Building Construction for the 180 Acre Sports Complex, Paragon Star, Master-Planned and Designed by Finkle + Williams, is Finally Underway.
January 27, 2023
*Article is by Thomas Friestad - Staff Writer for the Kansas City Business Journal*
"A $250 million Lee's Summit mixed-use that dates back more than a decade is scheduled to open its focal sports complex in the spring, with more construction and city approvals waiting in the wings.
For some time, the team behind the Paragon Star has invested in mass grading, roads and underground utilities at the 190-acre project site, which straddles Lee's Summit's border with Kansas City northeast of Interstate 470 and View High Drive. Much of the progress so far has not been visible to passersby.
"Most people driving by, they're like, 'Are you guys doing anything over there?' And we're like, 'Yeah, but that $30 million worth of infrastructure is in the ground and you're now able to see it,'" said Bill Brown, president of Spectrum Strategies LLC, who is spearheading Paragon Star with master developer Phillip "Flip" Short.
But more recently, project activity has amped up and is poised for more momentum through the year. For starters, Paragon Star anticipates completing remaining infrastructure for its sports complex in time to open the 10 multisport artificial turf fields in mid- to late April. Anchoring the sports complex will be Kansas City Scott Gallagher, which last month announced plans to use Paragon Star as its home venue as it competes in the 2023 Women’s Premier Soccer League season.
Separately, the developers in January broke ground on Paragon Star's first mixed-use building south of Paragon Parkway — a 70,000-square-foot, two-story structure split between second-floor Class A offices, and ground-floor retail and restaurant space. The building is scheduled for completion in late 2023 or early 2024 as the northern anchor for the development's Village at Paragon Star, which is planned with a mix of projects around an open-air plaza.
Brown said an initial tenant for the retail space could be announced in the near future. His team has ordered a video screen for the plaza, so patrons can view sporting games and other events from the restaurants' outdoor patios. Crossroads Real Estate Group will serve as broker for Paragon Star's retail, restaurant, and entertainment offerings, while Kessinger/Hunter & Co. LC will represent the development's office spaces.
"The fact that you can now see the fields from View High, and the artificial turf there, and now you're beginning to see the first building coming out of the ground, it's beginning to spark interest," Brown said.
Other early projects anticipated within the Village are an approximately 380-unit apartment complex and a hotel, both in partnership with other developers. Brown said the Paragon Star builders aspire to time construction of Paragon Star's plaza and surrounding elements so the different pieces can better complement each other.
"The restaurants are all going to need that plaza space developed to be able to use it appropriately," he said. "It's really more of an art than a science in today's environment, getting that (the projects) all lined up so that you're moving in tandem and you've got your development timelines all orchestrated so it flows nicely."
Master plans for Paragon Star have included 375 to 400 apartments; about 200 hotel rooms, potentially in a dual-flagged hotel under one corporate brand; 90,000 square feet of medical and Class A office space; and 90,000 square feet of entertainment, restaurant and specialty boutique retail space.
The developers also are working on plans for a future recreation zone north of the sports complex, plans for which have included pickleball and sand volleyball courts; a ropes course; climbing wall; dog park; and a trailhead serving the Little Blue Trace and Rock Island Corridor trails. Paragon Star sits within a broader 309-acre tax increment financing district, and its developers could seek city approval of TIF bonds to reimburse project costs later this spring."
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