“Our job is to clean the place up, once and for all.”
That’s how Kevin Breslin, a principal owner of Bannister Transformation & Development (BT&D), described his company’s plans to clean up contamination at the vacant Bannister Federal Complex when speaking to the South Kansas City Alliance (SKCA) on January 8.
“We’re confident we can do it in a protective way, both for the workers and the community,” Breslin said.
Breslin’s firm acquired the property from the federal government on November 15 and already has begun preliminary building demolition work on the approximately 225-acre site. He has said his firm is receiving about $211 million and title to the land from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) for doing the demolition and clean up.
BT&D plans to redevelop most of the site as an industrial park with warehouse/distribution and light manufacturing facilities, but also plans to include a much smaller amount of commercial and retail uses on the east side of Troost outside the flood wall.
Breslin told the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce December 14 meeting that redevelopment of the site should result in about two million square feet of new buildings expected to generate 1,100 to 1,300 permanent jobs. He said then that the site should be ready for construction to start by August 2021.
He told the SKCA that his firm plans to raise the site as high as ten feet in some places to take it out of the flood plain after demolition and clean up are completed prior to redevelopment.
Breslin said demolition and clean up should generate about 400 to 500 new jobs. He said demolition of the main manufacturing building will probably start by fall and demolition of all the buildings on the site will take about 22 months. After that, he said, excavation and off-site disposal via rail of contaminated soil in landfills licensed to accept such material can be completed.
The complex was originally used to manufacture aircraft engines during World War II, and much of it was later used to manufacture the non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons for the NNSA. The interior of manufacturing areas are contaminated by asbestos, beryllium, lead-based paint and PCBs, and soil and groundwater are contaminated by fuel, PCBs and solvents dating back to when the site was used to manufacture aircraft engines.