May 27, 2014

Cerner plans to expand Three Trails campus

Cerner Corp. tells Kansas City Council members it wants to expand its Three Trails office campus north to 87th Street to allow new facilities and improved landscaping.

Cerner Corp. wants to expand the size of its planned Three Trails office campus in south Kansas City to accommodate additional facilities and improve landscaping in the entire development area.

The campus development approved last October by the Kansas City Council was for a 237-acre property east of Interstate 435 and north of Bannister Road that included the site of the former Bannister Mall.

Now, city officials say Cerner wants to expand the redevelopment site to include a pocket left out of the original plan on the northwest side. It would extend the campus north to 87th Street between I-435 and Hillcrest Road and allow the company to include a training center and clinic for its employees.

At the time it was approved, the Three Trails redevelopment plan called for the North Kansas City-based health care giant to build a phased, 4.5 million-square-foot campus that's expected to employ 15,000 people when completed in 2024. Cerner employs more than 9,000 people in the metropolitan area.

Kansas City Councilwoman Cindy Circo said Monday she and Councilman Michael Brooks were briefed on the proposed expansion late last week. Both represent the Fifth District where the Three Trails project is located.

Cerner officials issued a statement about their plan Monday:

“Cerner submitted a revised Three Trails development plan to the EDC for discussion at the TIF Commission’s July meeting.

“The new site layout is slightly larger and includes more green space, a stand-alone associate health clinic, and a training facility. Three Trails is the largest construction project in the state of Missouri and Cerner continues to seek ways to maximize the space.”

Circo welcomed the plan by Cerner, saying it would help redevelop the entire quadrant east of I-435 between Bannister and 87th Street.

“I think that area that was being cutoff could have taken awhile before it was productive for south Kansas City,” Circo said. “Cerner taking it makes a larger project even better with green amenities and continues to demonstrate Cerner’s investment in south Kansas City.”

The planned expansion also would allow the company to reconfigure the layout of its entire development to include more landscaping. The current plan, which calls for the Cerner office buildings to be an island surrounded by surface parking for more than 13,000 cars, had been criticized by some for its design.

Construction of the first phase of the Cerner office development is expected to begin this year. The first phase is expected to include 578,500 square feet of office space in two buildings, and a service center. About 2,260 jobs are expected to be created in the first phase, according to documents filed with the city.

In January, Cerner officials said the first 1,500 of what are expected to be up to 15,000 new employees should be working there by 2016.

To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to Follow him on Twitter @kckansascity

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