kathy Feist
For the past 40 years the acreage at 135th and State Line Road in Leawood has been farmed for a variety of crops. But over time, urban sprawl has taken over, encircling the island of dust. Formerly a small airport, the property was purchased by developer Victor Regnier in the 1980s as part of a 600-acre investment opportunity for future development. That opportunity has finally arrived.
On March 6th the Leawood City Council approved final plans in a vote 4-3 giving the go-ahead for the first two phases of East Leawood Village, formerly known as Cameron’s Court. The 114-acre massive development will include 652 apartments, 24 twin villas (duplexes), 75 brownstones, 40 work/live condos, 35 single family homes, 100-unit assisted living center and retail and office space. It will become the second largest development in the city of Leawood.
Because of its enormity, it has also received enormous attention from the developer’s planners, the city planners, and surrounding neighborhood residents.
“This is the 12th reiteration in 3-½ years,” says a beleaguered Rick Oddo, President of Oddo Development which will develop the property.
Despite the number of times Oddo was sent back to the drawing board with his plans, he says he is pleased with the process. “I’m happy to work with city staff and the city council to get something that benefits the city,” he says. “This brings a needed housing option to Leawood.”
In total, East Leawood Village will consist of 843 high-end luxury homes and apartments, 100,000 square feet of retail space and 250,000 square feet of office space. About 40 percent of the property is devoted to green space, including nine parks.
Oddo says he plans to start pushing dirt as soon as he gets permits in place, most likely by fall.
The two phases will include 409 dwelling units on 56 acres south of 133rd Street in the middle of the development.
The first phase will include 35 single family homes and 12 twin villas (24 units). Oddo expects building construction to begin in March 2024.
Phase two will include the 26-small apartment buildings and two brownstones.
Four more phases of construction will follow, including the retail and office mixed use development on the east end along State Line Road.
The first two phases are expected to take over two years to construct.
Due to overburdened traffic concerns by surrounding neighborhood associations, Oddo Development will be responsible for half of traffic calming costs specifically at 132nd and High Dr.
And as for the cropland along State Line? “We will put in crops this year,” says Oddo. “And hope to start construction after harvest.”.