The Lee’s Summit Planning Commission stamped its approval Tuesday evening on a vast new $225 million development project spanning more than 80 acres in Lee’s Summit. It’s the latest in a string of investments in the eastern Jackson County suburb making it the hottest area of the city and one of the fastest growing cities in Missouri.
On Monday morning, Charles Garney watched as the last remaining piece of an old rock quarry in Riverside was prepped for new development. Garney, with the rest of his Briarcliff Development staff and other local officials, broke ground Monday on the site of a future Marriott TowneSuites hotel. The 94-suite hotel will sit directly east of the already existing Marriott Courtyard, bringing the the total number of rooms on the site to more than 200.
With help from BNSF Railway, NorthPoint Development, and other local utility partners, the City of Edgerton is creating its own new public-private economic development organization. Officials hope this newly formed EDC will help the area sustain the tremendous growth it’s seen since the inception of Logistics Park Kansas City in late 2013.
“People want to see your demographics on a pie chart, and it just doesn’t work here,” Developer Michael Knight said about the $139 million project. “Because what we really have is all sorts of income brackets, backgrounds, and age groups, and the commonality between all those people is connectivity and a desire to be ‘in the mix.’ It’s a mindset, and mindsets don’t show up on pie charts. It’s much more communal, organic, and real, and you just can’t manufacture that.”
“We won’t truly become a smart city until all areas of the city are connected," Kansas City Mayor Sly James cautioned to members of KC Downtowners. "Technology is merely a tool, and we should use it to make sure that everything we do is done in the light of how it improves the lives of our citizens.”