Development

Developer begins environmental study of Bannister Federal Complex

The Bannister complex opened more than 70 years ago to manufacture warplane engines during World War II.
The Bannister complex opened more than 70 years ago to manufacture warplane engines during World War II. The Kansas City Star

The company selected for the redevelopment of the sprawling Bannister Federal Complex in south Kansas City has begun an environmental and engineering evaluation of the property, once home to a plant that produced non-nuclear parts for nuclear weapons.

The work, by CenterPoint Properties, is expected to take up to 18 months, according to an announcement Wednesday by the National Nuclear Security Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Energy.

CenterPoint’s site assessment includes coming up with a plan for demolishing obsolete facilities on the 300-acre complex on Bannister Road and environmentally restoring the property. No redevelopment plans have been set.

“This is an important step in moving forward with the redevelopment of the Bannister Federal Complex,” said Jason Klumb, regional administrator for the General Services Administration, which owns the property with the Department of Energy.

The federal agencies have been working for more than three years on preparing the World War II-era complex for eventual redevelopment. In 2012, CenterPoint was named the preferred planning partner for the project.

CenterPoint said in a statement that over the next 18 months it will be conducting “extensive research, testing and due diligence, all of which will allow us to develop a complete and thorough environmental restoration plan for the facility.”

The Chicago-area company has conducted several large-scale redevelopment projects on so-called brownfield sites, including one at the former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base in Kansas City.

The Bannister complex opened more than 70 years ago to manufacture warplane engines during World War II. After the war, it was transformed into producing most of the non-nuclear parts for the United States’ national defense system.

Honeywell operated the non-nuclear parts plant for many years for the Department of Energy. The company recently completed the extensive process of moving its 2,600 employees about eight miles south into a new $687 million National Security Campus at Missouri 150 and Botts Road.

GSA’s 900 employees are scheduled to move in early 2015 to Two Pershing Square, an office building near Union Station.

Another Bannister complex tenant, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, recently announced it will move late next year to an office park near Botts Road and Missouri 150. The organization will be the last to leave the Bannister complex.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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