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Bannister Federal Complex Could Transfer To Private Developer Later This Year

The private development company hoping to take control of the old Bannister Federal Complex is a step closer to taking its recommendations for clean-up to federal regulators.

“Most of our fieldwork is done now. We’ve completed most of the information gathering,” says Kevin Breslin with CenterPoint Properties, who spoke Monday at a meeting of the South Kansas City Alliance. “Our scientists, our engineers, our specialists are now studying those results.”

CenterPoint began its examination of the property 14 months ago. Breslin says Centerpoint will share its findings with the Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency the next six months.

That oversight, he says, should help allay some neighbors’ concerns about the redevelopment proposal.

“It’s not just CenterPoint,” Breslin says. “There are governmental agencies that are very, very good at looking out for the public health.”

So far, Breslin says the CenterPoint team conducting the investigation hasn’t found any major surprises that could slow the project down.

“Both the size and the complexity of the problems were fairly well-known,” Breslin says. “Having executed similar types of restoration projects like this at CenterPoint, we’ve come to know what to look for and expect.”

He says 2016 will be a big year for the project as CenterPoint takes over the hazardous waste permits currently held by the U.S. Department of Energy and the General Services Administration. Breslin says it’s important CenterPoint sticks to its timeline, as the current administration has been supportive of nuclear remediation efforts.

“I think if we don’t seize the opportunity now and wait another two or three or four years, who’s to tell if the priorities won’t be different?” Breslin says. “It’s difficult to get attention in Washington.”

Breslin added the longer the buildings sit empty – the GSA moved out a year ago – the more the site will deteriorate, and the more expensive remediation will be.

Elle Moxley is a reporter for KCUR. You can reach her on Twitter @ellemoxley.

Elle Moxley covered education for KCUR.
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