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The Rundown – Commission approves South Kansas development

Post Date:05/21/2019 5:38 PM

The Rundown is prepared by the City of Newton Public Information Office to summarize the City Commission meeting and does not represent official Commission minutes.

4 p.m. May 21, 2019, Newton City Commission meeting

At a special meeting Tuesday afternoon, the City Commission approved a development agreement with Occidental Management for a commercial development on South Kansas Avenue.

Occidental and the City have been in negotiations over development of the 76.6-acre tract since 2013. The development will be phased and will consist of general commercial along South Kansas, potentially followed by single- or multi-family residential along the north side of the parcel and professional offices along the south side.

The agreement covers the first phase of development, a strip of small-lot commercial development fronting South Kansas. It includes the following commitments by the City:

  • Extend a water main along South Kansas. Estimated cost: $179,500.
  • Purchase street right-of-way at $4 per square foot for the southern street. Estimated cost: $115,000
  • Construct 300 feet of the southern street, Quail Creek Avenue, west of South Kansas and improve the intersection as an unlit, two-way stop on Quail Creek Avenue with a single left-turn lane and shared through/right-turn lane. Estimated cost: $315,650
  • Purchase street right-of-way at $4 per square foot for the northern street. Estimated cost: $98,800
  • Construct 300 feet of the northern street, Wheatridge Drive, west of South Kansas. Estimated cost: $380,100
  • Re-align Wheatridge Drive east of South Kansas Avenue to prepare for a lighted intersection. Estimated cost: $845,200
  • Install traffic improvements on South Kansas, including a traffic signal at Wheatridge. Estimated cost: $254,800
  • Install a center median on South Kansas to prevent straight-through traffic at Windward Drive, with the intersection of Windward Drive to then become right-in, right-out only.
  • Waive up to $25,000 in City fees, including zoning, platting, permitting, inspection, etc.

The first phase is expected to generate about $117,000 per year in property tax revenue for the City when fully developed.

The agreement also includes “trigger events” for future phases of development, for which the City would acquire from Occidental additional rights-of-way and construct additional public improvements. The agreement contains City cost-benefit thresholds that must be met by any such trigger events, plus the City’s obligation to proceed only if the City Commission at that time appropriates sufficient funds.

As future development takes place, and due to the findings of a recent traffic study, the City will need to consider whether to also extend Wheatridge Drive to the west to intersect with Paddington, at an estimated cost of $1.57 million.

Occidental’s staff has been in contact with City staff to begin the platting process. The plat is expected to come before the Planning Commission this fall.

For more information, please contact Director of Communications Erin McDaniel at 284-6055 or emcdaniel@newtonkansas.com.

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