Centers provide places for residents to shop, work and gather. For Olathe, a hierarchy of centers focuses commercial activity, reinforces the transit network and promotes the development of distinct neighborhoods and Districts within the community. Centers are served by a highly connected street network, transit connections and greenways, and are reinforced by locating a large portion of residents within walking distance of each. Centers are also spaced with consideration to trade area and population served.

  Neighborhood Commercial Centers

Neighborhood Commercial Centers are an intrinsic part of neighborhoods that help provide needed services, recreation opportunities, and community gathering spaces. Typically between 50,000-200,000 square feet in size, these centers offer an array of goods and services geared toward the convenience needs of immediately surrounding residents that are within a 5-minute drive or a 5 to 10-minute walk.  These Centers are sometimes anchored by a small grocery store, specialty market or pharmacy.  Other supporting uses fit the size, scale and intensity of the neighborhood setting and may include small offices, restaurants, hair salons, dry cleaning, video stores, or other convenience-oriented retail and services. Some type of civic use is often present, such as a neighborhood park, plaza, square or green.  By providing a focal point for local activity, a Neighborhood Commercial Center helps define the neighborhood as a specific place. Because Neighborhood Commercial Centers are smaller in scale and typically located near residential neighborhoods, they are particularly suited to a pedestrian friendly design and character.


  Community Commercial Centers

Community Commercial Centers frequently have a similar mix of tenants as Neighborhood Commercial Centers, but are larger in size. Typically, these Centers are 250,000 to 350,000 square feet in floor area and often include a full-service supermarket as an anchor tenant.  Since the Community Commercial Center draws from multiple neighborhoods, they may also include larger-scale tenants, including building hardware, apparel, booksellers, larger restaurants and sporting goods. These centers tend to be more pedestrian-scale than regional centers, and are typically located along transit or intersections of prominent streets.  Adjacent uses would include denser residential uses and mixed-use buildings that serve as a transition to adjoining residential neighborhoods.  Where possible, on-street parking should supplement surface parking to maximize land available for commercial and residential uses.  Multi-story buildings are also be encouraged.



  Regional Commercial Centers

The Future Land Use Plan outlines one large Regional Commercial Center. These Centers provide for commercial development offering a diversity of retail, service, entertainment, office, finance and related business uses to serve the needs of community residents and the larger region. Total building floor areas typically exceed 900,000 square feet and can be as much as 2 million square feet. Uses are generally less dependent on adjacent commercial uses for spin-off business. These Centers are intended to be the City’s most intensive commercial areas with establishments that have a large customer draw.  Consequently, they are situated with access to highways or major thoroughfares. The existing 119th Street Regional Commercial Center will continue to provide the location for larger format retail stores that require proximity to major highways and cannot be supported in the mixed use format of the Urban Center/Downtown.  However, this Center does provide an opportunity to diversify with adjacent and integrated multi-family and office uses, new transit service and amenities such as plazas and parks. 



  Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Centers

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Centers are places of relatively higher intensity uses including a mixture of residential, employment, shopping and civic uses, located within an easy walk of a bus stop or transit center. Olathe will have two TOD Centers: one west of I-35 and south of 119th Street, and another west of K-7, extending from K10 to 2 miles south of 119th Street. In combination with existing office and other employment-generating uses, new residential units and small-scale retail within these TOD centers will support the development of a live/work environment. These mixed-use areas can create walkable environments, which may contribute new housing opportunities of a product type that is currently underserved in the community. It is important to stress that transit-oriented development is an approach rather than a pre-determined program of development, the object of which is to create pedestrian-friendly activity zones near transit stations. The resulting densities around transit hubs can and will vary to reflect the needs and form of surrounding areas. However, the TOD Center emphasizes land use densities that are sufficient to support transit, maximizing the number of residents and employees within a convenient walk of transit facilities. Multistory office and residential buildings and mixed use retail development are encouraged in TOD Centers.

  Urban Center / Downtown

Olathe will have one centralized Urban Center/Downtown area, serving as a primary business, government, and commercial hub and also a place for art, community spaces, and cultural exhibits.  At the core of the urban center will be a revitalized historic downtown.  Beyond the downtown area, the urban center will include the redevelopment of the Great Mall of the Great Plains and the surrounding area.  This expanded Urban Center will provide the necessary households and supporting employment needed to make the Urban Center successful.  The Urban Center will include new entertainment options, restaurants, offices, retail, civic and cultural amenities and connections to local and regional transit options.