The second largest city in the Kansas City metro has a bright future. And it seems to be getting even brighter. People and businesses are moving into the area with a population increase of 25,000 projected in the next two years and future job growth of 43% over the next ten years. To support this growth, new developments like Bluhawk are enhancing an already enviable lifestyle. Bluhawk is a mixed-use development with immersive retail and dining, as well as plans for residences and the Bluhawk Sports Park. In a way, Bluhawk represents the kind of smart growth that’s fueling Overland Park’s economic path. According to Beth Johnson, Senior VP for Economic Development for the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Council, “Having a Bluhawk development that allows people to have amenities close to where they live, and not just in shopping and dining, but in education, recreation and healthcare, is what will help to make the southern part of our community grow.”
Johnson further explains that the foundation of Overland Park and of Johnson County’s success has been education and the business community. “As we continue to invest dollars from a community standpoint into education, into office developments, into quality of life, we see that continuing to propel our community into the future.” It’s this intersection of educated citizens and opportunity that’s at the core of Overland Park’s successful growth. As reported by Christine McGuigan for Silicon Prairie News in her article, iDentalSoft moves from Bay Area to Kansas City with new HQ, when iDentalSoft moved its headquarters to Overland Park, one of the biggest factors was employee retention. Scott Osler, Chief Growth Officer for iDentalSoft says that “I feel like startups that are in Kansas City are in a smaller pond and you can attract a lot of high-quality talent.”
Although the northeastern region is what Johnson calls the “economic engine for the state”, with growth projected at a “staggering rate”, that growth seems to be well-planned. The city is investing in infrastructure, like 159th street near Bluhawk, to accommodate future growth. One factor that adds to this kind of foresight may be the community itself.
City leaders hosted a large public gathering at the Overland Park Convention Center as part of the ForwardOP Imagine Tomorrow effort to gather input from the community. According to Lynn Horsley of the Kansas City Star in her online article, Overland Park’s future: Home to Tesla factory? Site of Olympics?, “most participants at the event said they want to build on what already makes Overland Park a great place to live: promoting world-class schools focused on science and technology training; growing strong neighborhoods and parks; and creating a more walkable, progressive, entertaining and culturally-rich environment.”
Price Brothers Property Management has a long-standing history for creating quality developments and giving back to the communities where they build. But this development is closer to home. The company has its roots in Kansas City, which drove them to build a property that would be a destination for both residents and visitors. The Bluhawk vision is one that was cultivated to grow Kansas City in an unprecedented way for the metro area. President Doug Price said that “some will call it home. Some will visit frequently. To all, it will offer an intersection of well-being, learning and playing – a next-generation destination designed for both today and tomorrow.”
Overland Park has a feeling of community that’s shared by citizens of every age, one that Bluhawk plans to nurture. Johnson says that “we talk about the things that the different generations want, but it’s not all that different. We all want safety, places to shop, places to relax, to gather, to see our neighbors and friends.” With the addition of this mixed-use community, Overland Park will continue to offer the surrounding community with new features to help bring people together; a place where everyone can learn, celebrate and thrive. It seems that Overland Park and Bluhawk will continue to flourish as long as it keeps giving people what they want. Which is exactly what it has planned.