February 26, 2011

5 Things to Know: Independence Business Park

By Jeff Fox - jeff.fox@examiner.net

The 360-acre project will be at Missouri 78 and Missouri 7, in east Independence across M-7 from the Lake City Army Ammunition Plant.
It will straddle M-78 and could include industrial, office and even retail space.

Although Independence has a large amount of underground industrial space, most of it along Missouri 291, it hasn’t added above-ground industrial space since the early 1970s.

Officials say the project has taken years to put together and will take years to fully develop.

“The real work begins now. Now we can actually put this in front of businesses,” Independence Economic Development President Tom Lesnak said when plans were announced in August 2010.

The industrial park fits into the city’s vision for the Little Blue River valley with a mix of industry, commerce and housing.
The valley lies in the 38 square miles of eastern Independence that remains undeveloped – an area larger than many metro suburbs – and growth plans get a boost later this year with the extension of the Little Blue Expressway north the way to U.S. 24, giving the area a four-lane north-south road from U.S. 24 to U.S. 40.

Key players in putting the project together have been:
  • Independence Economic Development.
  • Clayco, a development company based in St. Louis.
  • The City of Independence.
  • The Community of Christ, which owns the land.
  • CEAH Realtors