Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wizards Stadium Competition

The Wizards and Lane4 presented their plan for Bannister Mall yesterday to the Kansas City Tax Increment Financing Commission. The committee, though, has put off making a decision on the plan until their meeting in October.

The news, though, is that there are 2 other plans out there for the Bannister Mall site. The first is from Lakepointe Development LLC. The first phase of their concept is to build a resort and convention center along with an 18 hole golf course. Does Kansas City really need another convention center? I mean besides smaller locations that can hold some events, Kansas City already has Bartle Hall and the Overland Park Convention Center. Does Kansas City get that many conventions that a third big convention center needs to be added?

The other competition for the Wizards is the "Save Our Bannister Mall" group. The group seems to be made up of local business owners who want to reopen the mall with locally based businesses. The belief by them seems to be that the new development would have rent too expensive for the local businesses to afford to set up shop there. Maybe it's just me, but wasn't this basically what Bannister Mall was before it closed? Made up of mainly local businesses? I seem to remember that being the setup of the mall before it closed. The mall was nowhere near capacity in this situation, and I have my doubts that they'd get many more stores other than the ones that were there before the mall closed.

I wouldn't mind seeing the developers talking to this group and possibly having a few areas for local business in the shopping center. And if not all the businesses can get in there, there are other parts of south KC that could use development. The Loma Vista shopping center is near by, as is the shopping around I470 and Blue Ridge Road. Both those areas could use an influx of businesses to that area as well.

In the end something needs to be done with the area. It's gone down hill quite a bit over the years. Honestly I don't see the "Save Our Bannister Mall" group putting up much of a fight in this situation. While they want to keep local businesses around, they don't seem to have much of a plan to redevelop the area, just leave it the way it is.

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