COVER PHOTO: The administration building, the next to last building to be demolished at the former Bannister Federal Complex, began to come down May 6 during a luncheon ceremony at the site marking the fast approaching completion of all building demolition at the site.

Demolition of Bannister Federal Complex ahead of schedule

By John Sharp

Photos by Bill Rankin

Demolition of all the buildings at the former Bannister Federal Complex is now nearly complete and grading to prepare the west side of the 227-acre site for redevelopment has already started.

The first parcel of land which is large enough to accommodate a 240,000 square foot building should be available for redevelopment by fall, said Kevin Breslin, a principal owner of Bannister Transformation & Development (BT&D), the private company that now owns the site and intends to redevelop the vast majority of it as an industrial park.

Speaking at a May 6 luncheon ceremony at the site attended by hundreds of people who watched exterior demolition of the administration building at the Complex taking place, Breslin said his company “hopes to be out of the ground with new construction very, very soon.”

Kevin Breslin, principal owner of Bannister Transformation & Development, speaks before a crowd at the March 6 luncheon.

With the large administration building now demolished, Breslin said there is only one building still standing that has been used for equipment storage during demolition, and it should be demolished by mid-June.  He said removal of contaminated soil that is being taken to licensed landfills should be completed this summer, a year ahead of schedule.

By fall, he said, all slabs that buildings were on will be gone, and all underground utilities also will have been removed.

Breslin said by preparing the west half of the site  where there was very little contamination for redevelopment while work continues to remove and replace contaminated soil on the east side, redevelopment of the site can begin about three years sooner than originally anticipated.

Soil on large parts of the site was contaminated by fuel, PCBs and solvents dating back to when the site was used to manufacture aircraft engines during World War II.

Much of the complex was later used to manufacture non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons for the National Nuclear Security Administration.  The interior of manufacturing areas was contaminated with beryllium in addition to the asbestos and lead-based paint common throughout the facility.

Demolition of all the buildings at the former Bannister Federal Complex is now nearly complete.

BT&D officials repeatedly have said they believe the industrial park planned for the site will be an ideal location for light industrial use and for warehouse and distribution facilities, particularly since the rail spur that once served the site was recently reopened to remove demolition debris and contaminated soil.

Jason Klumb, an attorney representing BT&D, said last month at a joint luncheon of the Grandview and South Kansas City Chambers of Commerce that the site should be able to accommodate about 2.5 million square feet of buildings in the planned industrial park which would employ about 1,000 workers.

Company officials have said some retail development on the site on the east side of Troost outside the flood wall also is anticipated.

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