1,500 New Jobs Forecast for Former Bannister Federal Complex
By John Sharp
Redevelopment of the site of the former Bannister Federal Complex as an industrial park should result in at least 1,500 new jobs coming to the area, and construction of the first industrial building there hopefully will begin in April, according to a spokesman for the company that has a contract pending to redevelop the site.
Brent Miles, chief marketing officer and founding partner of KCMO-based NorthPoint Development, said his company plans to invest approximately $135 million in developing about 2.5 million square feet of light manufacturing and warehouse and distribution facilities on the approximately 229-acre site. He said that doesn’t count the large amounts that will be invested by the firm’s clients in equipment and interior furnishings.
Miles told a January 28 meeting of the Center Planning & Development Council that current plans call for constructing seven “big box” industrial buildings with 1,730 parking spaces on the site on the north side of Bannister Rd. east of Troost, but that number could change depending on the needs of potential tenants.
He said it generally takes about five to six months to construct such industrial buildings which he said will be similar to the buildings it recently constructed at its nearly fully leased Three Trails Industrial Park on the south side of 87th St. east of 71 Highway.
“As soon as we finish one building we’ll go to the next,” Miles said.
He said his firm also plans to build an on-site education and learning center to prepare high school students and other area residents for the good paying jobs at the industrial park which will be called the Blue River Commerce Center.
Miles said his firm is also in talks with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority about providing bus service throughout the industrial park.
For redevelopment plans for the site to go forward, he said the city will need to rezone the site from manufacturing zoning to urban redevelopment zoning and approve the redevelopment plan for the site.
Consideration of the rezoning and development plan was scheduled for the City Plan Commission meeting on February 4, but the hearing has been postponed until March 3 at NorthPoint’s request which gives it more time to meet with the Center School District about tax incentives for the project and the education and learning center.
Miles said in an interview that NorthPoint is willing to provide the School District funding equal to what it has been receiving from the federal government to help offset its loss of property tax revenue since federal facilities are exempt from local property taxes.
Additionally, he said his company also is willing to provide the School District with fixed annual payments in lieu of property taxes for the first ten years after each new building is completed, higher fixed payments in lieu of property taxes for the next ten years after each building is completed and full property taxes beginning the 21st year after each building’s completion.
As soon as the city approves the rezoning and development plan, Miles said NorthPoint will close on its contract to purchase the western portion of the site where all contamination from prior uses already has been remediated by Bannister Transformation & Development (BT&D), the private firm that acquired the site from the federal government.
He noted that NorthPoint will close on purchasing the eastern portion of the site when the remediation of contamination is completed and most of the western portion has been redeveloped.
Miles said BT&D will retain ownership of the portion of the site at the northeast corner of Bannister Rd. & Troost outside the flood wall which he said is likely to be developed for retail and other commercial uses.