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Outstanding Developments and Strategic “Big 4” At Keystone

January 2020

A number of outstanding projects earned Keystone Awards while public projects like the I-35/Highway 152 bridge were honored at the annual Keystone Awards Breakfast.

Businesses ranging from a massive logistics operation in the Hunt Midwest Business Center to a Gladstone-based incubator for artists and other “makers” were among the developments honored at the Keystone Awards Breakfast Wednesday, Dec. 11.

Hosted by the Clay County Economic Development Council at Harrah’s North Kansas City, the event drew over 200 people. Seven private businesses and five public projects were recognized for helping to make Clay County a better place to live and work.

The event also featured an update of the Clay County Strategic Initiative and announcement of four key projects over the next five years. EDC Chair Elect Greg Canuteson said the “Big 4” projects are expansion of KC Tech Academy in Liberty, a “587” project for development near I-435 and Highway 152, expansion of the University of Missouri Center for Excellence in Orthopedics at Liberty Hospital and generation of another 50 new businesses and 5,000 jobs to double the post-2013 growth. (Read more on the Big 4 here.)

“None of these projects will be easy,” Canuteson said. “But with everyone’s help, they can become a reality that will make Clay County a better place for all of us.”

EDC Chair Rebecca Hill and Executive Director TJ Berry presented the Keystone Awards to projects that made particular contributions to Clay County’s economy and quality of life (click the project link for more detail):

Aldi, Excelsior Springs – a new grocery store that was nearly doubled in size during its design phase to become one of the largest locations for that company in the U.S.

designWerx, Gladstone – a space dedicated to “makers” like artists and builders who need a business-friendly incubator and retail space.

HMBC Logistics Center, Kansas City – new logistics building in Hunt Midwest’s “Automotive Alley.”

Holiday Inn Express, Kearney – a large, new hospitality center near Kearney’s front door at Highway 92 and I-35.

Missouri American Water Administration & Operation Complex, Lawson – the largest private utility corporation in the United States took over local water utilities at a rebuilt headquarters.

Dakota Bodies, Liberty – a rebuilt location in Liberty for a world-class auto supply corporation based in North Dakota.

Iron District, North Kansas City – unique small business startup utilizing repurposed storage containers for restaurants, retail shops and more.

The Keystone honors also included recognition of several public projects:

• Hobby Hill West Park, Gladstone.

• Kearney High School Stadium Press Box.

• Kansas Avenue/Highway 152 Highway and I-35 Interchange, and nearby Kansas Avenue project, Liberty.

• Mid-Continent Public Library branches at Antioch, Claycomo, Excelsior Springs and Kearney.

• North Kansas City High School.

The meeting included presentation of the second annual Jim Hampton Scholarships by retired EDC Executive Director Jim Hampton. The recipients were Liberty High School student Chloe Roffmann and St. Pius X student Eddie Omecene. Both are involved in the Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS) and multiple activities at their schools.

The event concluded with election of officers for 2020.


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