New Feature Park Development Consideration

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Karbank Preliminary Site Plan


Over the last several years, Westwood has undertaken significant work in planning for the future of our City.  Much of this work is reflected in the following studies:

Following the 2022 City Facilities Assessment and Feasibility Analysis, the City also conducted resident surveys and held an open house, soliciting and obtaining very good feedback from our residents on options the City might consider that would allow Westwood to acquire the former Westwood View Elementary site, develop a feature park for our community, and also pursue development that can enable the City to continue to provide the services and amenities our residents expect.

As mentioned in many official City communications, the City has generated great interest from the development community on possible partnerships.  While these have primarily revolved around the current City Hall site, City officials have received one proposal that could provide a pathway for the City to acquire the former Westwood View site, develop it as a feature park and green space for our community, and also utilize our frontage on Rainbow for a supporting development.  Karbank Real Estate Company requested to present its proposal to the community and was granted by the Mayor the opportunity to do so at the March 9, 2023 City Council meeting. (A link to the proposal presented at the meeting is available via this link.

At this time, there is no fixed development agreement in place, and the City Council has not be asked to approve any plans or to make any commitments to Karbank’s proposal outside of a “funding and exclusivity agreement” that establishes a general timeline for considering plans, allowing for due diligence by both the City and Karbank, and requiring that Karbank deposit funds with the City to pay for the City’s costs in working with financial consultants and other specialists to evaluate Karbank’s proposal.  Although the details of the proposal have not been fine-tuned, the broad outline of Karbank’s proposal includes the following:

  • Karbank would acquire the former Westwood View site at its cost, demolish the old school at its cost, and convey a large majority of the property to the City, with the understanding that it be dedicated for park and green space purposes.
  • In exchange, the City would convey the site of the current Dennis Park and the former Westwood Christian church site (5050 Rainbow) to Karbank, and Karbank would also pay off the City’s debt on 5050 Rainbow.  On these sites, Karbank intends to construct a mixed-use development consisting primarily of office space, with a few residential units and limited retail, with underground parking and separate outside restroom facilities that would serve the new park.  The proposal would not be for an apartment complex.
  • The City may pursue a tax increment financing (TIF) district related to the park and redevelopment projects; however, the TIF would be structured as a “public benefit TIF” such that TIF proceeds would not be used to reimburse Karbank’s private development costs, but would instead be directed to infrastructure, public improvements, and to the City for use in developing and programming the new City park.  Per state law, the School District’s state levy and capital outlay levies would not be impacted.

The funding agreement, ultimately approved by the City Council on March 9, 2023, allows the City and Karbank to further define these arrangements and consider plans, but does not commit the City to actually approving any development. (The funding and exclusivity agreement approved by the City Council can be accessed via this link to the meeting packet.

The Karbank group is an established brand in our area with its office, restaurant, and retail development in our neighboring city, Mission Woods (located at State Line and Shawnee Mission Parkway).  The 1900 Building, as an example, has hosted events for the Westwood View Educational Enhancement Fund, and is home to the Restaurant at 1900.  Further information on Karbank can be found at