North Kansas City took the first step toward creating a new sprawling business development Thursday, when a demolition crew began destroying a century-old Archer Daniels Midland mill.
The hulking gray mill sits on 58 acres of prime land at the intersection of 210 highway and I-35. The city hopes a developer will re-tool the land and create a large mixed-use development that could include medical offices, retail stores and possibly even some residential units.
Matt Shatto, the city administrator of North Kansas City, said he hopes the land, purchased by the city last year, can be transformed into a vibrant new space.
“I think the city council is looking for a very nice mixed-use project that is pedestrian friendly and that provides amenities for North Kansas City residents, as well as those residents within the Kansas City metropolitan area,” Shatto said.
One of the first structures to go up in North Kansas City, the mill was built in 1910 by ADM. A few years ago, though, the company was debating whether to upgrade the mill or to abandon it entirely. The city just couldn’t afford to let the prime land lay dormant.
“Seeing as we have an abandoned mill just to the south of this location, that’s something that the city didn’t want to have happen," Shatto said. "They started talking with ADM and moved forward with a negotiated purchase of the project.”
The mill sits on Armour Street, near the city-owned North Kansas City Hospital. Eventually, the city says, the property will be returned to private ownership once the city and the chosen developer can agree to a plan.
Shatto said the city hopes to have a developer in place by the end of this summer and said the city wants development to start this year.
The demolition is expected to take about six months.