By Don Bradley
A full-service travel center with gas, food and semi-trailer truck services is being planned for a site on the south side of Bannister Road between Marion Park Drive and U.S. 71 Highway, just west of Home Depot.
Representatives for the developer told a meeting of the Southern Communities Coalition on Wednesday that the On the Go Travel Center would cost up to $6 million, be open 24/7 and, if everything goes smooth with zoning approval, open for business in Spring 2025.
Plans show the 7,200-square-foot store backing up to Marion Park Drive and facing west.
The proposal would require a zoning change and a special use permit.
Douglas Stone, attorney for the project, said the proposal is slated for the Kansas City Plan Commission on July 18. If things go right, the next step would be the Board of Zoning Adjustment.
Part of the approval process is a required meeting at which the developer informs residents of the intent. That was the purpose of Wednesday’s special meeting, and residents came with plenty of questions.
How many auto fuel pumps? 16.
How many big-rig parking spots? 22
Do plans include charging stations for electric vehicles? Not at this time.
How many employees? Three per shift, about 15 total.
What restaurant? Likely either Mr. Goodcents or Subway. Maybe chicken, too.
Is the project asking for tax breaks? No.
Those questions were easy. The harder ones concerned how the project would honor the legacy of Hickman Mills and the history of the three wagon train trails, the Santa Fe, California and Oregon, which ran through the area. Suggestions included monuments, signage and perhaps even a kiosk inside the convenience store that could display the area’s history.
Stone and other representatives seemed receptive to those ideas. And he suggested a relationship with the Hickman Mills School District could be a “feeder for jobs.”