New $300 Million Project Proposed for the Former Great Mall Site

Life is finally returning to the land where the Great Mall of the Great Plains once stood in Olathe. Woodbury Corporation announced that it will propose to redevelop the site as a $300 million mixed-use property. With the name Mentum, this project would include the following:

  • 250,000 square-feet of entertainment, retail and restaurant space
  • 200,000 square feet of office space
  • 300 multi-family apartments
  • Two hotels
  • One multi-purpose arena

According to a statement from the company, specific businesses and plans for the development have not been finalized, but an interactive golf facility, a cinema complex and a fitness center are all entities being considered. Additionally, the arena that will be included in Mentum will boast 4,000 seats and serve as a home for the Kansas City Youth Hockey Association.

Tim Danneberg, a spokesman for the city of Olathe, said that while the project has not been approved yet, the city council is optimistic about the high number of people that will be using the facility, not just from Olathe, but from throughout the metro area and the region. “This is a regional destination, and that is certainly something that’s attractive to the council,” Danneberg said. “That means people are staying at hotels, shopping at our stores and dining at Olathe restaurants. There’s a domino effect of opportunity with a development like this.”

The next step in the development process of Mentum is to have a public hearing, then it will go before the planning commission, and then ultimately the council will approve a number of different agreements for it to move forward.

Although the community just witnessed a large development rejected further north by the Overland Park City Council, Danneberg says he doesn’t have the sense the Olathe City Council will find the same issues that the OP council did with its relevant redevelopment project. “There is enthusiasm about the possibility to redevelop the Great Mall site; it’s a priority,” Danneberg said. “But this council is also very aware of their role as financial stewards. As they get the chance to crunch the numbers and make sure this is a positive and meaningful project, that’s when it will or won’t move forward.”