Bannister Federal Complex in KC to be demolished

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A massive federal complex in south Kansas City will be demolished beginning in 2016, essentially ending a federal government presence that began with supplying engines for warplanes during World War II.

CenterPoint Properties, which is working with the National Nuclear Security Administration to redevelop Bannister Federal Complex, said Wednesday that it will spend an estimated $175 million to demolish all the buildings and clean up the 5.1 million-square-foot complex. The contract is contingent on negotiations to transfer the building and approval of efforts to clean up environmental damage at the site.

The nuclear security agency plans to transfer the property to CenterPoint after Honeywell Federal Manufacturing & Technologies and the federal General Services Administration move to new locations in late 2015, The Kansas City Star reported.

The complex opened in 1943 to supply Pratt & Whitney propeller engines for the Navy Corsair and the Army Thunderbolt fighters. Its main work in recent years was supplying nuclear weapon parts. Currently, the Honeywell nuclear weapons parts operation takes up about 60 percent of the complex, with the GSA occupying most of the remaining 40 percent.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture operation currently at the complex plans to relocate to the former Richards-Gebaur Airport.

“The Bannister Federal Complex was an asset to this community for decades, and I’m confident that CenterPoint will transform the site into an asset for future generations,” Mayor Sly James said. “There is a tremendous amount of opportunity for the site, so this isn’t a time to look back. It’s a time to look forward.”

The demolition and cleanup is expected to be completed by mid to late 2017. After that, all that will be left is a building housing a Marine Corps information technology center.

Soil at the 300-acre site is contaminated with chlorinated solvents, petroleum hydrocarbons and PCBs, and beryllium, according to a federal report. But CenterPoint officials believe the contamination is manageable.

“This is an everyday, ordinary, 1940s heavy-manufacturing facility,” spokesman Jim Cross said. “It’s stuff you see with other heavy-manufacturing facilities of that nature, your typical chemicals and industrial waste.

“The government has done a great job. On top of that, we’ll sample and test once the buildings are gone.”

How the property could eventually be reused has not been determined. CenterPoint officials say it could be a mix of commercial and industrial uses but residential uses are not planned.


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