How does this project advance the three pillars of sustainability — social equity, economic vitality and environmental stewardship? The Every Day Matters Park enrichens the employees’ lives through providing a space to work without the confines of cubicles and fluorescent lighting, as well as a place to share in events between co-workers, families, and
clients promoting healthy lives and relationships. The park is also an invested space for Netsmart to show its commitment to the local community and the stability and direction of the company. In terms of environmental stewardship, the park has positively addressed and solved the major drainage issues of the existing site as well as providing more green space as well as using much of the drainage to water much of the landscaped beds. Through these objectives, Rosehill was able to achieve the goal of providing a sustainable park even in the first phase of the park’s development.
Project Goals: Netsmart had a clear set of goals they intended to achieve through the creation of the park. The first was to provide a space to be used through all hours and needs the company or employees could consider. It should have intimate spaces where a sole person could work in the morning, have spatial flow for the cafeteria sliding doors to open up and flood into the plaza for the lunch hours, host a new employee orientation in the large amphitheater, and accommodate an elegant community wine and cheese 200 person event in the evening. The landscape and hardscape would accommodate and create the spaces, while concealing the many utilitarian needs of the building. It would also reflect the style of the company, and when visiting employees or clients came to the space, Netsmart’s stability and investment in their future would be reflected in the development.
Project Description: Through a collaborative effort, Rosehill Gardens and Netsmart worked together to create a space that could be used on a multitude of scales. A once difficult use parking lot that ensured drainage problems for the basement of the Netsmart office on a regular basis, was transformed into a plaza and park space that the employees could escape from their desks to work on the grassy terraces, hold small and large-sized meetings in multiple amphitheaters, and offer space to eat a sandwich for lunch in the sun or host a gathering of over 500 people for a family night bar-b-que event. Through Phase I of the project, we were able to address the impending drainage issues that have been plaguing the building for years as well as provide a safe ‘campus quad’ space for all hours and uses. As Netsmart grows as a company, the park will grow with them.
Community Benefits and Lessons Learned: The Netsmart headquarters resides in one of the Executive Hills office parks. They are surrounded by fellow companies and the infrastructure to support those companies. Netsmart has taken a leader role in illustrating the benefits of providing such a space through publicly showing their strong relationships with their employees, families, clients, and community and the importance of investing in relationships in and outside work hours. Netsmart is projected to grow exponentially, but it was important to lay the foundation for future growth while creating a space that accommodated the current needs. The City of Overland Park was also quite supportive through the submittal and planning commission process, while both Netsmart and the city were mindful of the impact of the development to the surrounding properties.
Funding Sources and Partnerships: The Every Day Matters Park was possible through a financial partnership by Executive Hills and Netsmart. As Executive Hills technically owns the property, Netsmart is the tenant. In an effort to make a strong commitment to where Netsmart is and where they are going, they were able to extend a long-term lease with Executive Hills while both parties were financially invested in the creation of the additional useable space for the company. Through Executive Hill’s support, Netsmart was able to work with Rosehill to create a space that truly fit the company and their needs without having property rights.