Roads and bridges may not be the most exciting aspect of economic development, but they’re an essential building block to community building, as well as to the important work of attracting and retaining business.
In the first half of 2017, Lee’s Summit had more than $100 million in ongoing infrastructure projects that include new roads, interchanges and bridges.
While these investments will improve traffic flow and convenience for Lee’s Summit residents and visitors, the economic development opportunities and potential benefits to our local economy are worth noting.
The Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council already is seeing potential dividends resulting from the City’s shared $10 million investment with Kansas City to widen and improve Lee’s Summit Road between Colbern Road and Gregory Boulevard.
With Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic High School set to open this summer along Lee’s Summit Road, the LSEDC is helping developers and retailers identify sites and available land, signaling an exciting new corridor of growth activity over the next decade.
Also on the north side of town, the April opening of the Tudor Road Bridge serves as a key connector to the nearby Summit Tech Corridor, opening up additional ground for possible commercial projects and economic development activity in the area near the Missouri Innovation Campus, which is due to open in August.
On the south side of town, reconstruction of the new U.S. 50 Highway and Missouri 291 Highway interchange and roundabout opens development opportunities in a corridor that business leaders and the city have envisioned as a high growth potential area for decades.
While addressing safety concerns and improving traffic flow, the $16 million diverging diamond interchange will ensure efficient movement of goods into and out of planned warehouse and distribution operations at The Grove mixed-use project and other planned industrial locations.
To the east, the new $23 million Blackwell Interchange across U.S. 50 Highway will provide much-needed access to more than 900 acres of development opportunity on the east side of Lee’s Summit.
The diamond interchange and nearby road improvements are being funded through the East 50 Highway TIF and MODOT.
These public and private partnerships create building blocks for the important work of expanding and retaining existing business as well as attracting new business to Lee’s Summit.
Companies are attracted to communities that show a spirit of collaboration, along with a pro-business climate and plenty of nearby amenities for employees to enjoy.
With more than $1 billion in total investment over a two-year period, Lee’s Summit is proving its ability to offer the full package that today’s businesses are seeking.
And based on our current pipeline of activity, we only expect the high-growth environment to continue over the next 18 months.
The Lee’s Summit EDC is working with the city and the local business community to spread the word about Lee’s Summit high-quality schools, neighborhoods and amenities, as well as our development-friendly business climate.
To receive updates about the latest development activity and to learn more about our organization, we invite you to Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter at @LSEconDevCo.
Rick McDowell is the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President and CEO