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Clay County Development Update: Wow!

June 2017

The Liberty Commons development is one of several retail projects under way in Clay County. Part of a notable development surge, the Liberty construction is just one of several public and private efforts under either planned or in construction this year.

Clay County is in the midst of a significant building boom, although the widespread and diverse projects make the amount of work easy to miss. From North Kansas City to Lawson and Smithville, projects under construction or recently announced promise dramatic impact.

Two of the most notable are at nearly opposite ends of the county: The 1 North development at I-35 and Armour Road in North Kansas City, and Smithville Commons at Highways 169 and 92 in that city. Both promise major economic development impact for their communities and lifestyle opportunities for the region.

Retail is doing well throughout the county. The Highway 152 corridor in Liberty and to the east continues to add projects, including several new projects near North Boothe Avenue. Liberty Commons near I-35 and Highway 152 is one of the largest projects, although the redevelopment of Metro North Crossing now underway will be very significant in terms of both investment and community impact. The new Costco near Highway 152 and Platte Purchase Road is notable as well.

Several of the largest projects in Clay County involve public investment. One of the most obvious is nearly complete, the mammoth rebuilding of the I-35/Pleasant Valley Road interchange. This $10.1 million project includes sound barriers and greatly improves safety and efficiency.

Nearby, Liberty has the $41-million South Liberty Parkway extension that will connect I-35 and Highway 291. Liberty is also finalizing plans for the new, 10-lane Highway 152 bridge over I-35. Also in progress is the Norterre Health Living Center with a first phase worth $66 million near Liberty Hospital.

As Clay County’s largest city, it is not surprising that Kansas City has a number of major projects. Several of the efforts are near I-435 and Highway 210, including a major interchange project that will result in a “diverging diamond interchange” to smooth the area’s heavy traffic.

A major private project close by involves the Northland Park industrial center where 300 more acres are under development. Also growing both aboveground and below is the Hunt Midwest Business Center and SubTropolis. Hunt recently constructed a new, 200,000-square-foot industrial building while, across I-35, two hotels are among several projects underway.

Historic downtown growth is evident in Excelsior Springs, Kearney and Liberty. Gladstone’s new downtown is rapidly becoming a regional landmark thanks to projects like the Innovation Campus.

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