KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The contaminated plot of land where the Bannister Federal Complex used to operate is getting new life.
Demolition and clean-up on the 225-acre property located west of I-435 started in February 2018. The three-year project ran ahead of schedule as clean-up at the site is near completion.
On Thursday, the Bannister Transformation and Development, LLC (BT&D) announced construction on the first of seven warehouses will begin by the end of the month. The development group aims to turn the property into a manufacturing and distribution hub; the group is still determining which businesses will operate at each of the warehouses.
During the demolition and clean-up phase, crews had to be careful to not be potentially exposed to harmful chemicals. Decades ago, the property was a World War II airplane engine plant. The facility was also used to manufacture electrical, mechanical, plastic, and other non-nuclear items. Waste such as acids, solvents, and toxic metals, stored on the property resulted in the release of toxic materials into the environment, soil, and groundwater.
Warnetta Williams used to work at the Bannister Federal Complex when she moved to the area nearly 35 years ago. Williams recalls when the contaminated former federal manufacturing plant was shutdown more than five years ago. She hoped the land would be turned into a park or left to nature.
“I’d hate to send them build things; more concrete. It’s so natural around here, it’s pleasant, it’s quiet. The animals roam around here.”
Kevin Breslin with BT&D explained why the property was redeveloped saying, “The old plant left a legacy, an environmental legacy, that needed to be remedied. Local and state officials and the community worried that the abandoned federal plant would quickly become blighted and dangerous.”
BT&D estimates the development of the seven warehouses will create 1,500 permanent jobs, in addition to a commitment to create a career training center to help local job seekers.