Contingency issues addressed for Whole Foods site

Nathan Zoschke

Contingency issues are being addressed on a proposed mixed use development at 51st and Oak, which includes a Whole Foods and 150 market-rate apartments.

They include a driveway cut through the Trolley Track trail to add a Brookside Boulevard entrance and use of parking spaces belonging to neighboring Central United Methodist Church.

The driveway cut proved unpopular with local neighborhood associations, which feared increased traffic congestion and dangers for cyclists and pedestrians who use the trail.

Robert Simmons, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Administration, said there are negotiations underway between neighborhood groups and Whole Foods, which was confirmed as a tenant in July.

Central United Methodist confirmed it is in discussions about the parking situation.

The project involves a private partnership with developers DST and Van Tuyl Trust.

It would also include 7,000-14,000 square feet of office space.

Simmons said this would include the relocation of Student Health and Wellness and the Counseling Center from the 4825 Troost building.

“That has a big advantage of moving student health much closer to students who live on campus,” Simmons said. “It’s a more centralized setting.”

Simmons said despite several programs moving out from 4825 Troost, both 4747 and 4825 Troost are ¾ occupied.

“While there may have been a thought to empty them out at one time, they continue to be a very important space for us,” Simmons said. “There have been other needs and opportunities that have begun to fill the building.”

The loss of 60 metered parking spaces at the 51st and Oak site was anticipated in the planning of the Cherry Street Garage, Simmons said.

The dated 51st Street UMKC annex building would be demolished, and the Young Matron’s club house would be relocated to the southwest corner of the School of Education parking lot.

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