Plans for the Blue River Commerce Center will generate 1500 jobs. Rendering from North Point Development.
Plans for Bannister Federal Complex approved by city
By John Sharp
Quickly following the KCMO City Council’s approval without dissent on August 13 of the rezoning and a redevelopment plan for 228 acres covering the vast majority of the former Bannister Federal Complex site on the north side of Bannister Rd. just east of Troost, the firm redeveloping the site as an industrial park has announced construction of the first building on the site should start within weeks.
Brent Miles, founding partner of Riverside-based NorthPoint Development, the master developer of the site, said the first of seven buildings planned for the site to primarily house light manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities will be on the westernmost portion of the site near Troost and contain about 244,000 square feet of space.
Miles said he hopes the building will be ready for occupancy by March, and he expects it to be fully leased almost immediately. Altogether, he said, the industrial park named the Blue River Commerce Center will contain about 2.6 million square feet of space that will generate about 1,500 jobs and will cost about $136 million to construct and develop, not counting the large amounts that will be invested by tenants in equipment and interior furnishings.
The site is considered ideal for distribution facilities, manufacturing and warehousing since it is served by a recently reopened rail spur and has ready access to the highway system.
Redevelopment of the site will proceed from west to east and is projected to take about 12 years, but Miles said he is optimistic it will be completed in a much shorter time frame.
The redevelopment plan approved by the city requires the developer to incorporate the design guidelines of the Red Bridge Area Plan whenever possible, to construct sidewalks along the site’s frontage with ADA ramps at entrance drives and to submit a streetscape and street tree planting plan for city approval.
One of the Blue River Commerce Center’s unique features will be a learning and career center designed to prepare high school students and other area residents for the jobs that will be created at the Center. Miles said the training center should be up and running in two to three years.
NorthPoint which owns and operates the Three Trails Industrial Park on the south side of 87th St. east of 71 Highway is currently finalizing an agreement to purchase the site which may be done in phases from its current owner, Bannister Transformation & Development (BT&D), which Miles expects to be signed within weeks.
Kevin Breslin, a principal owner of BT&D, said the firm is retaining ownership of the southwest corner of the site just east of Troost and outside the flood wall for future development.