Lee’s Summit investment tops $1 billion

Lee’s Summit is setting the scene for an influx of future development with a record year of investment. The city hit a high mark for economic growth in 2014-2015 with more than $1 billion invested in the form of new and expanded buildings, public infrastructure and residential construction permits.

“I’ve been in economic development for 25 years, and I’ve never seen as much activity and opportunity in a single community,” said Rick McDowell, president of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council. “The two-year total includes public and private spending—and a large amount clearly is Cerner’s $500 million investment in the Summit Technology Campus.”

It’s paying off. Currently, the Lee’s Summit EDC has 10 active prospects, including a 100,000-square-foot flex office facility and a large warehouse and distribution operation.

McDowell said the high quality of Lee’s Summit schools, restaurants and housing – along with a focused community branding and advertising campaign – is helping draw national attention to the community.

The investment was preceded by two strategic initiatives in 2012, including a citywide rebranding campaign and an overhaul of development services. Based on the level of economic growth the city is seeing, City Manager Steve Arbo says the initiatives are clearly paying off.