Developer begins demolition of former Kmart site in Merriam

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 6:34 PM CST
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MERRIAM, Kan. (KCTV) - After sitting vacant for more than a decade, a former Kmart at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Antioch Road is about to come down.

Drake Development, a local company, purchased the site with plans to construct 360 apartments and at least two dining establishments. The renderings also show a public green space and amenities for bikes and pedestrians.

On Monday, Drake Development formally broke ground on the project.

Bob Pape, the mayor of Merriam, said the site has long been a frustration for residents.

“That’s the number one question we get,” Pape said. “It’s going to transform the whole corner from what it was into something everyone wants to see when it’s all built.”

Kmart abandoned the site more than 10 years ago. Previous attempts to develop it, such as a potential Menards site in 2017, stalled out.

Bob Twineham, who lives across the street from the abandoned lot, said he will be glad to see it come down.

“It’s going to be something nice to see and, frankly, a big advantage on this side of Antioch,” he said.

A spokesperson for Drake Development told KCTV5 that the company intends to complete the demolition of the site by the end of 2022, and that the final project should be done by the end of 2026.