Bannister Federal Complex site nears start of new life as Blue River Commerce Center

A $135 million plan to repurpose the former Bannister Federal Complex site into manufacturing and warehouse buildings could break ground “within days” now that remediation is complete and dignitaries have gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

On Thursday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver II joined to celebrate the coming project, which promises to bring about 1,500 permanent jobs, KSHB reports. The complex formerly was home to Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies, which made non-nuclear components for the nation’s arsenal. The company moved in 2014 to new space at a $687 million facility at 14520 Botts Road in Kansas City.

In August, the Kansas City Council signed off on a development plan for seven manufacturing and warehouse buildings at the northeast corner of Bannister Road and Troost Avenue, as well as rezoning for 229 of the property’s approximately 300 acres to an urban redevelopment district. 

The project is the brainchild of prolific industrial developer NorthPoint Development, which will call the park Blue River Commerce Center. The Riverside-based company plans to start with a $12.8 million building along Troost Avenue, capable of supporting 142 jobs. 

That building — a 242,353-square-foot structure with 24 dock positions — could be a “state of the art” Class A distribution center, with a “generous build out package and aggressive real estate tax abatement,” according to NorthPoint’s website.

Chris Chancellor, NorthPoint’s director of engineering, said the company expects to construct the commerce center buildings from west to east, at an approximate rate of one building every one to two years. The park’s full buildout could take seven to 12 years but, given recent e-commerce and industrial trends, could be completed potentially “much faster,” Chancellor said.

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