By Kathy Feist
Things are looking up for the Bannister Rd. and I-435 corridor, and those involved are pretty excited about it. That’s the takeaway from the May 10th South Kansas City Alliance meeting hosted by John Sharp.
Bannister Federal Complex
Now known as the Blue River Commerce Center, the recently demolished Bannister Federal Complex at 95th and Troost is in the process of being redeveloped into a 2.5 million square feet industrial complex, consisting of seven buildings. Brent Miles, Chief Marketing Officer for NorthPoint Development, said the first building will be completed by the end of May.There are no new tenants at this time.
Construction has begun on the second building, which is planned for completion in December. Building 2 will offer a variety of exciting possibilities for the south Kansas City community. NorthPoint Development has partnered with the South Kansas City Chamber of Commerce to provide a 5000 square foot Workforce Development Center that will also serve as a new home for the Chamber.
Workforce Development Center
Rick Chambers, volunteer chair for the Workforce Development Center project, and spokesperson for the Chamber, said the Workforce Development Center will contain a training room that will hold about 100 people, a conference room, and office space that can be used for job interviews and other meetings. The Center is planned as a hub for job placement in south Kansas City and the Blue River Commerce Center. In addition to job screening, plans for the space include job fairs, support classes for employees and entrepreneurs and other community activities. The Chamber has partnered with the Metropolitan Community Colleges, Avila University, Center School District, Hickman Mills School District and the Mid-Continent Libraries on the project.
New Businesses near Cerner
Kristian Starner, Senior Government Strategist for Cerner, announced the company’s new re-entry plan, which is to have 20 percent of its employees back in a blended model by the end of May. An additional 20 percent is planned for each quarter.
Starner also reported on the businesses surrounding the Innovation Campus. A new Taco Bell on Bannister Rd. opened May 10th. Other plans in the works include a Hampton Inn and one other hotel, to be announced, an Arvest Bank and a possible sit-down restaurant.
Scott Bayne, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Balls Foods, said the new Price Chopper being built at the corner of Hillcrest and Bannister Rd is planned to open by the end of July. It replaces the one currently at Blue Ridge Blvd and Bannister. The grocery store will offer four self checkout stands, a large seating area at the front of the store, hot food bars that would include wings, Tippin’s soup, and other offerings, an in-store bakery, a Harry’s Liquor section, new hard plastic carts, and energy efficient lights and refrigeration.
Chris Vukas, Director of Development for Sunflower Development, which owns the property, said they are in discussions with Burger King and Sherwin Williams for the other pad sites on the lot.
Michael Shaw, Director of Public Works for KCMO, had great news for the west side of south KC, announcing that in addition to new traffic lights along Ward Parkway, the Sixth District will also get resurfaced pavement along 75th Street, from Wornall to Ward Parkway. Shaw primarily discussed street resurfacing throughout Kansas City, a $39 million investment twice the amount spent last year. A map showing which streets will receive some form of resurfacing–from filling cracks to being reconstructed– can be found online. To access, go to KCMO.gov, then click on Public Works and then Street Preservation Program. The page also includes a weekly resurfacing schedule.