Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Bannister Mall

News continues to come out about the Kansas City Wizards and a possible stadium site where Bannister Mall currently sits.

While Olathe continues to work to get STAR Bonds approved for the stadium, Kansas City seems to be working to woo the Wizards to the Bannister Mall location. KC Councilman, Chuck Eddy is wanting to get the team out to the Bannister site.
“We’re still talking with the Wizards and trying to make this a reality,” Eddy says. “It would be huge, there’s no doubt about it.”

The Bannister site is also close to the old Marion Labs buildings which Cerner is now leasing. Cerner is owned by Neil Patterson who is a prinicpal owner of the Wizards. Which you can't chalk up to just coincidence that these 2 things are happening.

Apparently enough progress has been made on the topic that " The Economic Development Corporation has published a notice for a public hearing at the April TIF Commission meeting." These are big steps being made, and is good news for Wizards fans that want a stadium. The TIFs, Tax increment financing, that are referred to, are a tool for redevelopment and community improvement projects. They are the same thing that was used on the old Blue Ridge Mall to bulid the Wal-Mart at I-70 and 40 Highway.

As I've mentioned in the past, I like the fact that there are 2 sites kinda competing for the Wizards stadium. In the article, Eddy even talks about the competition, saying he's worried about what Olathe could offer the team. As he mentions, neither the city, nor the state have anything that could compete with the STAR Bonds that Olathe is looking to get to help finance the stadium.

Both sites have their pros/cons, the Olathe site would be close to the precieved target market for the Wizards team, the soccer moms and dads in Johnson County. The main con is the fact that Olathe is on the edge of the metro area. Only recently has Olathe truly become a full fleged suburb of KC as the suburban sprawl has reached Olathe.

Bannister on the other hand is a more centralized location for the Kansas City area. It also has great highway access, which Eddy touches on as well in the first article, as it is right off of I-435, and just north of the Grandview Triangle where 71, and I-470 meet with 435. It's main draw back is something I have touched on previously, and that's the preconcieved notion that the Bannister Mall location is a high crime area and not a good place to go.

Here's a link to google maps with Bannister Mall on it for those of you that might not know where Bannister Mall is.

No comments: