North Kansas City Economic Development Office: Turning a former flour mill into a mixed-use development

The North Kansas City Economic Development office provides a good example of just how important an economic development agency can be to a community.

The economic development department with the city of North Kansas City, Mo., is now marketing a 58-acre plot of land that was once home to a busy ADM flour mill. That mill is now closed, and North Kansas City officials have hopes of turning this high-visibility parcel of land into a mixed-use development.

Jeff Samborski, economic development manager with the city, said that North Kansas City might be able to announce a developer – the city is not yet giving the name of this developer — for the project before winter arrives. The hope is that construction crews will start breaking ground on a mixed-use development on this key site early next year.

“It’s exciting to get this close,” Samborski said. “It’s been somewhat of a roller coast since we started the acquisition process of this land several years ago. The economy has gone through some rough cycles. But we are now seeing some positive signs from the economy. We think that’s going to help with this project. And we think that this project will provide a definite economic boon to the area.”

Samborski admits that the last several years have been challenging ones. But he also thinks that they’ve strengthened businesses.

Companies today are running leaner, Samborski said. They aren’t wasting as many dollars each year. They have become expert at better managing their costs, reducing what Samborski refers to as “fluff.”

Because of this, several businesses are now seeking to expand. They’ve cut their costs, gained control over their budgets and are now looking to move into new areas. And organizations like the North Kansas City Economic Development department are ready to help them break into these new communities.

“During the next few months I expect that we will see a lot of projects get underway in our area,” Samborski said. “I have no doubt that we’ll see more activity once the presidential election is over. There is pent-up demand out there.”

– Dan Rafter

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