Overland Park is a growing, thriving city in the Kansas City metropolitan area. With a population of approximately 190,000, Overland Park is the second largest city in the state. The community is a frequent recipient of accolades for its quality of life. For example, CNNMoney.com has repeatedly ranked it among the top 10 “Best Places to Live in the United States.” 24/7 Wall Street ranked it #15 on its list of "America's 50 Best Cities to Live.” Finally, U.S. News & World Report ranked Overland park as one of "America's 10 Best Places to Grow Up".
In 1905, William Strang started to develop housing on a 600-acre parcel situated along a military thoroughfare where today’s downtown is located. He had a knack for promoting his development. For example, Strang brought the Wright brothers out to Overland Park on Christmas Eve, 1909, for an aerial exhibition. Indeed, it became the very first airplane flight west of the Mississippi River. Eventually, the development became part of the Mission Urban Township. When the city was incorporated in 1960, just 28,085 called Overland Park home. Since then, the population has grown by more than 600 percent.
Parks and Recreation
The 300-acre Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens provides a great escape for residents seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The city also offers its residents and visitors six dozen parks which offer hiking, biking, tennis, basketball, golf, sand volleyball and more.
The Scheels Overland Park Soccer Complex is one of the country’s best soccer facilities. The sprawling 96-acre complex features 12 regulation-size synthetic turf fields. They are distinctive for two reasons. First, they are lighted for night play. Second, they feature a sophisticated cooling system that lowers turf temperatures on warm summer days.
Overland Park residents enjoy easy access to of the most popular public golf courses in the entire metropolitan area: St. Andrews Golf Club and the Sykes Lady Golf Club. In 2015, Top Golf opened one of its complexes in the city. The 65,000 sq-ft driving range is complemented by an entertainment complex opened in Overland Park.
Activities and Attractions The historic downtown area is home to a popular farmers’ market and the Strang Carriage House in Santa Fe Commons Park. It is still possible to view remnants of the interurban railroad which William Strang built a century ago.
Shoppers will find excellent variety at the nearly 200 retail outlets in the Oak Park Mall. Well-known anchor stores, specialty boutiques and retail shops offer an opportunity for a fun day of shopping.
From April 1 to October 31, people from throughout the metro area and beyond visit the 12-acre Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead. In 2008, Nickelodeon named it as a top attraction in the Kansas City area. Visitors enjoy taking hayrides, going fishing in the pond and touring the one-room schoolhouse. The farmstead also features approximately 200 animals.
When adventure seekers want a memorable indoor experience when the weather is less than inviting, they can head to an indoor skydiving center called Ifly. A powerful vertical wind tunnel does a great job of simulating free falls.
Arts and Culture
Those who appreciate the arts and culture do not have to venture far from home. The campus of Johnson County Community College is home to the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. The city proudly displays “Shim Sham Shimmy,” a David Stromeyer sculpture of arching blue steel plates which arch toward the sky above. It is an especially inspiring sight at night when artificial lighting adds drama to the artistic work. The city is also home to Overland Park Convention Center, which hosts numerous events of interest to residents.
One of the community’s most anticipated annual events is the Overland Park Fall Festival. It starts with a traditional parade that winds its way through the historic downtown. Attendees sip tasty drinks as they sample the offerings of the many food vendors. Music fills the air from multiple stages as visitors browse the creations displayed at the arts and crafts fair. Vehicles from yesteryear grace the classic car show. Many head home with fresh produce from the farmer’s market. Children enjoy special entertainment and face painting.
The Greater Kansas City Japan Festival is a popular event held every year on the campus of Johnson County Community College. More than 4,000 visitors have the opportunity to immerse themselves in Japan’s cuisine and culture.
Jazz in the Woods is a free event which raises funds for Kansas City area children’s charities.The mid-June music festival is staged at the Corporate Woods Business Park. The event includes 5k and 10k runs along with a weekend of live jazz.
Overland Park Real Estate
Those relocating to the Kansas City area will find that Overland Park’s century of growth offers everything from classic Victorian homes to modern residences with all the amenities. Many find Overland park to be a community which combines a convenient location with quality housing. Housing Wire recognized this in 2014 when it ranked the city #3 on its list of the best housing markets for families.
You’ll find homes for almost any budget, including modestly priced, well maintained ranches and Cape Cods with updated systems and spacious lots. Some condominium homes are also available. Newer, energy-efficient construction includes all-brick models with multi-car garages. Some have gourmet kitchens, home theaters, decks and pools.
I’d welcome the opportunity to further introduce you to Overland Park’s attractive amenities and quality residential real estate. I’m confident you’ll find that there are many reasons to seriously consider this vibrant Kansas community. Please call or contact me via email today!