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Economy

Cleanup Of Toxic Bannister Federal Complex Is Ahead Of Schedule, Developer Says

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Samuel King
/
KCUR 89.3
Missouri U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt (right) speaks with Kevin Breslin, the principal owner of Bannister Transformation and Development, during a tour of the former federal complex on Wednesday.

Redevelopment of a portion of the former Bannister Federal Complex site in south Kansas City, Missouri, could begin as soon as late this year, according to the firm handling the project.

Most of the buildings have been demolished, and environmental mediation and flood mitigation work continues ahead of attracting possible tenants.

“Most federal facilities would sit abandoned, closed for 15, 20 years,” Kevin Breslin, principal owner of Bannister Transformation and Development, said during a briefing and tour of the site Wednesday. 

“Obviously, they begin to deteriorate over time, nobody can keep up these old structures. ... This is the better way to do it, by addressing it immediately after the federal facility was abandoned.”

Federal officials, including Republican U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, helped secure more than $220 million in funding to clean up the site. The site housed agencies like the General Services Administration and IRS for decades before they relocated.

There was also a plant that manufactured components for nuclear weapons, which caused concerns about contamination on the site.

“I think it was a great investment of federal money over a long period of time, but particularly in the last five years, federal money that really takes responsibility on the part of the federal government that would restore a location to where the community would hope it would be and I think that’s where we are,” Blunt said.

Breslin said developers hope to create more than 1,000 jobs on the site by attracting employers in the distribution and light industrial sectors. He said there’s also space on the site for retail stores.

Samuel King is the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR 89.3. Follow him on Twitter: @SamuelKingNews

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