The east portion of the former Kmart building at Bannister and I-435 will be demolished to make way for a Ball’s Price Chopper. Photo by Bill Rankin
Price Chopper proposed for Bannister & I-435
By John Sharp
A large new Ball’s Price Chopper with all the services and amenities shoppers expect at newer supermarkets is proposed to replace the eastern unoccupied portion of the former Kmart store on the southwest corner of Bannister & Hillcrest Roads.
The larger western portion of the former Kmart is occupied by CubeSmart Self Storage which includes 500 climate controlled storage units ranging in size from 5 feet by 5 feet to as large as 15 by 20 feet.
The eastern unoccupied portion of the former Kmart will be demolished to make way for construction of the new grocery store which will be larger, according to Keith Greengrove, a partner with Los Robles Capital Management, the developer for the project.
Assuming the project gets prompt city approval, Greengrove said demolition will probably start in July so the new approximately 50,000 square foot store can be ready to open next spring.
David Ball, owner of Ball’s Food Stores that operates 25 Price Chopper, Hen House and Sun Fresh stores in the metropolitan area, said the planned new store will be state of the art and will rival any grocery store in the metropolitan area.
“We’re giving the neighborhood the store they deserve,” Ball said.
He explained the new store will replace the much smaller Price Chopper his company operates at 9550 Blue Ridge Blvd. and will offer products and services the smaller store doesn’t offer such as a bakery with fresh-baked Tippin’s pies, cafe and pharmacy to provide one-stop shopping for more customers.
Ball said the new store will have a much larger produce section containing more organic products, with much of the produce purchased from over 150 family farms in the region. He said it also will have an expanded meat market which will continue to cut beef, pork and poultry fresh every day and an expanded seafood section and deli.
The third generation grocer said employees of the Blue Ridge store all will have the opportunity to transfer to the new store, and the company anticipates hiring over 50 new employees for the larger store.
Other groceries in the area operated by Ball’s Food Stores include the Price Choppers at 8430 Wornall Rd. and in Truman’s Marketplace in Grandview and the Sun Fresh in Red Bridge Shopping Center.
The KCMO City Plan Commission is scheduled to hear on Tuesday, May 5, the request to amend the approved development plan for the site to allow the construction of the new grocery. The approved plan called for the vacant portion of the former Kmart to be used for a sitdown restaurant, with two additional restaurant pad sites in the large parking lot.
Greengrove said discussions are currently underway with fast food operators for one of the pad sites.
Tax incentives will be requested for the project, and Jason Swords, owner of Sunflower Development Group, a consulting firm hired by the owner of the site (5615 E. Bannister Road Limited Liability Corporation) said tax increment financing and establishment of a community improvement district with the authority to levy a sales tax on onsite sales are being pursued. He said a blight study has been completed showing the site to be blighted and an independent financial analysis should be completed in a few weeks which will show whether such incentives are needed for the project to be economically feasible.