Wheatfield Village moves forward, clears a city planning hurdle

Posted July 17, 2017 09:34 pm – Updated July 17, 2017 09:41 pm

By

morgan.chilson@cjonline.com

The Wheatfield Village development moved ahead Monday evening when the Topeka Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve submitted plans for the 14.7-acre development.

Development owners Jim Klausman and Butch Eaton, who form 29 Fairlawn LLC, have been working since the initial concept was announced in 2015 to meet city and county planning requirements, including a year-long traffic impact study, said Jennifer Sourk, in-house counsel. The site is to be developed on the northwest corner of 29th Street and Fairlawn Road.

Robert Johnson, a real estate development and transactions attorney with Polsinelli, represented the mixed-use development at the Monday evening meeting and discussed the Planned Unit Development, or PUD, submitted to the city in March 2017.

Topeka Planning Department staff recommended acceptance of the PUD Master Plan, with a few changes, for what it called “re-development of a deteriorated commercial center.”

“The site, of course, is in poor condition as it’s not been developed or had any development on the site itself for probably 20 years plus,” Sourk said before the planning commission met.

Johnson confirmed that at Monday’s meeting.

“Obviously this is a site that has been in decline for some time,” he said. “Before Jim (Klausman) purchased the site, there was really a decades-long process of deterioration. A bowling alley, a movie theater, those are just foundations now. Really what’s there today is several one-story multi-tenant buildings that are mainly vacant. These buildings are not in good shape.”

The site will be completely leveled and building will start from scratch, contingent upon receiving all approvals from the city, Sourk said. Wheatfield is scheduled to be discussed on the Topeka City Council agenda…

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