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Commercial development coming south of Platte City
D Hwy. and Running Horse will be site
by Kim Fickett
Landmark reporter

The spurt of residential growth south of Platte City in the past few years is now sparking an initial flame in commercial development in that area.

Phoenix Real Estate Investment, LLC, has submitted preliminary plans for what will be known as the Fox Hill Center at the intersection of D Hwy and Running Horse Road, to the Platte County Planning and Zoning Department.

The proposed center would sit on approximately 25 acres and would be spread out in over six phases of development.

According to developer Steve Hon, the first phase would consist of 11,000 square feet of retail space, one pad site featuring a branch of Wells Bank and another pad site still available for development.

“I was approached by Wells Bank,” said Hon. “They were wanting a location for the bank south of town and so we put this together around them.”

According to Phoenix Real Estate Investment’s web site, “Fox Hill Center will tentatively consist of two multi-tenant buildings of approximately 15,000 square feet each, two multi-tenant buildings of approximately 11,000 square feet and one single or multi-tenant anchor space consisting of approximately 45,000 square feet along with six pads.”

Hon said, “We’re holding out for a grocery store (45,000 square foot building) or divide it up into three 15,000 square foot spaces.”

Fox Hill Center’s sixth and final phase will consist of a three-story office building with approximately 24,000 square feet.

According to Hon, the development will resemble a “small strip center," that will hope to attract such businesses as small restaurants and clothing retailers.

The need for such businesses at the area south of Platte City is based on that location's continued growth, according to Hon.

“I think the houses and rooftops are coming,” Hon said. He pointed to the fact that Seven Bridges is under construction 1.5 miles from the proposed site, as well as 400 two-plex units and 300 homes in the Running Horse Subdivision.

“We wanted to base (this development) on the measured growth rate, so we don’t get ahead of ourselves,” stated Hon. “We’re trying to grow with the residential growth around us.”

According to a report from the planning and zoning office for residential development within the Prairie Creek Watershed in unincorporated Platte County, there will be a total of 2,911 homes constructed in that area at full build-out.

Existing subdivisions that would be serviced by the Fox Hill Center are: Lakes at Oakmont, Hills of Oakmont, Estates at Lakes at Oakmont, New Bedford Falls, Summit Way, Timber Park Meadows, Misty Springs, Prairie Creek Acres, Timber Park, Oak Creek, Brookfield, Running Horse Subdivision, Fox Creek and Seven Bridges.

Hon anticipates, with the county and planning and zoning commission’s approval, the development would break ground around the first of March 2006. Phase six of the proposal could “easily be seven years down the road.”

According to Assistant Director of Planning and Zoning Daniel Erickson, the proposal involves the 25.37 acres of land at the intersection of D Hwy and Running Horse Road.

Erickson stated the land, which is zoned planned industrial, conforms with the county’s land use plan.

“The land use plan calls for commercial development at the intersection of Running Horse Road and Hwy D, as shown in the Prairie Creek Focus Plan,” said Erickson.

“It (the area) has the potential for commercial retail type growth in that area. Its proximity to the interstate and the surrounding residential uses makes it attractive to developers and the land use plan calls for that area to be developed in a commercial manner.”

The preliminary design for the Fox Hill Center will be presented to the planning and zoning commission on Nov. 8 and is currently being reviewed by the planning and zoning department staff.

The firms of Norton & Schmidt Consulting Engineers and Brian Clark and Associates will serve as engineers and land planners for the development, with the firm of Herman A. Scharhag Architects serving as the design team.

“The objective of this project is to build a quality center that will serve the needs of the surrounding community and be an asset to the area for many years,” stated Phoenix’s website.

Opening of the Fox Hill Center is planned for Spring 2007.

Hon stated that while some developers are considering a TIF as an option to finance a development inside Platte City, he does not believe that is what is needed for his development.

“I talked to an attorney about a year ago and he told me that basically if you’re going to ask for a TIF (tax increment financing), you better off not approaching it by asking the school district for money because that doesn’t seem to be a very popular idea in the State of Missouri,” said Hon. “I didn’t think it was real advantageous to approach that issue (use of a TIF for the development).”



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