News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Innovation Park brings promise

clock January 20, 2010 16:47 by author Jeff Quibell

mip The Missouri Innovation Park, announced just more than one year ago, has received significant media attention. Excitement surrounding the development projects and the impact that they will have on our city abounds. However, the fine details are still forthcoming.

Innovation involves the deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative to generate new ideas. The Missouri Innovation Park will be a science and technology park for research and development, new products and services. The Mizzou Innovation Center, which will facilitate the collaborative efforts of University of Missouri professors and graduate students in the study and research of human and animal health technologies, will be the anchor tenant.

The remainder of the park would house facilities and businesses that will integrate well with the research and development of the university and will likely produce products for commercial sale, resulting from scientific and technological discoveries of the park. The potential for several thousand high-paying jobs coming to Blue Springs and the surrounding region is exciting and is only one component of the many benefits to our community that will come because of the park.

The Mizzou Innovation Center should begin development and construction in the coming months. The commitment our city leaders have made to the park, to the achievement of this goal which will raise the economic demographic of our community, will be validated.

As we embark on this extraordinary journey, no one knows exactly what the final result will be or how the finished product will appear. The details of the park continue to evolve, which is normal and appropriate for projects of this magnitude and scope. The result will lead to discoveries we cannot even imagine today. With innovation and discovery, the possibilities are limitless.

Update on Tenants for Adams Dairy Landing

clock January 18, 2010 12:48 by author Jeff Quibell


Projected Opening Date


Already Open


October 2010


July 2010


May 2010


September 2010

M&I Bank

June 2010


May 2010


Already Open

Mattress Firm

Already Open

Olive Garden

March 2010


March 2010

Gap Outlet

Already Open


Already Open

Famous Footwear

April 2010

Books a Million

May 2010


Already Open

Sally Beauty

Already Open

Innovation Park plans advancing

clock January 13, 2010 10:50 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQ Photo There is a lot of talk around town regarding the Missouri Innovation Park, a development that is sure to change the face of the future of Blue Springs. A “Show Me” attitude is part of the culture in Missouri, and some need to see dirt moving and buildings under construction to truly believe that the Innovation Park, bringing with it the desired growth of quality jobs, is a reality.

Community leaders in Blue Springs laid a path many years ago, putting in place the key components to support the development of the Innovation Park by establishing the vision for Adams Dairy Parkway. As that vision has evolved, we have seen the addition of retail and restaurants, which add another component necessary to the realization of the original vision for Adams Dairy Parkway.

Two and a half years ago, as the first details regarding the park began to emerge, Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation President Brien Starner and I had long conversations about the potential the park brought to our community. It was clear that the stars were aligning for success. A project of this type normally takes, on average, approximately five years to develop the support of all the various organizations necessary for success.

In this instance, the Missouri Innovation Park has the support of the City of Blue Springs, the University of Missouri, the Blue Springs School District, the Central Jackson Country Fire Protection District, the Blue Springs Economic Development Corp., the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce, the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Kansas City Area Development Council, Jackson County, the Mid-Continent Public Library system, and many other entities in the region and state in just two short years.

This support by so many public and private organizations is vital to the success of the project and is a direct result of the passion and commitment of current and past mayors and councils, Brien Starner, and the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation members.
Despite the current national economy, the project has continued to move forward. New legislation, referred to as “Jobs for the Future,” has been filed and would enable projects like the Missouri in Innovation Park not only for Blue Springs, but also for progressive communities all over Missouri. This legislation would allow cities more control over their own economic destiny, with the intent of attracting high-quality public and private jobs.

Our city now stands at a precipice of key decisions and actions. As citizens, we need to join with our elected leaders and the leaders of these supporting organizations to see the fulfillment of this vision for our city. In the coming weeks there will be announcements that will show visible progress and the beginning of construction of the Mizzou Innovation Center which will anchor the project and provide the intellectual property that will spur the creation of high-tech jobs in the park. The possibilities are endless, and I am excited to see this vision come to fruition.

Keep the city’s momentum going

clock November 18, 2009 18:08 by author Jeff Quibell

Jeff2007 The city is working diligently on the road improvements planned for Woods Chapel Road, and the work is progressing even though it is not yet visible.

Recently the city held a public meeting to provide information and answer questions regarding the current progress and details of the project proposed. Once planning and right-of-way acquisition is complete, utility relocation is scheduled to begin next fall and actual roadway construction is estimated to begin the summer of 2011. Completion of the project is anticipated in 2013. As the westernmost north-south corridor in Blue Springs, Woods Chapel Road improvements are long overdue and will be a welcome enhancement to this area of our community.  This information is available at

Wanda and I had the privilege of volunteering at five of the Ararat Shrine Circus shows this past weekend, and we, along with thousands of others, had the pleasure of attending the first two Missouri Mavericks hockey games at the new Independence Events Center. After tailgating with Happy Hour and the Blue Springs Chamber of Commerce, we cheered the Mavericks on to their second home victory Saturday evening. What a beautiful facility!

Driving through Coronado Place and Adams Dairy Landing recently, the signs of new shopping and dining opportunities are impossible to miss. The Gap Generations store and Sally Beauty Supply will be open very soon. Chipotle, Mattress Firm and Game Stop are coming along nicely. Furniture Gallery has opened across from Wal-Mart, and the Olive Garden restaurant is beginning to take shape across from Home Depot, joining Texas Roadhouse as another full-service dining option.

Sales tax revenue from all of these projects is already having a positive impact on our city’s revenue. That will continue to improve as more people become aware of the new shopping and dining opportunities in Blue Springs. As these developments continue to attract new retail and restaurant tenants, our local buying choices expand. The success of these new businesses is critical to our community’s economic health, so remember to buy Blue Springs!

Along with all of these new retail opportunities, Missouri Innovation Park continues to be a bright star on the horizon. While this is a complicated project with many technical facets, the positive impact that thousands of new, high-paying, quality jobs will have on the future growth of our community and the region cannot be overestimated.

Progress on these developments will bring new opportunities, for many areas in our community, to consider in the coming months. Now is the time for our city leaders to have a vision beyond the individual projects and continue to have the flexibility to adjust as the market responds to our successes!

Rail plan would aid Blue Springs

clock October 15, 2009 17:13 by author Jeff Quibell

Rotary Park at Railroad Lake Major change takes time, and improvements to our city never seem to happen as quickly as we want. It’s been almost three years since the Blue Springs City Council approved the new downtown master plan, following an extensive period of public input from residents, business owners and city officials.

Revitalizing downtown Blue Springs has been a priority for many years, and this plan’s formal adoption was only the beginning. Almost immediately there was a flurry of activity with new housing. Other improvements include additional sidewalks, decorative lighting and road enhancements.

This week, County Executive Mike Sanders unveiled Jackson County’s plan to implement a regional commuter rail system. This is an important component to revitalizing Blue Springs’ downtown, providing connecting transportation to the metro area for employment and entertainment options.

The downtown plan calls for a transit station to serve commuter trains and existing buses, and to be a catalyst for new downtown businesses and the future development of additional housing. If the county is able to secure federal stimulus funds, the commuter system could be up and running in just two years. While the commuter rail is only one component of our master plan, the implementation of a regional system will facilitate progress toward the original timetable for the revitalization in downtown Blue Springs.

The choice to spend $1 billion in the current economic environment is not easy. But our transportation needs will not simply go away. As our communities continue to grow, the demands on our roads and highways grow as well. We must look for ways to expand our transportation options throughout the metro area and find the most fiscally responsible options available.

In spite of the divergent opinions on our City Council, our elected officials seek to make the improvements that we want to see happen in our city. I commend Mike Sanders for pursuing this vision, which will benefit the entire region and will assist our city in our efforts to continue the exciting improvements to our downtown. Much remains to be done and will take longer than any of us would like to wait, but the result will be significant improvements in our community.

Target is Open in Blue Springs

clock October 7, 2009 20:21 by author Jeff Quibell

Target 001This evening Wanda and I went shopping at Target in Blue Springs!  It is hard to believe that four and one-half years have passed since the first time I had the opportunity to meet with a Target representative about bringing a Target Store to our community.  Since then the efforts of many people have resulted in the opening of the first store at Adams Dairy Landing.

First Wal-Mart, then Home Depot, then Coronado Place’s bank, restaurants, and stores, and now Target.  With dozens more yet to come, Blue Springs is suddenly hopping with business.

As the development work continues on Adams Dairy Landing, it is important that we all remember to patronize these businesses even when it might be inconvenient.  From October 12 to 14 this coming week, Coronado Drive will be closed for final construction.  To get to Wal-Mart or Home Depot you will need to enter from R.D. Mize road, the back entrances to both of these businesses.  For the businesses in Coronado Place you should approach from Mock Avenue or Sunnyside Road and enter from the west entrance by Sports City.

Please keep these businesses in mind and make a special effort to get out and patronize them during the construction.  We want to show all of our new businesses that we are happy they have chosen to do business in our city!

Target Opens in Adams Dairy Landing (The Examiner Front Page Article)

clock October 7, 2009 09:40 by author Jeff Quibell

By Jeff Martin -

The Examiner

Posted Oct 07, 2009 @ 12:25 AM

Blue Springs, MO —

BS_Target03_AV.jpgReports were sketchy Tuesday night at the Blue Springs Target, but it appears as if the first two purchases at the new store were – a medium Starbucks coffee and a Snickers bar.

That’s right – Target is now open in Blue Springs.

The first store in the highly anticipated Adams Dairy Landing retail complex to open, the Tuesday event brought out dozens of people, most of whom were city officials and friends and family of the approximate 135 employees.

Dan Fogt, store manager, considers the store a kind of utopia.

“This is one of the nicest stores I’ve been in, and I’ve been with Target for 18 years,” Fogt said.
For the past three-and-a-half years, Fogt managed the Target in Independence.

But this Target is a bullseye for Fogt, the result of months of intense planning and busy stocking, of planning and coordination, of rigorous work. Hiring staff was a massive task alone – interviewing more than 500 applicants to fill the estimated 135 positions.

“To compare, this store has about 90 percent of what a Super Target has,” he said, referring to those retail stores located in Lee’s Summit and Liberty. “I think people will find pretty much anything they’re looking for when they come here.”

Like Starbucks coffee and Pizza Hut pizza, two features that, in most stores, are not typically located in the front.

“The pharmacy is up front, too,” he said, “which is what Target wanted because it’s more people friendly.”

In staying with the Mediterranean theme that is Adams Dairy Landing’s signature, the new Target is full of cool red and blues, of gold, of glowing lines and a pleasant mixture of tan colors. In the aisles, high graphics lure shoppers north, south, east, west as they navigated the unscuffed tiled floor.

“It’s more decorative,” he said.

Unlike most untraditional Target stores, this Target has a large produce section. Grapes and strawberries are literally stacked like bricks; there is a variety of yogurt and breads and salads and subs. The frozen foods section lights up as shoppers walk past, then turn off as they move on.

“There are more signs, which help people find the area’s they are looking for,” he said.

And the photo lab! Fogt can’t stop talking about the photo lab.

“The quality is great,” he said. “People should stop and see the quality.”

But the store is more than just a store; it’s also a boundary the city has been wanting to cross for years. City Council member Sheila Solon, who cut the ribbon Tuesday night, said many year’s ago city officials and leaders envisioned and planned the Adams Dairy Parkway as a place devoted for mixed use purposes.

Serving as Mayor Pro-tem Tuesday night, Solon said shoppers in Blue Springs now have another choice.
“This is keeping in line with the city’s vision,” she said.

Target is planning for a grand opening on Sunday, though the store is now open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Sunday.

Michelle Ratliff of Grain Valley arrived Tuesday night to shop. At the entrance, she took a long look at the nifty new plastic shopping carts and slid one out.

“These are neat,” she said.

And a new concept for Target stores, Fogt said.

Ratliff is pleased there’s no more Interstate 70 travel in her future – at least not when it comes to going to Target.

“No more going to Independence,” she said.

And that’s a bull’s-eye for her, too.

Blue Springs Park Can Help Innovate Area into a Better Future

clock September 25, 2009 17:15 by author Jeff Quibell


Blue Springs Growth Initiatives, Inc.


Blue Springs, MO- September 25, 2009

For more information, contact:

Ann Judd, Business Operations Manager

Blue Springs EDC



Blue Springs Park Can Help Innovate Area into a Better Future

September 25, 2009
Kansas City Business Journal
Mike Braude 
One of my favorite people at one of my favorite places, the University of Missouri, is Mary Anne McCollum. A former mayor of Columbia, she is Manager of Constituent Relations in the University Affairs department. She recently invited me to come to Blue Springs to meet with Mayor Carson Ross, Blue Springs Economic Development President Brien Starner and civic leader Bill Wrisinger to discuss a joint Blue Springs-University of Missouri project.

That project is the Missouri Innovation Park at Blue Springs. Ten minutes into our meeting, I readily understood why Mary Anne is so excited about this park.

The park is an approximately 500-acre science and technology innovation project that will provide a clustered focus for knowledge-based innovation and commercialization. It is a joint venture of the Blue Springs EDC, the city of Blue Springs and MU, which will be the main tenant. As anchor tenant, MU will concentrate on research collaboration as a true partner in this knowledge-based community.

The park will be a huge win for the city of Blue Springs. Brien Starner gave me some perspective. He told me: "Twenty years ago, Blue Springs was a hot spot, the Missouri-side juggernaut. Then, even with its strong demographics, the Rip Van Winkle syndrome stepped in, and economic development fell off. This project puts Blue Springs back on track."

The site, at the Adams Dairy Parkway exit from Interstate 70, is a natural. It is adjacent to RED Development's Adams Dairy Landing retail project and includes what now is a lovely public golf course.

I asked for an example of how the synergies might work. Robert Duncan, MU's Vice Chancellor for Research, provided it.

Duncan said that "continued and increased collaboration between biotech firms and academia will occur at the proposed Mizzou Center, including joint research with scientists from both areas working together, as well as fee-for-service projects. As an example of the latter, not long ago, University of Missouri researchers worked with pharmaceutical companies, providing radioactive isotopes to help diagnose and treat several types of cancer, including tumors and relief of pain for metastasized soft-tissue cancers. One example is the drug Quadramet, which relieves pain associated with bone cancer."

The park will look for tenants whose strengths align with MU's three areas of technology emphasis: the convergence of human and animal health, food for the future and sustainable energy (especially nuclear and bioenergy). I cannot imagine three more cutting-edge spheres.

I like this project because I believe it will establish a solid economic base for job creation in our area in the science and technology sectors.

I think it will do wonders for the high-value, long-term economic development of the very important eastern side of our metro area.

Finally, it will be a state-of-the-art facility that will be a vital center for the activities of our state university in the western part of Missouri.

I foresee the park being a home run for its three partners and, more important, for our entire metropolitan area.

Michael Braude

Note:  Graphics and photos added by the Blue Springs EDC.



Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

1600 NE Coronado Drive

Blue Springs, MO  64014