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South OP Gets Hip

Like the morning sun during daylight savings, the days when Kansas and Missouri were thought of as no more than wheat fields and cow pastures are disappearing. Though the tradition of Kansas City pride is longstanding with residents, it wasn’t until a few years ago that our beloved city and states finally started getting the recognition they deserve. Thanks to local legends like the Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Joe’s barbecue, the Crossroads Arts District and more, we are blowing up the middle of the map in a big way. And now that our metropolis is attracting so much attention, the suburbs are starting to feel the love too. 

For years, Town Center Plaza in northeast Johnson County was the primary destination in the area for retail, dining and entertainment. But, the Country Club Plaza and downtown KC were still a short 20-minute drive away and arguably boasted more unique venues and culture. Then in 2013, the Prairiefire development in Overland Park brought new, more diverse options to town, including an upscale bowling alley, a variety of restaurants, a cinema and even a museum. The area surrounding Prairiefire’s location was already pretty commercialized at the time, but this was a key step in popping the east central Johnson County bubble and pushing development to areas it had barely touched before. 

Fast-forward to 2017, and a massive new development by the name of BluHawk is taking shape. Located just off of 159th Street and US 69 Highway, it brings with it the promise of easily-accessible city life for residents of southern Johnson County and beyond. According to the development’s website, “Bluhawk boasts 1 million square feet of luxury, outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment.” Not to mention a brand new Shawnee Mission Health center complete with an Emergency unit, an expansive Cosentino’s Marketplace, a space museum and a multipurpose arena. 

The website states three primary reasons for the location of Bluhawk, which include easy highway access, proximity to the Blue Valley Unified School District, and the fact that it ranks as one of the highest demographic growth areas in the country. Bluhawk predicts a significant population increase in the immediately surrounding area over the next few years, presumably in part because the development will also include close to 200 single family homes and villas for those who wish to play and live in close proximity to the amenities the new development will offer. There is no information yet about what it will cost to be a resident of Bluhawk, but both the commercial and residential phases of the development will undoubtedly have a noticeable effect on surrounding property values.