Old Town Study

Project News

We send periodic updates about efforts
underway to revitalize Old Town Lenexa.


Financial assistance options for Old Town
property owners in the study area.
Neighborhood Revitalization District

Planned Historic Business District Regulations

Zoning & Future Land Use Map

Contact Staff

Magi Tilton
Planning and Development Services Manager

Old Town is the original town site of Lenexa and was founded in 1869 by Octave Chanute, a civil engineer who purchased 41.5 acres near the railroad from Charles A. Bradshaw. This area features traditional mixed-use development and includes businesses, homes and churches. The historic business district still stands at Pflumm Road and Santa Fe Trail Drive. A rail line owned by BNSF Railway runs through Old Town. It played a part in the growth of Lenexa and continues to influence land use in the area. Over time, new growth has pushed the city limits of Lenexa farther west and Old Town has lost some of its polish of yesteryear.

A new look at Old Town

In 2015, Lenexa received a grant to work on an action plan that highlights redevelopment opportunities in Old Town while building on the area's history and character. The project was funded through $41,000 from the Mid-America Regional Council's Planning Sustainable Places program, as well as a city match of $20,500.

Project goals included:
  • District Appearance – Enhance the district’s identity and sense of place by establishing meaningful district boundaries, updated design guidelines, and improved gateways from the 95th Street corridor.
  • Connectivity – Improve connectivity throughout the district and surrounding neighborhoods with enhanced pedestrian amenities, improved railroad crossings, integrated bicycle facilities, and interpretive features to reflect the area’s unique history.
  • Destination/Events – Strengthen and expand the district’s role as a destination for community festivals and events through public-private partnerships, improved district branding, and coordinated promotions.
An Advisory Committee made up of property owners, residents, business representatives, Lenexa Planning Commission members and city staff provided input as part of the public participation process.

Final recommendations

The Lenexa City Council accepted the "A New Look at Old Town" final plan in July 2016. Ultimately, it will provide direction for future enhancement in the area. The document includes a site concept for Old Town and a list of recommendations that involve private property owners, merchants and the city. Each of these partners has a role to play in ensuring the area’s future success. There is no funding currently identified to help implement the plan.

A New Look at Old Town Lenexa Final Plan (pdf)


1Establish a merchants' and property owners' organization to serve as an organizing and communication toolAppearance, Destination/Events Short TermBusiness & property owners
2Improve rear parting lot to the north of the shopsAppearance, Connectivity, Destination/Events Short Term City
3Consider the relocation of Santa Fe Trail Drive during a major roadway or parking lot repair in the areaAppearance, Connectivity, Destination/Events Long Term City
4Use updated Design Guidelines to improve the rear facades of retail stores Appearance Short Term Property owners
5Include businesses west of Pflumm Road and south of railroad in merchants' organizationAppearance, Connectivity, Destination/Events Short Term Business owners
6Undertake a branding study to develop a logo or brand for the district and install signage at key gateway locations to guide people to Old TownAppearance, Destination/Events Short Term Partnership*
7Create flexible park space at current Senior Center locationAppearance, Destination/Events Long Term City
8Explore the establishment of a Quiet Zone with the BNSF RailwayConnectivity, Destination/Events Long Term City
9Establish citywide approach for bicycle, pedestrian and transit accommodationsAppearance, Connectivity, Destination/Events Long Term City

Short Term = less than five years; Long Term = more than five years

*Partnership with city and/or other entities (e.g., business owners, railroad)

Progress update

Not all of the recommendations can be carried out immediately, and many of them relate to private property matters. The City of Lenexa is currently making progress on several items:
  • Researching information about creating an Old Town merchants'/property owners' association that could serve as an organizing and communication tool.
    • Results will be shared with merchants and property owners so they can consider whether to move forward with establishing an association.
  • Updating the design guidelines for Old Town so they blend new ideas and current construction methods with the area's historic character. (Design guidelines provide direction on appropriate improvements, additions, or changes to properties within Old Town.)
  • Exploring a railroad Quiet Zone in Old Town, given the challenges of intersection geometry, proximity to the rail line, as well as costs for construction and ongoing maintenance.