News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Even in down times, there's progress

clock October 30, 2008 01:01 by author Jeff Quibell

Turning on the television or radio these days and listening to political advertisements can be a frustrating experience, yet there are positive things happening in our town. The up-and-down news from Wall Street might be disheartening, but when you look around Blue Springs there are glimmers of hope to be seen almost everywhere.

Locally, we see evidence of a down housing market and housing developments moving forward more slowly than planned. But last week one of my employees reported finding a great deal on a new home and deciding to purchase it. In these challenging times there are still opportunities to be found.

Retail developments that were set in motion over the last couple of years continue to move forward. While there remain empty storefronts to fill, new businesses are interested in locating in our city. The latest list of tenants for Adams Dairy Landing includes Target, Lowe’s, Books-A-Million and Kohl’s. Those stores will provide us with additional shopping opportunities when they are completed next year, and road improvements surrounding Adams Dairy Landing continue to move forward. The shops at Coronado Place across from Wal-Mart and Home Depot are filling up rapidly. National Tire and Battery recently opened, and Panda Express is soon to follow.

For those of us who work in Blue Springs, our restaurants are busy at lunch time. More choices are giving us the opportunity to stay in town for lunch and add variety to our dining options. Our local workforce is growing, with much more to come.

Are these signs of a turnaround in our local economy? It is still too early to tell, but one thing is certain. When the economy turns around, our city is well positioned to meet the needs of new and existing businesses and support positive growth for our community.

I challenge our city leaders to continue to promote positive improvements for our city. Investing in our city while prices are low is a smart strategy. There is no better time to encourage the redevelopment of blighted properties, invest in our downtown and encourage appropriate commercial development.

Our leaders need your encouragement to know you want to see continued improvements. They need to know we support their efforts as they make hard decisions that will move our city forward.

Please join the public discussion by commenting on articles in The Examiner at www.examiner.net and on my Web site at www.AboutBlueSprings.com.
Also, remember to go to the polls on Nov. 4 and vote!


Kohl's is coming to Adams Dairy Landing

clock October 24, 2008 23:55 by author Jeff Quibell

RED Development announced today that Kohl's will be locating in Adams Dairy Landing.  While this has been on the streets as a rumor for some time, RED Development confirmed that Kohl's will be locating a new retail store in their development in Blue Springs.  Stores that have now been announced include:

Target
Lowes
Books-A-Million
Kohl's

 

Keep checking back, as new stores are announced you will find that information here at www.AboutBlueSprings.com!


Books-A-Million signs on for Adams Dairy Landing

clock October 9, 2008 11:20 by author Jeff Quibell

Books-A-Million, the third largest retailer of books in the United States has signed on to place one of their retail stores in Blue Springs at Adams Dairy Landing. 

According to their corporate web site, Books-A-Million was founded in 1917 as a street corner newsstand in Florence, Alabama, Books-A-Million, Inc. has grown to become the premier book retailing chain in the Southeastern United States, and the third largest book retailer in the nation. Based in Birmingham, Alabama, the company currently operates more than 200 stores in 19 states and the District of Columbia.

For more information about the company you can go to their corporate web site at http://www.booksamillioninc.com/.  Online purchases can be made at http://www.booksamillion.com


Blue Springs looks at multi-family housing

clock October 9, 2008 09:22 by author Jeff Quibell

An important responsibility of our Mayor and City Council is the proper management of development and growth in our community. As part of that responsibility, the City Council once again approved extending the moratorium on multi-family housing development to allow additional time to adequately explore significant changes to our ordinances.

At times, the work of government may appear to move at a snail’s pace. At other times, our elected leaders appear to move quickly to resolve issues. We’ve seen this in our Federal government with the recent “bailout” legislation. Whether it’s our federal or state legislators or our local councilmen, it is important to move carefully and deliberately to make certain that the results are good for our community and our citizens. In the current situation regarding multi-family development in Blue Springs, the Multi-Family Task force is suggesting significant changes to our ordinances that will result in a higher quality of development and related design standards. This process takes time and careful consideration of the ramifications of such changes.

The governing basis for managing development is our city’s Comprehensive Development Plan. This plan is required by our city’s charter and must be reviewed, “not less than once every five (5) years.” The plan’s purpose is to prepare for our city’s future development in accordance with our anticipated needs. The plan provides guidance as to what types of development is or will be needed and where we expect or desire different types of development to occur.

Our current plan was last reviewed in 2003, and therefore is scheduled to be reviewed this year. State law requires our planning commission to “make careful and comprehensive surveys and studies of the existing conditions and probable future growth” of our city in the preparation of the plan. I am pleased that Mayor Ross has committed to a comprehensive review of the current plan.

It is a time consuming and expensive process, but with the current economic conditions, it is even more critical that we undertake such a review. Carefully planning for our future will position our city to be ready to manage new development in a responsible, progressive manner.

If you have suggestions or concerns about development in our city, please be sure to share your thoughts with your Mayor and City Councilmen.  Contact information is available at http://www.aboutbluesprings.com/page/City-Council-Contact-Info.aspx.


Blue Springs shows steady progress

clock October 2, 2008 01:30 by author Jeff Quibell

Progress is sometimes harder to see when it happens right around you. It is interesting to talk to someone who has been away from Blue Spring for a few years. They are more likely to see the progress that has occurred in town than those of us who are here every day.

Work continues on the Adams Dairy Landing shopping center. With the opening of R.D. Mize road on the south side of the project, Coronado Drive was closed to allow it to be rebuilt to handle the traffic that will frequent the shopping center when it opens. This project is breathing new life into the long stagnant Adams Dairy Parkway. It is exciting to see what other opportunities will be encouraged by the revitalization of the neighborhood that once occupied this site.

On Highway Seven south of Forty Highway there are a number of projects underway. More...


City Council backs off a key priority!

clock September 18, 2008 01:01 by author Jeff Quibell

Monday, Sept 15, 2008, the City Council decided to scale back the scope of work on road improvements for Woods Chapel Road by half a million dollars on the recommendation of District 1 Councilman Shaver.  The council then split on approval of the overall budget and Mayor Ross broke the tie in favor of approving the budget and removing some of the funding from the planned Woods Chapel improvements.

After eighteen years of stagnation in the Woods Chapel corridor, last year the city council finally decided to move forward on Woods Chapel redevelopment.  Now that the voters have solidly approved a bond issue to expand road improvements citywide including Woods Chapel, the current City Council is going back on the original commitment. More...


New life for downtown Blue Springs

clock September 11, 2008 13:56 by author Jeff Quibell

Downtown Coldwater by Adam Caselman August and September’s weather has been wonderful this year. My wife Wanda and I have just returned from Coldwater Michigan where my brother held his annual Wisconsin Style Fish Boil. For our daily exercise, we walked through Coldwater’s downtown and enjoyed the nice mix of shops and restaurants. For a city with 11,000 citizens, Coldwater has a vibrant walk-able downtown.

Annual celebrations are an opportunity for families and neighbors to get together and catch up on what is happening in their lives. In downtown Blue Springs, our annual celebration is the Fall Fun Festival, which is coming this weekend, from September 12th through the 14th.

Visiting Coldwater and comparing their downtown with ours brought to mind how our city is progressing with our downtown’s revitalization. Following the council’s passage of our new downtown plan, several residential developments began to appear. Recently The Examiner decided to relocate their local office to Main Street to participate in the excitement. It is important to keep moving forward and encourage additional progress!

Our study showed that for the plan to be successful the City would need to make a visible commitment to the downtown to encourage business owners to locate their business in our downtown district. Two special items are built into the plan to accomplish just that. First, the city needs to build an entrance feature at Main and Seven Highway to direct people to our downtown. Second our city hall, which is bursting at the seams, needs to be relocated to a new location to allow for the formation of a city square with City Hall as its center. This brings important traffic into our downtown to energize existing and new businesses.

This week, as you attend the Fall Fun Festival, I encourage you face south as you stand in line for your traditional annual Timothy Lutheran Burger. Imagine City Hall standing in the center of the block between Walnut & Main and 10th & 11th streets. Picture a square of businesses surrounding that block forming a traditional energetic downtown. That is what the city’s plan calls for. It is an exciting and necessary component for the revitalization of our downtown.

As citizens, we need to encourage our elected officials to follow through on this vision and insist that they take action to complete this important plan. That action would create jobs, energize our economy, and produce a vibrant walk-able downtown at a time when other cities are struggling.

The City Council will hold a public hearing for the budget at the September 15 Council Meeting in the Howard Brown Public Safety building at 6:30pm. I hope you will be able to attend and I look forward to seeing you there!

Photo of Downtown Coldwater compliments of Adam Caselman.


Blue Springs Multi-Famiy Task Force Holds Public Hearing

clock September 4, 2008 21:40 by author Jeff Quibell

Many of my readers have been following the activities of the Blue Springs Multi-Family Task Force being led by Councilman Solon.  At the August 18, 2008 Council meeting, the task force presented their recommendations to the City Council.  The recommendations consisted primarily of an upgrade to the standards for new multi-family development in the city, but did not address the rate of development or any issues regarding existing, older multi-family properties.

 

There will be a public hearing on these recommendations Tuesday, September 9, 2008 from 6:00pm until 8:00pm in the Howard Brown Public Safety Building, in downtown Blue Springs.  Anyone who would like to have input on how Blue Springs moves forward in regard to the development of multi-family housing in our city should plan to attend.


Multi-Family Task Force - Sixth Meeting Video

clock August 10, 2008 17:38 by author Jeff Quibell

Following are links to the Sixth multi-family task force meeting videos. If the video links are not visible click more to bring up the full article. More...


Old Kinney Shoe Store being Demolished

clock August 10, 2008 09:56 by author Jeff Quibell

Kenny Shoe Store Demolition 002 In 1968 Kinney Shoes constructed a shoe store at the corner of Highway 7 and R.D. Mize Road in Blue Springs.  Kinney Shoes was a subsidiary of F.W. Woolworth Company.  In 1998 Woolworth decided to close all Kinney Shoe stores nationwide.  Although other companies have occupied the store over the years, it has sat empty off and on much of the last decade.

If you drive by the site of the store today, you will notice that this blighted building it is being demolished to allow for the completion of the Copperleaf Village project.  This effort has been two years in the making and it is exciting to know that this block of Highway 7 will now be fully redeveloped.

Source information for this article regarding Kinney Shoes can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinney_Shoes.