COMMENTARY

Community product improvement for I-470 corridor

April 4, 2014 

The Interstate 470 corridor through Lee’s Summit is fast becoming our foremost jobs corridor and a source for major development activities. Current and planned development portends good things for our community. City leaders had the foresight to work for multiple interchanges/exits from I-470 in Lee’s Summit, and these have been the nexus for thousands of square feet of new and planned development, an expanding tax base, and new jobs.

The public-private partnerships, new infrastructure, judicious use of economic incentives and a spirit of looking to the future have borne and will continue to bear fruit.

The development offers a wide variety of uses, services and employment. At the city’s western gateway, area businessman Flip Short and his development team are working on a plan to create a new Sports Complex and Village on the northeast quadrant of the intersection. The proposed $230 million project will be anchored by 15 synthetic-turfed, lighted, multi-sport fields and a 3,500-5,000 seat championship field and feature hotels, office space, housing, restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.

The project will feature many recommendations featured in the city’s sustainability plan and include bicycle and hiking trails, LEED or LEED-like building standards, alternative energy generation, a project-wide recycling program and the preservation of native habitat.

Short is also working on a land reclamation project that will provide more than 100 acres of land for future commercial development. The project site, located north of I-470 and west of Pryor Road, consists of reclaiming the land of an abandoned underground mine that in essence is serving as a development “brownfield.”

Further east on I-470 you’ll be able to exit and gain access to Summit Village, a Zimmer Companies-led office park development that will feature 2,000,000 square feet of new office space. The site, north of I-470 and roughly bounded by Blue Parkway, Colbern Road and Douglas Street, will provide for 300 acres of new commercial development.

Located within one mile of the Summit Woods and Summit Fair shopping centers, which have provided new retail opportunities in our city, the Summit Technology Campus provides over one million square feet of office, call center, data center and light manufacturing space. The site has been chosen for the new Missouri Innovation Campus, an education and business collaboration led by the Lee’s Summit R-7 school district, the University of Central Missouri, the Metropolitan Community College, and features innovative partnerships with many leading KC area employers.

Bill Brown is the vice-chair of the Lee's Summit Economic Development Council and president of Spectrum Strategies.

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