Kansas City North is getting a new fire station thanks, in part, to a land donation in the city’s fast-growing northeast corner.
City Council has approved a land donation of 7.3 acres at the corner of Missouri Highway 291 and Sherman Road, just east of the Interstate-435 interchange. City Council approved the donation at the end of January.
Timothy Harris, president and owner of Star Development Corporation, donated the land. It is not the first time Harris has donated land for public projects. In January, his corporation also donated 40 acres of land about a mile south of the future fire station location to the North Kansas City School District to be used as the site of a new elementary school. Star Development also donated land to the Liberty School District for the development of Kellybrook Elementary School.
The location for the new fire station is in an area that has been identified through a strategic planning process for the Kansas City Fire Department as a critical area of the city for fire department growth.
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City Councilwoman for District 1 Heather Hall had made a new fire station part of her campaign promises. Hall says she’s heard people say they were concerned about emergency response times.
“People of this Northeast corner will now have shorter response times,” Hall said. “People in other parts of the city will also get shorter response times.”
While the final costs of the project are not yet determined, Hall says she has already found funding through district PIAC dollars, the Shoal Creek District TIFF and Public Safety Sales Tax dollars. Hall was hoping to keep the project cost to about $4 million.
“When you get the land for free, it does drive the price down,” Hall said.
Kansas City Architect Eric Bosch expects the total price tag for the project may be a bit higher, closer to a total cost of about $6 million. That disparity is primarily due to expected infrastructure which will have to be included in the project. Construction in the area, which is primarily rural at this point, will require the extension of utility lines.
“Now that the land has been donated, we’re able to go out and hire an architectural firm. We know the station will reflect the functions of other stations, but we haven’t started working on the outside design at all,” Bosch said.
Bosch says each station is built to reflect the architecture of the area and neighborhood. He expects it may be about 18 to 24 months before the station is complete.