Kansas City, MO – Many residents in the Hickman Mills School District hope a new development project where Bannister Mall used to be will help improve the area. Demolition began recently to make way for an 18,000-seat soccer stadium. It's called the Trails Project, and also includes 12 soccer fields, and office and retail space, all slated to open in 2011. Now the new development won't bring revenue to the school district for a long time, since it's received 230 million dollars in tax breaks to help develop infrastructure in the area. But many residents have a lot of hope for the area. KCUR's Susan B. Wilson talked to some people at businesses and stores along Blue Ridge Boulevard about their opinions.
But getting a development project off the ground in tough economic times is a challenge - lack of funds temporarily brought the demolition to a halt. The developers are still looking for financing, and going back to the city for more help. Sixth district Councilman John Sharp represents the area and is advocating for the project.