Brent Miles used a baseball analogy to sum up the development that has been and will be done along the Turner Diagonal.
The Amazon fulfillment warehouse was a homerun; the new interchange is a grand slam.
Miles, the chief marketing officer for NorthPoint Development, spoke at groundbreaking ceremonies on a chilly Friday morning, Jan. 31, just north of the Kansas Department of Transportation building on I-70 near the Turner Diagonal in Kansas City, Kansas.
NorthPoint developed the land where an Amazon warehouse is. The rugged landscape, often described as ideal for goats, was NorthPoint’s first venture along the Diagonal. Miles admitted that when Amazon first approached NorthPoint about buying the property, it refused to sell. But after reconsidering, NorthPoint sold to investors who built the Amazon warehouse.
But Amazon was only the beginning. NorthPoint and Miles could envision more warehouses during the next several years. However, before these warehouses could become a reality, the access to I-70 had to be improved. That would cost an estimated $30 million.
The key to that financing would be obtaining money from the U.S. Department of Transportation for $13.8 million. That was announced by U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao late last year. Other funds will come from the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, and NorthPoint. Construction on the road project is expected to be completed late this year.
The federal money is being awarded through a BUILD grant — that stands for “Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development.” A modern divergent diamond interchange will replace the existing outmoded infrastructure.
Speaking at the groundbreaking were Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly, Kansas City, Kansas, Mayor David Alvey, Kansas Secretary of Transportation Julie Lorenz, U.S. Rep. Sharice Davids, Sean Poole representing the U.S. Department of Transportation, and Miles.
NorthPoint plans to build the Turner Commerce Center in seven phases. It is estimated to cost $155 million and create about 2,000 new jobs. It is estimated that 65,000 vehicles pass by the site daily. It is a two-day drive for about 85 percent of the population of the United States.