Public private partnership drives QuikTrip infrastructure

Multiple jurisdictions and companies collaborate to realign roadway adjacent to new store

Lee’s Summit, MO—August 18, 2017— Construction of QuikTrip’s new Generation 3 store at Missouri Route 291 and Mulberry Street has concluded, as the city has officially opened NE Windsor Drive adjacent to the store.

Several jurisdictions collaborated with QuikTrip to realign and connect NE Windsor Drive to Mulberry Street to meet city code. Public partners included the City of Lee’s Summit, MoDOT, and FEMA. Franchise utilities such as Google, AT&T, LaClede Gas, and KCPL assisted with utility relocation. Olsson Associates and BHC Rhodes provided engineering services. Additional private partners included Rothwell Construction who served as the general contractor, Braun Interec led geotechnical, and Lickel Architecture rounded out the team as the building architect.

 Did you know?

Windsor Drive’s length is equal to about 2,118 taquitos placed end to end.

“QuikTrip is truly appreciative of the public-private partnership with the development team of Lee’s Summit. The proactive communication and willingness to provide assistance has made a potentially difficult development appear seamless,” said Daniel Chambers, QuikTrip spokesman.

The development project was complicated because the roadway involved a substantial creek crossing, according to Rick McDowell, president of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council.

“QuikTrip worked with the City to identify a mechanism to fund the extraordinary development costs associated with the project through a structured sales tax reimbursement agreement,” McDowell said.

The City of Lee’s Summit and QuikTrip held an official grand opening for the new store, which employs about 15 people, in May. The Mulberry location first of three new or redeveloped stores representing $15 million in investment.

Chambers praised Lee’s Summit’s streamlined and simplified economic development process: “The public-private partnership that we were able to develop with Lee’s Summit was excellent and helped a difficult project move through the permitting process as smoothly as possible.”

QuikTrip’s Generation 3 stores are more than 5,500 square feet and aim at a more upscale experience that can compete with coffee shops such as Starbucks. Stores include indoor and outdoor dining areas with a touchscreen for customers to place orders for hot and cold drinks, smoothies, soft-serve ice cream with baristas filling requests. Next Gen stores also sell adult beverages and fresh food offerings from QT Kitchens.

For more information:
Tina Chace | 816-525-6617 |
Krista Klaus | 913-284-5752 |


New Development Celebrates Local Partners With Initial Groundbreaking

August 11, 2017
(816) 392-7298

LEE’S SUMMIT, MO – An enthusiastic crowd gathered at the southeast corner of M-291 South and Bailey Road in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, this morning as local dignitaries, city staff and project partners took their shovels to the dirt at The Grove at Lee’s Summit’s preliminary groundbreaking event.

This exciting new project expects to transform the southern gateway to Lee’s Summit and will include an upscale mixed-use development, loosely based upon successful, world-class properties like The Grove at LA and Santana Row in San Jose, California. The development will also include a light industrial business park, with over 400,000 square feet of planned space as well as the donation of property to the City of Lee’s Summit for a future fire station.

Steve Singh, CEO and Managing Partner of The Grove at Lee’s Summit, LLC, kicked off the event by talking about the impact this development will have on the local community. “We are excited about beginning this new chapter of development in the city of Lee’s Summit. The Grove will be the premiere mixed use destination for people to work, shop and play for years to come. We are grateful to the Mayor, City Council, city staff and the LSEDC for supporting our vision for the future.”

The initial phase begins the week of August 14th with the commencement of land clearance for infrastructure to support construction of the first building, a 200,000 square foot light industrial space south of Bailey Road in the business park. Serving as partners to the project are A.L. Huber/General Contractor, BHC Rhodes/Civil Engineering Services, and Klover Architects/architectural design, with Newmark Grubb Zimmer as real estate broker. Daren Fristoe is project manager, and Aaron March of White Goss is the development attorney.

“A. L. Huber is honored to be the construction partner on The Grove at Lee’s Summit. Working with all of these great companies is truly an honor, and we are excited to be a part of building the Lee’s Summit community!” noted Keith Dorian, Senior Vice President of A.L. Huber, General Contractor.

Rick McDowell, President, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, stated, “The Grove will allow Lee’s Summit to finally ‘get in the game’ and compete for industrial relocation and expansion projects. Lee’s Summit has not even been able to submit proposals for dozens of projects through the years simply because the city lacked viable industrial buildings. The Lee’s Summit EDC receives calls on an almost weekly basis from companies interested in leasing industrial space, so we expect interest and leasing activity to be very strong.”

The Grove at Lee’s Summit is a large-scale project which will be completed in multiple phases and will meld the best elements of one million square feet of premiere office space with those of a 40-acre outdoor regional shopping and entertainment complex, while including distinctive residences for simple living and complete convenience.

Lee’s Summit Releases Findings of Multi-Family Housing Study

City is ripe for significant additional market rate, affordable and senior housing apartments

August 1, 2017—LEE’S SUMMIT, MO—The City of Lee’s Summit could support up to 2,300 additional market rate apartments over the next decade beyond existing supply or projects in the pipeline, according to a 2017 multi-family housing study commissioned by the Lee’s Summit City Council and conducted by Vogt Strategic Insights.

“Lee’s Summit continues to see strong activity and interest in multi-family construction, and this study will help inform the city’s economic development decisions as it considers future projects,” said Ryan Elam, director of the Lee’s Summit Development Center.

The study found that Lee’s Summit’s existing market is very strong with a 98.4 percent occupancy rate, with about 30 percent of renters coming from outside the area. In addition to identifying strong capacity for market-rate apartment development, the study found that Lee’s Summit could support up to 503 additional units of age-restricted housing, as well as up to 400 additional units of affordable apartments.

To conduct the study, Vogt Strategic Insights completed a field survey of 27 apartment projects in Lee’s Summit and 101 projects throughout the region, comparing rents and amenities among more than 22,000 rental units in Independence, Blue Springs, Grandview, Overland Park, Olathe, Lenexa, and Lee’s Summit.

Multi-family construction in Lee’s Summit dried up after the 2008 housing crisis but saw signs of life in 2016 when NorthPoint Development opened Residences at New Longview, a 309-unit, luxury apartment community that saw the developer’s fastest lease-up to date.

“New Longview’s success essentially became a proof-of-concept for Lee’s Summit multifamily development, leading to a sharp uptick in permits and proposed projects,” said Rick McDowell, Lee’s Summit Economic Development President. “In 2016, the city approved five new apartment complexes, for a total of more than 1,400 living units.”

The 200-page housing study considered factors such as demographics, population growth forecasts, household income and the regional Suburban Kansas City apartment market, and used a conservative 4.4 percent predicted growth in households over the next 10 years.

See the full report here

For More Information:

Tina Chace | | 816-525-6617

Krista Klaus | | 913-284-5752


Lee’s Summit approves Coleman Equipment facility in Lakewood Business Park

Construction set to begin in third quarter on 14,000-square foot dealership

July 28, 2017—LEE’S SUMMIT, MO—The City of Lee’s Summit has approved a new 14,000-square foot dealership for Coleman Equipment in Lakewood Business Park. Construction is set to begin in the third quarter on the facility, which will replace Coleman’s existing location in Independence, Mo. with a larger facility in Lee’s Summit.

The relocation and expansion is expected to move a total of eight jobs to Lee’s Summit, with plans to hire an additional 13 additional employees by 2020.

Located at 4010 NE Lakewood Way, the project will be financed with support of a tax abatement incentive approved by the City of Lee’s Summit utilizing the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority.

Coleman Equipment sells outdoor equipment, including the Kubota and Stihl brands. Its new facility will include 6,700 square feet of dealership space and 5,500 square feet of shop space, as well as an outdoor equipment display area and 47 dedicated parking spaces.


B&B Breaks Ground

B&B Theatres officially began construction Wednesday on a new 7-screen luxury cinema within the New Longview commercial area of Lee’s Summit. The mixed-use project is being developed by Box Development and brings ‘New Urbanism’ development to Lee’s Summit. 

“This state-of-the-art theatre will be a great addition to New Longview’s premiere, mixed-use ‘New Urbanism’ entertainment district,” said B&B Theatres President Bob Bagby. “We are looking forward to sharing the magic of the movies with Lee’s Summit early next year and are excited to be working with Box Real Estate Development and Platform Ventures on this project.” 

 The project also adds momentum to the city’s flourishing west side along the View High Corridor, according to Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President Rick McDowell. 

 “We call all of this new development along View High Drive our very own ‘West Side Story’ and are thrilled to see so much commercial and residential construction taking place between the historic Longview Farm and extending north to I-470 with the Paragon Star Soccer Village. It is a very exciting time for Lee’s Summit,” McDowell said.

Read More Here



Lee’s Summit EDC launches web portal to connect employers with job seekers

LEE’S SUMMIT, MO — May 11, 2017 — The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council has launched a job-search site aimed at connecting job seekers to potential Lee’s Summit employers with open positions. The no-fee service can be accessed here and features links to employment and internship opportunities and online applications.

The Lee’s Summit EDC launched the initiative to assist local businesses with identifying and hiring qualified, reliable employees, according to LSEDC President and CEO Rick McDowell. “I would say that workforce development is the No. 1 issue for companies right now,” McDowell said. “Businesses are increasingly concerned that there aren’t enough skilled workers to fill available positions, so this new web portal is another way LSEDC can help our local businesses connect with the local workforce.”

Lee’s Summit already serves as a national model for building public/private partnerships to improve workforce training and development through its Summit Technology Academy/Missouri Innovation Campus. Scheduled to open in August, STA/MIC is a new $50 million, 140,000-square foot campus that will house a partnership between the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, the University of Central Missouri and Metropolitan Community College.

Options for students attending STA/MIC range from two- and four-year degree programs, paid internships lasting up to three years, as well as on-the-job training and vocational technical training.

“Lee’s Summit is ahead of the curve when it comes to connecting educational institutions, students, the business community and jobs being created,” said Jessica Hamilton, LSEDC director of investor and community relations. “This new web portal brings job seekers and opportunities closer together.” The web portal also will be used to promote local hiring events and job fairs. To share your hiring event, email Jessica Hamilton at

Ms. Hamilton recently presented to the LSEDC Advisory Board along with KCADC’s (Kansas City Area Development Council) Jessica Nelson on the collaborative workforce efforts between Lee’s Summit and Kansas City through TeamKC. Hamilton has spent her first few months – ground running, meeting with local businesses and education leaders to connect the dots. See her presentation posted here along with KCADC’s deep-dive on Generation Z.

About Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council | The LSEDC is a public-private sector partnership devoted to improving the economic well-being of residents and businesses in Lee’s Summit through its mission: To attract and retain business investment and jobs by partnering with allies to create and market a high-quality-of-life, pro-business community.

For More Information:

Tina Bell Chace | 816-525-6617 |

Krista Klaus | 913-284-5752 |


MEDC Announces State Cut to Missouri Partnership

Budget Back in Governor Greitens’ Hands

On Thursday, the General Assembly sent its fiscal year 2018 budget to Governor Greitens.  The General Assembly was tasked with cutting more than $500 million from the budget, making this the worst state budget situation in at least a generation.  Given the dire fiscal forecast, almost no program or institution’s budget was left uncut.

Missouri Partnership

The legislature eliminated the business recruitment and marketing line item in House Bill 7 that the State of Missouri uses to contract with the Missouri Partnership.  The Partnership is Missouri’s lead business attraction unit, which has attracted 3,400 jobs to the state in the last ten months.  The Partnership receives a sizable portion of its funding from the State, but receives some additional funds from private sector donations – which will be needed to sustain the Partnership’s success through this difficult state budget cycle.

*** Published directly from Missouri Economic Development Council (MEDC) subscriber email

City of Lee’s Summit Breaks Ground on Route 291 and U.S. 50 Interchange

$16 million diverging diamond project touted as key to economic growth and investment

The City of Lee’s Summit and its project partners celebrated the official construction kickoff for the new $16 million interchange at Route 291 South and U.S. 50 on Wednesday, May 3 at the Harris Park Community Center, 110 S.W. Blue Parkway. The project includes reconstruction of the Route 291 overpass bridge into a diverging diamond design, adds a roundabout at Blue Parkway and Jefferson Street, and realigns Oldham Parkway.

“This new interchange will help ease congestion through a heavily traveled residential and commercial route while enhancing safety and improving access for pedestrians and cyclists,” said Lee’s Summit Mayor Randall Rhoads. “In addition to improving traffic flow and reducing accidents, the new interchange will increase economic development activity in the surrounding area.”

Reconstruction of the 40-year-old bridge and interchange has been a long-standing priority of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council and the Lee’s Summit business community. LSEDC President and CEO Rick McDowell predicts the corridor is the next frontier for economic growth.

“This project opens up hundreds of acres for commercial development,” McDowell said. “With The Grove mixed-use development to the southeast slated to begin spec industrial construction this year, and Pinetree Plaza shopping center on the northwest quadrant targeted for redevelopment, this new interchange will serve as a gateway to the south side of Lee’s Summit.”

A decade ago, a group of Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council investors formed the Gateway Business Alliance roundtable to advocate for public funding of transportation infrastructure projects, including the 291/50 interchange. In 2014, Lee’s Summit voters approved a no-tax-increase, $10 million bond issue to help finance the improvements.

“The Gateway Business Alliance was formed to help build awareness of the important role that transportation investment plays in a thriving business community. This interchange is among the most important initiatives we have undertaken, and it is hugely gratifying to finally break ground on this project,” said Chip Moxley, CEO of Tingle Flooring and co-chair of the Gateway Business Alliance.

The new $16.02 million interchange is funded through a three-part cost sharing agreement, with the City of Lee’s Summit paying $8 million; the US Department of Transportation paying $6.8 million through funds secured through the Mid-America Regional Council; and the Missouri Department of Transportation paying the remaining $1.22 million.

“This project would not be possible without the collaboration at all levels of government,” said Lee’s Summit Public Works Director Dena Mezger. “We are excited to continue our great relationship with MoDOT on this priority project. We also are very grateful to the voters of Lee’s Summit who approved the bonds for the city portion of the funding.”

Radmacher Brothers Construction based in Pleasant Hill, Mo., is providing general construction services for the interchange project, and GBA Architects and Engineers of Lenexa, Kan. provided engineering and design services.

“We always appreciate the opportunity to do projects for the City of Lee’s Summit. Diverging diamond projects can present traffic control challenges, and when you add a roundabout it gets even more complicated, but the public always appreciates the finished product,” said Radmacher Brothers Owner Robert Radmacher.

The project should be completed in late 2018. Additional project partners include the Lee’s Summit Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Lee’s Summit Main Street, and Friends of Lee’s Summit.

For More Information:

Sarah Shore | Lee’s Summit Public Works | 816-969-1800 |

Tina Chace | Lee’s Summit EDC | 816-525-6617 |

Krista Klaus | Lee’s Summit EDC | 913-284-5752 |

OATS Public Transportation Expanded to Include TMC Lakewood

Lee’s Summit, Mo.— April 18, 2017– OATS public transportation system has expanded its Lee’s Summit service to include Truman Medical Center Lakewood located just outside city limits. Under a new agreement with the City of Lee’s Summit, OATS also increased its hours of operations through evening drive time and reduced one-way fares by $.50.

“This expansion is welcomed by TMC Lakewood. It is challenging to recruit and retain employees without timely and consistent public transportation options available to them,” said Lynette M. Wheeler, COO of TMC Lakewood. “The hours of operation and affordability will be a real benefit to our employees.”

For $1.50 per trip and with a  24-hour advance reservation, OATS provides place-to-place public transit for any person regardless of age or ability from Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Prior to April 1, OATS fares were $2, and service hours were 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“With 1,200 employees, TMC Lakewood is one of Lee’s Summit’s largest employers. The expansion of OATS provides a flexible, affordable transit service to those workers that previously was not available,” said Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President and CEO Rick McDowell. “We appreciate the City’s support of the expansion of OATS service area in order to assist the Lee’s Summit workforce.”

Demand response transit service previously was provided through KCATA MetroFlex Route 252 and OATS within Lee’s Summit for more than a decade. The decision to discontinue MetroFlex service while expanding OATS service followed a City of Lee’s Summit Transit Study that recommended greater efficiency, added capacity, expanded service and lower cost for demand response transit services.

The service will be available within the City limits of Lee’s Summit and to/from TMC – Lakewood Medical Center located just beyond the City limits, which is an expansion of the service area when compared to MetroFlex. The fare will be $1.50 per one-way trip, which is a reduction in fare for OATS to match MetroFlex’s one-way trip rate.

About OATS Inc.

OATS, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 corporation providing specialized transportation for thousands of Missourians in 87 Missouri counties. OATS employs more than 700 people statewide, with 24 percent of employees Veterans. OATS serves more than 32,000 people in Missouri, providing about 1.6 million one-way trips in 2016.  Its mission is to provide reliable transportation for transportation disadvantaged Missourians so they can live independently in their own communities.

For more information:

Tina Chace | 816-525-6617 |

Krista Klaus | 913-284-5752 |



Brokers and Developers: Lee’s Summit poised for peak altitude

 The region’s leading developers, brokers and attorneys offered a birds’ eye view into the Eastern Jackson County commercial real estate market on Tuesday, April 11, inside Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport’s Hangar One.

Surrounded by business aircraft and aviation mechanical equipment, panelists tackled everything from incentives to infrastructure to industrial speculative development, while updating various mixed-use and multifamily projects taking shape in Lee’s Summit and Eastern Jackson County.

Cerner’s new South Kansas City headquarters already is driving demand for new, amenity-rich single-family and multifamily housing options in Lee’s Summit and along the I-70 corridor, creating ongoing opportunity for retailers and restaurant operators.

“Families are happy and want to be in Lee’s Summit. And if you have a community where people want to live, retailers will follow,” Block & Co., Inc. Director Bill Maas said.

The consumer shift to online shopping is forcing many retailers to re-evaluate and scale back their brick-and-mortar footprints, but it also creates an opportunity for well-situated retail centers, according to Eric Mann, director of development for RED Brokerage.

“It’s location, location, location,” Mann said. “What goes into that is demographics, visibility, access and workforce. I-70 continues to be a great access point for Lee’s Summit, drawing people from areas like Odessa, Concordia and even further away.”

For Lee’s Summit, all signs point to continued growth with population expected to reach 100,000 by 2020 and new single-family building permits approaching pre-recession levels. Anecdotally, NorthPoint Development’s The Residences at New Longview apartments saw the fastest lease-up of any community to date when it opened in 2016, according to NorthPoint VP of Development Mark Pomerenke.

“That success gave us encouragement to start a second multifamily project (Summit Square), near US 50 and I-470,” Pomerenke said.

With $1 billion in public and private investment in 2015-2016, Lee’s Summit appears to be prepared for takeoff. However, panelists cautioned that rising construction costs and availability of incentives could create headwinds for future development of office and industrial space.

“There are a lot of opportunities in Jackson County and a lot of properties that don’t have infrastructure in place,” said Christine Bushyhead, an attorney whose law firm Bushyhead LLC specializes in incentives and public finance. “The fact is we need infrastructure.”

Rick McDowell, Lee’s Summit EDC president and CEO, agreed on the need for more shovel-ready sites but said development of a 200,000 square foot speculative industrial building at The Grove, an 83-acre mixed-use project on south Missouri 291, should encourage future activity.

“The key to landing advanced manufacturing and warehouse and distribution tenants is having product ready and available,” McDowell said. “We see tremendous opportunity for industrial growth near The Grove and in the area near Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport on the north side of town.”

Panelists said Lee’s Summit has potential to attract Class A office users, thanks to its strong workforce and workforce development programs supported by the Missouri Innovation Campus and Summit Technology Center.

“The biggest challenge is lack of product, but Lee’s Summit has come a long way in getting ahead and having development-ready sites,” said Michael Van Buskirk, Newmark Grubb Zimmer executive managing director.

The first phase of the $200 million Paragon Star soccer village and entertainment complex at I-470 and View High Drive is master planned for Class A office space, as well as hotel and retail space, according to Paragon Star Principal Bill Brown.

Developers of the Paragon Star soccer village and entertainment complex at I-470 and View High Drive are hoping to lure Class A office users. The first phase of the $200 million destination entertainment complex is master planned for Class A office space, as well as hotel and retail space, according to Paragon Star Principal Bill Brown.

“Paragon Star’s location is a gateway to Lee’s Summit and Eastern Jackson County, so office users and brokers should begin looking at Lee’s Summit in a different way,” Brown said.

Additional panelists at the event presented by MetroWireMedia included Ron Baker, Saint Luke’s East Hospital CEO. Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads served as emcee, and John Lovell III, Cobbs Allen risk consultant, moderated the event.

John Ohrazda, Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport Director, teed up the discussion by updating the airport’s runway project, which will extend allow larger jets to take off and land by extending the runway to 5,500 feet. The new runway will open in August and is expected to boost corporate airport traffic by up to 30 percent.

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