Edgemoor, KCADC launch ‘Better KCI’ campaign at LSEDC luncheon

Lee’s Summit EDC Board of Directors gives public vote of support to single-terminal KCI plan

Lee’s Summit, MO— Oct. 17, 2017— The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council’s October Advisory Board luncheon was the first stop for the Kansas City Area Development Council as it kicked off its “Better KCI” campaign ahead of Kansas City’s Nov. 7 special election. By Missouri statute, public finance projects require approval of voters in the construction jurisdiction, but improvements to KCI have regional business and tourist implications.

“KCI is Kansas City’s front door to the world, and we must maintain our status as a top destination….” KCADC President and CEO Tim Cowden told LSEDC investors. “The truth is that KCI as it is now configured is losing flights to St. Louis.”

Cowden hit the speaking circuit in October to educate business and citizen groups about the positive economic impact of a new single-terminal configuration at KCI, including the addition of international nonstop service required by many companies seeking new locations.

“Since opening in 1972, passenger travel out of KCI has nearly tripled. The current terminal configuration predates things like airline deregulation and post 9/11 security requirements,” Cowden said.

Edgemoor Infrastructure Managing Director Geoff Stricker joined Cowden at the LSEDC’s monthly advisory board luncheon, updating investors on the design and bid process for the $1 billion single terminal project.

“LSEDC recognizes that KCI is the ‘front door’ for the entire Kansas City region,” said Lee’s Summit EDC President Rick McDowell. “That’s why the LSEDC Board of Directors has overwhelmingly voted to support KCI’s single-terminal concept.”


Check out the Better KCI video produced by KCADC here.

Resolution for Support, LSEDC Board

For More Information:

Tina Chace | tchace@leessummit.org | 816-525-6617
Krista Klaus | kklaus@leessummit.org | 913-284-5752

Summit Technology Academy students celebrate National Manufacturing Day

Teens explore career paths in advanced manufacturing with tours of three local companies

October 11, 2017– LEE’S SUMMIT, MO— Summit Technology Academy (STA) students visited a trio of Lee’s Summit companies to learn first-hand about careers in the advanced manufacturing industry. The educational event on Oct. 6 coincided with National Manufacturing Day, which was created to inspire students to choose careers in modern manufacturing.

“This collaboration highlights Lee’s Summit’s strong educational ecosystem and the strategic collaborations that our partners have designed to help develop and prepare the workforce of the future,” said Jessica Hamilton, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council’s director of community and investor relations.

The event was made possible through a partnership between the LSEDC and Summit Technology Academy, as well as local manufacturers Automated Motion Inc., Creative Blow Mold Tooling, and ULTRAX Aerospace Incorporated.

“By inviting three thriving local companies with distinct and unique operations to host students as part of National Manufacturing Day, our goal is to give these future employees a snapshot of career opportunities in manufacturing,” Summit Technology Academy Principal Elaine Metcalf said. “Students gained a better understanding of the skills and education needed to advance in the industry.”

A total of 16 STA juniors and seniors observed manufacturing processes in real-time while engaging with engineers, programmers, machinists, and tool makers to learn more about career paths in the advanced manufacturing field.

Students who participated in the local celebration of National Manufacturing Day are enrolled in STA’s Digital Electronics and/or Computer Integrated Manufacturing course. STA is located within the new Missouri Innovation Campus, a STEM-based educational collaboration between the Lee’s Summit R-7 School District, Metropolitan Community College and the University of Central Missouri. MIC students obtain a bachelor’s degree in two years with little to no student debt, thanks to partnerships with the business community and community organizations.

“It was a real treat to host the next generation of innovators and tech leaders. We are fortunate to have the Missouri Innovation Campus in our community helping create a critical pipeline of technology talent,” ULTRAX President Troy Prewitt said.

Event highlights below:

•At ULTRAX Aerospace Incorporated, students simulated the manufacturing process– from product ideation through production and final product testing– and learned about the growing industry of aerospace manufacturing and career opportunities. Ultrax is a design and manufacturing center that develops customer-focused diagnostic and troubleshooting tools for electrical systems used in the aerospace industry.

•Students learned about the manufacturing of PC boards, control panels, cables and turnkey products, as well as automatic aerospace oxygen mask testing while touring Automated Motion Inc. Automated Motion is a design engineering and contract manufacturing company that specializes in electro-mechanical assemblies and devices and automated systems. Students connected their classroom curriculum to real world experience at the Lee’s Summit based company.

•Students observed the blow mold tooling process and learned about on-the-job training and career path progression at Creative Blow Mold Tooling. The company offers career advancement based on competency, experience, productivity and intangibles such as work ethic and attendance. High school internships start at $13.50-$15/hour and students may rise through technical ranks to become a mold design engineer earning $25+/hour. The company also pays for industry certification programs.

For More Information:

Tina Chace | Lee’s Summit EDC | 816-525-6617 | tchace@leessummit.org
Krista Klaus | Lee’s Summit EDC | 913-284-5752 | kklaus@leessummit.org

City of Lee’s Summit Celebrates Opening of Runway Extension

September 27, 2017– LEE’S SUMMIT, MO – The City of Lee’s Summit and project partners celebrated the official opening of the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport’s new extended runway and completion of airport upgrades on Wednesday, September 27 at Hangar 1, 2525 NE Douglas St., Lee’s Summit, Mo.

“It is gratifying to be here today to celebrate the fulfillment of a long-term vision set forth by Lee’s Summit leaders,” Lee’s Summit Mayor Pro Tem Rob Binney said. “This new 5,500-foot long runway enables larger corporate jets with greater fuel capacity to take-off and land at the Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport, ultimately helping Lee’s Summit build its profile as an important gateway to opportunity.” 

The $18 million project was funded through approximately $17 million in federal and state grants and a 5 percent local match by the City of Lee’s Summit. Emery Sapp & Sons Inc. served as general contractor for both the runway earthwork and paving projects, and Crawford Murphy and Tilly, Inc. provided engineering design services.

“This project would not be possible without strong collaboration at all levels of government,” Lee’s Summit Airport Manager John Ohrazda said. “I would like to thank our project partners and the City of Lee’s Summit for supporting the growth and vision of Lee’s Summit Municipal Airport.”

The airport runway improvements, along with the City of Lee’s Summit’s purchase of the 40,000-square foot Hangar 1, are expected to boost economic development and redevelopment activity by offering another option for transportation and accessibility, according to Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President Rick McDowell.

$18 million project expected to serve as catalyst for airport growth

“While providing a significant economic boost to the City of Lee’s Summit, these airport improvements also provide business and corporate aircraft users better access to the southeastern Jackson County area and the metropolitan Kansas City region,” McDowell said. “In addition, Hangar 1 allows the airport to accommodate both ‘based’ and transient corporate aircraft.”

The earthwork project to accommodate the longer runway began in fall 2015 and was completed in summer 2016. The paving portion of the project began in fall 2016.

For More Information:

Sarah Shore | Lee’s Summit Public Works | 816-969-1800 | sarah.shore@cityofls.net

Tina Chace | Lee’s Summit EDC | 816-525-6617 | tchace@leessummit.org

Krista Klaus | Lee’s Summit EDC | 913-284-5752 | kklaus@leessummit.org

Lee’s Summit EDC Hosts 2017 Developer Showcase

Event offers project updates on New Longview, The Grove and Paragon Star projects

Lee’s Summit, MO—September 15, 2017—Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council investors received insight and updated information on three of the city’s premier economic development projects at LSEDC’s second annual Developer Showcase luncheon on September 13, 2017 at Emaline Ballroom, 616 SW Third St., Lee’s Summit.

  • Corey Walker, senior vice president of Platform Ventures, provided master plan updates for the New Longview development area, including the Fascination Corridor. As B&B Theatres takes shape on the south side of Fascination Drive, Walker said Platform’s team is speaking with several potential tenants for office and retail buildings planned for “Fascination North.”
  • Mark Long, executive managing director of Newmark Grubb Zimmer, offered an update on the first 200,000 square foot speculative industrial building at The Grove of Lee’s Summit. Site preparation is underway in the building divisible to 40,000 square feet. Newmark Grubb Zimmer is marketing the property to prospective tenants and plans to pursue potential prospects in the aerospace, light manufacturing and e-commerce industries.
  • Paragon Star developer Phillip “Flip” Short shared updated and expanded plans for the $220 million sports-themed destination attraction and mixed-use project north of I-470 at View High Drive. Paragon Star has added 98 acres to the north side of its project site, with the addition of a fieldhouse with fitness facilities, volleyball and basketball courts, as well as additional sports fields and amenities. In addition, Paragon Star has retained Clearwater, Florida-based Sports Facilities Advisory-Sports Facilities Management to assist with the project as it grows in size and scope.

The LSEDC launched the Developer Showcase series in 2016 to give investors updated insight, networking opportunities and timetables associated with the broad range of economic development activity taking place in the city, according to Rick McDowell, president of the Lee’s Summit EDC. “The project pipeline and deal flow in Lee’s Summit is the strongest I have encountered in three decades of economic development,” McDowell said. “LSEDC’s Developer Showcase offers our friends and investors insight into project timelines and activity.”

The 2017 Developer Showcase was sponsored by MC Power. For more information about the LSEDC, follow us on Twitter @LSECONDEV or like us on Facebook.

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 vision: To promote and enhance the City of Lee’s Summit as a model community for economic innovation and growth, fueled by a pro-business environment, diverse economic base with a commitment to strong relationships and work ethic.

For More Information:

Tina Bell Chace, LSEDC | 816-525-6617 tchace@leessummit.org 

Krista Klaus | 913-284-5752 kristamartinklaus@gmail.com

B&B Theatres announces comprehensive remodel of Lee’s Summit 16 in Lee’s Summit, MO!

September 6, 2017B&B Theatres is pleased to announce that work is underway on a comprehensive remodel of its theater location in Lee’s Summit, located at 1451 NE Douglas Street in Lee’s Summit, MO!

The theater will remain open throughout the remodeling process. 

Multiple improvements are currently being implemented and installed, including full-scale seat replacements! Dated static seats are being removed to make way for luxury electric, leather reclining theater chairs. A new point-of-sale software was recently installed, the implementation of which has enabled reserved seating in all sixteen auditoriums. Additionally, the software allows guests to participate in the B&B Theatres Backstage Pass Loyalty Program, a rewards system through which repeat guests can earn discounts on tickets, concessions, and other great promotions.

Other plans include a comprehensive overhaul of the concession area, replacing outdated fixtures and realigning the lobby area with the B&B brand. New carpets and restroom improvements will be included in the remodeling effort, bringing a new polish and shine to a wonderful hometown theater.

Last but not least, customers will be excited to learn about the installation of self-serve soda fountains, which will afford them the opportunity to fill their own drinks, mix flavors, and enjoy free refills on all drink sizes.

Many other exciting and major improvements and developments are included as part of this comprehensive effort, and updates will be released routinely on B&B Theatres social media channels.

In addition to this massive remodel at the Douglas Street location, B&B has also announced that construction on a 7-screen boutique theater is underway in the New Longview Development in Lee’s Summit. Dirtwork has been done, and construction is slated to begin in the Fall with an estimated completion date of April 2018.

Company History
B&B Theatres has been family owned and operated since 1924 when Elmer Bills Sr. opened a movie house in Salisbury, Missouri where the future Mrs. Bills played the piano for silent movies. During the company’s 93 years, and four generations of family involvement, it has seen the coming of sound, color, Technicolor, stadium seating, multiplexes, and now digital cinema.

Current Operations
B&B Theatres is the 7th largest theatre chain in North America and operates 400 screens at 50 locations in Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Mississippi, and Florida.

Contact: Paul Farnsworth, Director of Public Relations, B&B Theatres

Companion Animal Health chooses Lee’s Summit for new regional office

August 28, 2017—Lee’s Summit, MO—Companion Animal Health, a Delaware-based manufacturer of animal health lasers & rehabilitation products, will open a regional office and training center at 657 SE Bailey Road in Lee’s Summit. The new regional office will be announced at the annual Global Animal Health Homecoming Dinner and Investment Forum hosted by the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor this evening.

Companion Animal Health provides innovative therapeutic solutions to the veterinary market with a focus on evidence, education, and partnership. In addition to providing highly reliable products, the company also provides the resources and tools necessary to successfully incorporate laser technology and products in veterinary practice.

“Companion Animal Health is a perfect ‘companion’ to the Lee’s Summit community,” said Lee’s Summit EDC President Rick McDowell. “Recent market studies of our business landscape identified that the Lee’s Summit business and educational ecosystem was ripe for the expansion of animal health and health related companies, so we are thrilled about this announcement.”

The Kansas City Area Development Council provided project assistance to Companion Animal Health for its new location in Lee’s Summit. Additional partners included the State of Missouri, Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council, City of Lee’s Summit, KCP&L, and the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor.

“Companion Animal Health is an innovative company in the animal health industry and it’s been an honor to assist them in their selection of the KC Animal Health Corridor,” said Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor. “We look forward to the success we know they will have with this new location.”

The Animal Health Corridor is home to more than 300 animal health companies and represents the largest concentration of animal health assets in the world. Anchored by Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, the Corridor generates more than half of the sales generated by the global animal health industry.

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 promote and enhance the City of Lee’s Summit as a model community for economic innovation and growth fueled by a pro-business environment, diverse economic base and a commitment to strong relationships and work ethic. http://www.leessummit.org

About Companion Animal Health | Companion Animal Health is the Delaware-based manufacturer of Companion Therapy Lasers®, and other animal health & rehabilitation products. Companion Animal Health is also the exclusive world-wide distributor of Companion Regenerative Therapies™. Companion is a division of LiteCure and provides expertise in design, manufacturing, production, and support. LiteCure is ISO13485-certified and continues its commitment to science, education, and the highest level of customer service. http://www.companionanimalhealth.com

For More Information:

Tina Bell Chace, LSEDC | 816-525-6617 tchace@leessummit.org
Krista Klaus | 913-284-5752 kristamartinklaus@gmail.com


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 | tchace@leessummit.org
Krista Klaus | 913-284-5752 | kristamartinklaus@gmail.com


New Development Celebrates Local Partners With Initial Groundbreaking

August 11, 2017 info@thegrove-ls.com
(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 | tchace@leessummit.org | 816-525-6617

Krista Klaus | kklaus@leessummit.org | 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.


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