The Unified Government's approach to economic development is not commonplace in every community and it is truly an asset. Working with multiple individuals, partners and organizations like the Wyandotte County Economic Development Council and Kansas City, KS Chamber of Commerce enables us to work together towards furthering economic success.

The Future of the Former Indian Springs

a view of the front sign of the former Indian Springs MallIndian Springs 2007

The Indian Springs Mall was opened in 1971 and was recognized as one of the largest indoor malls in the Midwest. By 1977, it had become the 8th highest-grossing mall in the KC metro area. However, its sales began to decline in the late 1980s due to the growing competition and changing trends.

By 1997, the mall had a high vacancy rate, and new uses were being proposed. The last anchor store was lost in 2001, which further contributed to the mall's downfall. In 2007, the Unified Government purchased Indian Springs for $8.4 million.

In 2014, the Unified Government hired Lane4 Property Group Inc. to market the 50-acre site and develop proposals. The Indian Springs site was demolished by the Unified Government in 2016. In the spring of 2017, Lane 4 proposed a "Flex Tech" project, but later withdrew the proposal.

a view of Indian Springs being demolished in 2016Demolished in 2016

2017 Site Plan

Lane4 Property Group, Inc. was hired as the broker for a fifty-acre mall site in 2014. They proposed using twenty-six acres of the site to create a flex/tech office and light industrial space. However, the community did not accept this development plan, and the Unified Government later scrapped the proposal. The Transit Center and Police Substation were constructed in 2013, and the Indian Springs site was cleared in 2016. Therefore, Lane4's proposal for Flex Tech office and industrial space on twenty-six acres of the fifty-acre site was ultimately scrapped.

American Royal

a rendering example of the American Royal building The Unified Government Commission unanimously approved an agreement to bring the American Royal to Wyandotte County.

The $165.4 million project is in a STAR bond district of 550 acres near 110th and Parallel Parkway. $80 million will be generated by sales tax revenue in the form of STAR bonds. $80- million in private contributions from the American Royal will pay for the rest, with $5.3 million from other sources.

The agreement gives the American Royal 18-months to secure financing and complete the development plan. Construction of the American Royal would start within 6 months of the STAR bond issuance. Core construction must then be finished within two years after that.

“This is about creating a bright new future for the American Royal and hanging a sign in Wyandotte County and hanging a sign in the state of Kansas that Kansas is open to agriculture, and we’re open for business.”
- Korb Maxwell, an attorney representing the American Royal.

The development agreement calls for:

  • A 164,000-square-foot livestock expo arena with about 5,000 permanent seats and an additional 3,200 temporary seats for a variety of events.

  • A 250,000-square-foot livestock exhibition hall, including pens for 2,000 animals, for events including a 10-day livestock show each October, and for other events.

  • About 5,000 square feet of office space, including a headquarters for the corporate offices of the American Royal.

  • A 6,500-square-foot Agricultural Education Center featuring exhibits, an interactive museum-based learning environment, and meeting and a professional training space.

  • Additional land for potential future construction of an agricultural headquarters facility and expansion, with retail and restaurant use possible.

The American Royal has been in KCMO for more than 100 years and is well known for its annual rodeo and livestock show, as well as a barbecue competition.

Previous Action

  • 4/27/17 - Board of Commissioners adopted Resolution R-18-17 which set a public hearing date of June 15th, 2017, to consider the project plan for the Northwest Speedway STAR Bond District and Associated American Royal project.

  • 6/15/17 - Conducted public hearing to consider the Northwest Speedway STAR Bond District Project Plan. Hearing was held and closed. Commission action on project plan to be considered at a later date.

STAR Bond Process

  • Created District
    • R-78-16, adopted 10/27/16, set Public Hearing to consider the creation of STAR District.
    • O-75-16, adopted 12/15/16, created STAR District.

  • Project Plan
    • Conformance Finding made 4/10/17 by Planning Commission.
    • R-18-17, adopted 4/20/17, set Public Hearing to consider proposed Project Plan.
    • 6/16/17 Public hearing held and closed to consider plan.

  • Board of Commission Approval
    • Approved Project Plan and Development Agreement on Thursday, October 26, 2017.

Northwest Speedway STAR Bond District

STAR Bond District Image

Sources & Uses

Public Funding Sources

Public Funding Sources

  • STAR Bonds
  • Community Improvement District (CID)
  • Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB)

Site Plan

a graphic of the American Royal Site Plan

The Project Site

Approximately 550 acres generally located at the southwest and northeast corners of North 110th Street and Parallel Parkway. Find out more in the Development Agreement(PDF, 2MB)


  • Eighteen-month due diligence period (secure financing & finalize development plan).
  • Construction of Royal to commence within six months of bond closing.
  • American Royal must achieve substantial completion within two years of bond closing.

Boulevard Lofts

Blvd Lofts View image

a photo of the Board of Commissioners at Groundbreaking holding shovelsCommissioners, Harold Johnson, Tom Burroughs, Melissa Bynum and Brian McKiernan break ground on new apartments during ceremony on June 7, 2019

For the first time in thirty years, new apartments are being built downtown. The BLVD Lofts broke ground in June on a fifty-unit complex at 8th and Washington. The apartments will feature a community garden and kitchen.

Of the fifty units, thirty-eight will be one- and two-bedroom lofts, and twelve will be sixplexes. Rent ranges from $500 to $1,500, with most going for between $500 and $1,000.

“I see this project — and my district, in particular, as it relates to Wyandotte County — really providing that strong housing component that’s necessary to build up a downtown component, much like we see over in Kansas City, Mo. the community’s response has been phenomenal, with some residents already taking the plunge and preregistering for a unit. Proximity to thoroughfares and neighborhood schools, such as Sumner Academy, drove the choice for the lofts’ location."
- Harold Johnson, Unified Government Commissioner

The Prairie Fire Development Group which is building the BLVD Lofts is also planning to redevelop the former YMCA building at 900 N 8th Street.

The Y Lofts project proposes to redevelop the YMCA building into forty-four senior residential units, for persons fifty-five and older. The Y Lofts renovation project is estimated at $8.9 million. When completed, there would be twenty-nine one-bedroom, one-bath units with estimated rents of $355 to $700, and fifteen two-bedroom, one-bath units at $430 to $900 per month rent.

“Downtown KCK offers affordability, accessibility and authenticity. If you go down to Central Avenue and you see the number of people who come to Splitlog Coffee or to Slap’s BBQ, you begin to see this is a really vibrant place, and we like being here. It’s comfortable. It’s authentic. And that’s really what we have to offer: a real sense of authenticity.”
- David Alvey, Unified Government Mayor/CEO

The Merc Co+op

An example of the Merc Co+Op building


Today, the Unified Government (UG) came one step closer to bringing a new full-service grocery store to downtown Kansas City, KS. Officials from the UG and The Merc Co+op, invited the community to celebrate the groundbreaking at 5th and Minnesota Ave.

Several state, county, local officials and residents all gathered on the east end of the parking lot to be part of this important milestone and ongoing effort to mitigate food access challenges in KCK.

“It took a long time and a lot of hard work to make this new grocery store a reality, and we are thankful to have such great partners in The Merc Co+op. We know they will deliver high quality, fresh products at a good price point and they will provide top notch management.”
- Doug Bach, Unified Government County Administrator

“I am excited for the opening of The Merc Co+op in our downtown. So many people from our neighborhoods, from the co-op’s team, and from the Unified Government worked several years to get this project to a sustainable place. I look forward to shopping at The Merc Co+op and I look forward to the services that it will bring to our downtown neighborhoods.”
- David Alvey, Unified Government Mayor/CEO

“Downtown KCK and the surrounding neighborhoods have been without a grocery store for far too long, but after years of effort by countless people, the UG is excited to see this project come to fruition.”
- Katherine Carttar, Unified Government Economic Development Director

“All residents of Wyandotte County – no matter where they live – deserve to have access to quality, affordable food, but sadly that is not the reality for many in our community. The groundbreaking of The Merc Co+op is a positive first step in ending the food desert in our area, and I’m glad to see community leaders partnering with community members and local businesses to achieve that goal,”
- Sharice Davids, U.S. Congresswoman

The Merc Co+op is a community-owned cooperative business with forty-five years of experience operating a grocery store. They are committed to building relationships through outreach, employing local residents with livable wages and benefits, and seeking feedback from the KCK community.

“Our unique business model puts the needs of community members first. The vision is to create a welcoming, multi-cultural urban market, offering a variety of products that include conventional, local and organic choices. Everyone is welcome to shop at the co-op and anyone can become an owner.”
- Rita York Hennecke, General Manager of The Merc Co+op

Dr. Nozella Brown, K-State Research and Extension County Director, says this co-op model will provide a unique space in the county for community engagement and education.

“Our role at KSRE is to provide education that is accessible, relevant and empowering for all citizens. I’m excited to have another venue where community members can access educational resources that will allow them to improve their health and quality of life,”
- Dr. Nozella Brown, K-State Research and Extension County Director

K-State Extension partnered with The Merc Co+op to facilitate over a dozen listening sessions to receive input on the products and programs that residents, community agencies and surrounding churches want the co-op to offer. In addition, the Unified Government hosted two public meetings to gather input on the proposed architectural design options. Over 350 people provided their feedback.

This project is made possible by a public-private partnership that is likely to help bring additional investment into the area. The three-year management agreement requires the co-op to pay property taxes, utilities, and includes hours of operation, services, community benefits and financial structure.

“The store not only helps provide a desperately wanted community need, but also brings a much-needed retail presence that will attract thousands of patrons every day to Downtown KCK. Further, the grocery store will, combined with the influx of new employees to the area, help invigorate the east end of Downtown and provide an anchor for future development.”
- Jason Norbury, Executive Director of the Downtown Shareholders

The approximately $7 million project is being funded through the Hotel Revenue Fund at $3.2 million and $1.6 million from sales tax and property tax from the Downtown Grocery Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District, which was approved by the Commission on August 30, 2018, to recoup expenditures.

The Unified Government was able to leverage other financing tools due to the grocery store’s location within a limited food access area. With the assistance of Sunflower Development Group, the UG received New Market Tax Credits allocated by the Central Bank of Kansas City that net nearly $1 million in proceeds. The federal tax credit program provides an incentive to invest in distressed Census tracts, giving investors a tax credit to offset their federal income tax. Additionally, Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) provided low-cost capital to complete the financing of the project with access to Healthy Food Financing Initiative funding and the purchase of $1.42 million in General Obligation Bonds issued by the Unified Government.

“We are proud to be a part of The Merc Co+op project along with the other stakeholders. We know how important sustainable food is to the health of our communities. CBKC looks forward to downtown KCK progress with the opening of The Merc Co+op.”
- Bill Dana, President/CEO of Central Bank of Kansas City

Bach adds, “We know that KU hospital has invested over $60 million right across the street and because of this grocery store we are talking with other developers about future projects nearby. It took the commitment of our mayor and commission to make this happen and I know they expect my staff to keep working to make this area thrive.”


Turner Diagonal & Logistics Center

Turner Logistics Center picture


Plans for a $155-million logistics and distribution center at I-70 and the Turner Diagonal are moving forward. The complex of up to eight warehouses will be constructed north of I-70 and a newly designed Turner Diagonal interchange. When completed, the Turner Logistics Center will have one-million square feet of industrial space, which could grow to as much as 2.7-million square feet in the future. It is expected to create 1,800 new jobs. The Turner Diagonal, with its looping on and off ramps, will be rebuilt as a diverging diamond interchange giving direct access in all directions to I-70 and opening up hundreds of acres which are now landlocked and undevelopable.

Construction of the new interchange will cost $30-million, paid with a $13.8-million federal BUILD Grant, $7.5-million in local funding and millions more in funding from the Kansas Department of Transportation. The investment in the commerce center is $125-million.

NorthPoint Development will build the logistics center. NorthPoint currently has 11.7-million square feet in industrial space leased with another 13.3-million under construction, including several buildings in the KCK Fairfax Industrial Area.

Design work on the interchange and first warehouse will begin later this year and is expected to be completed in the Spring of 2020.

Y Lofts

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Sorry, this information is currently under construction.

Homefield Project

Sorry, this information is currently under construction.