Industrial Park to create 2000 jobs in south KC
By John Sharp
Construction has started on the first new building at the Blue River Commerce Center, the massive new industrial park being developed at the site of the now demolished former Bannister Federal Complex on the north side of Bannister Rd. just east of Troost.
At a ceremonial groundbreaking November 6 for the 241,000 square foot industrial building being constructed at the west end of the site, a spokesman for the industrial park’s developer said construction of the building will be completed in the spring.
Brent Miles, a founding partner of Riverside-based NorthPoint Development, also announced at the ceremony that construction of a second 438,000 square foot industrial building just east and a little north of the first building would start in about three weeks and would be completed by summer. His company is currently seeking tenants for the buildings.
Altogether, seven large warehouse and industrial buildings containing about 2.5 million square feet of space to be used primarily for light manufacturing and warehousing are planned for the site. The site has nearby highway access and is served by a rail spur to facilitate shipping and receiving and bus rapid transit service that can bring employees to the site.
Miles said the low estimate of the number of good paying jobs that will be created at the industrial park is 1,500, but he expects it actually will range from 2,000 to 3,000.
NorthPoint has successfully developed another nearby industrial park in south Kansas City – the Three Trails Industrial Park on the south side of 87th St. just east of 71 Highway.
“I really love what we’re doing here,” said KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas at the ceremony, who noted the large industrial park will be a center point for economic development in south Kansas City.
Dr. Yolanda Cargile, superintendent of the Center School District, said at the ceremony that she is extremely excited about the project in her school district which will bring job opportunities to district families and potential internships for district students.
“Good jobs with good benefits can be life-changing for families in our community,” Cargile said.
Miles noted at the ceremony that one of the somewhat unique features of the industrial park will be an on-site training center to prepare area residents for the logistics and manufacturing jobs that will be created there.
Port KC, the development agency with responsibility for the project, is providing the funding mechanism for construction of the industrial park through the issuance of privately-backed bonds, so no tax dollars will be spent or pledged for its construction.