This article has been reprinted from the KCPS Plug site:
Kansas City, April 19, 2018: Robeson Holding Co, LLC, a partnership between O’Reilly Development Company, LLC and South Waldo Community Investors has purchased the former Robeson School Site, 8201 Holmes Rd., from Kansas City Public Schools (KCPS). The development team plans to convert the 20-acre former school site and former Jewish Community Center, back into a recreation center, with athletic fields, indoor courts, 24-hour day-care, community theatre, retail shops, and community programming, as well as, senior rental housing.
A unique component of the project is the development team’s commitment to ensuring that the recreation center is accessible to the local community, especially youth and families that might typically be priced out of similar facilities and programs. The development team has entered into a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with two community groups: Marlborough Community Coalition and the Waldo Tower Neighborhood Association. As part of the CBA, the development team has committed to funding a community outreach coordinator and working with the community organizations to define recreational and community programming that will be offered to local residents.
“The goal of the KCPS Repurposing Initiative for our closed school sites is to ensure that those properties are developed with the long-term best outcome of the surrounding neighborhoods in mind,” said Melissa Robinson, KCPS Board of Directors Chair. “The plan for this site created by this development team is exactly what we wanted. This project is thoughtfully designed to reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the community members who live, work and play in that area. It’s commendable.”
Robeson Holding Co is currently in preliminary planning and in search of compatible retail tenants and programming partners. A term of the agreement with KCPS is that the development team will not pursue property tax incentives.
“To have the opportunity to develop a property that can be economically successful and still serve the community is a goal of this joint venture. We feel ‘alive’ with the new ideas of dove-tailing an active elderly community with all the excitement and activities of a community center which will lead to self- generating economic opportunities for not only the residents of the property but the participants of the programming activities themselves. This concept will allow visitors through-out the metropolitan area to join with the neighborhood residents around a celebration of culture, education, entertainment and community centered on athletics and the arts,” said Sean Pickett of South Waldo Community Investors, LLC.
O’Reilly Development Company, LLC, based in Springfield, Mo., is a real estate development firm specializing in historic preservation, senior housing, affordable multifamily and student housing communities. Founded in January 2013, partners Patrick E. O’Reilly and Denise K. Heintz bring over 30 years of combined experience in the housing development industry including real estate investment, full development management and commercial construction. The O’Reilly team of experts branch into all areas of development, management, construction and ownership with properties built in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. More information is available at www.OReillyDevelopment.com.
South Waldo Community Investors, LLC, based in Kansas City, was started in 2014 for the purpose of finding and developing a community based sports and retail facility to serve the middle Kansas City metropolitan communities and re-establish a viable city resource for neighborhood citizens to live, play, learn and exchange culture. They are proud to be partnering with such forward thinking developers as O’Reilly Development Company, LLC.
Since the beginning of the Repurposing Initiative process, KCPS has sold/leased 18 former school sites, and has three additional school sites under contract/MOU agreement.