A final item from the recent State of the Cities Luncheon included some of the most significant announcements of the day.
During the July 8 event at Harrah’s North Kansas City, EDC Chair Greg Canuteson presented an update on the 587 Project, a best-use and feasibility study for land surrounding the Highway 152/I-435 interchange. Named by combining 152 and 435, the EDC identified this plan as one of their Big 4 strategic initiatives for 2023. Contracting with the Olsson engineering firm, the EDC’s goal is to lay the groundwork for a regional destination. The public/private development would feature Class A office space, unique civic projects and regional entertainment venues.
To date, the ideas gathered feature civic space to provide Clay County’s needs for large gatherings like high school graduations, which currently are often held in other counties. At the same time, Clay County needs the type of regional destination that will draw attention to the area’s visitors.
“This is going to be a fantastic, game changing project,” Canuteson said. “We think it’s going to be the kind of project that when people fly in and they come down 435, they’ll think ‘This is where a want to live.’”
The study is examining options for several areas: entertainment; sports, parks and recreation; specialty retail, civic, Class A office and housing.
Entertainment possibilities include an arena/fieldhouse for indoor soccer and similar sports; an outdoor facility with a retractable roof; and swimming facilities suitable for Olympic trials and seating approximately 18,000 people.
Wide Ranging Options
Other possibilities include an E-sports facilities, a drive-in theater with shared arena parking, renovation and upgrades to the Hodge Park amphitheater, a live music destination, an area similar to KC Live and an Independent film district.
Under sports, parks and recreation, much of the effort would be focused on Hodge Park, with upgrades to the golf course and the addition of dining and entertainment options. A connected fitness trail, regional destination playground, swimming, mountain biking course and pump track are also options. To the south, upgrades would be undertaken at the Western Missouri Soccer complex, while a pickleball and rifle range could be added.
Regarding civic projects, a community center is outlined with a natatorium, gym, exercise area, track and meeting rooms. A higher-education learning satellite campus is envisioned, along with a farmer’s market.
For Class A office, easy access to Kansas City International Airport and Downtown would be significant. The vision is for buildings from five to six stories with an emphasis on companies involved in digital media and computer software, pharmaceuticals, robotics, logistics and cybersecurity.
Residential development would likely include mixed-use, multilevel development that could include apartments, row homes, townhomes, garden style developments, single family, large lot acreages and high-end senior living.
Canuteson concluded that while more study continues, this outline provides a good vision of the types of projects being planned. “We think Clay County is a great place to live,” he said, “and we need the amenities to match.”