News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

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.


Progress achieved, progress to come

clock December 24, 2009 07:34 by author Jeff Quibell

image As we approach the end of 2009, we each have the opportunity to reflect on the past year, and to look forward to 2010 and to the next decade.

What will the future bring to our community? What exciting prospects does the new year hold? The last few years have seen great improvements in our city, as the refurbishing of blighted properties has continued and new shopping and dining establishments have begun to open their doors.

Last weekend, I had the pleasure of sharing my day with some very special people, ringing bells for the Salvation Army. I also spent a few hours collecting donations for local charities and supporting our local Chicago Street Lights. The generosity of the people in our community is a true blessing.

As I visit with people throughout Blue Springs, I find that we are thankful to live in a city that has weathered the current economic storm reasonably well. We have friends and neighbors who care about our city and care about each other as well.

Our elected leaders strive to find ways to work together, to listen to each other and the needs of our citizens. Developers are seeing improvement in the city’s processes as they seek to invest here. There are still opportunities for improvement, but the city appears to be heading in the right direction on most issues.

Most importantly, we are positioned to excel as the national economy improves. I am hopeful that we will see our city truly blossom in the coming years.
I want to thank my readers for your support and encouragement over the past few years. I will be taking a break from writing for a few weeks to spend time with family. In my next article, on Jan. 13, I will begin a series of articles that will give a glimpse of the exciting things to come for our city in 2010 and beyond.

I am grateful to live in such an excellent community, and for the privilege of sharing it with so many caring people. Have a very merry Christmas and together let’s have a happy 2010!


Coming soon to Blue Springs, Legend of Asia Restaurant

clock November 18, 2009 18:25 by author Jeff Quibell

It's not just a rumor. Blue Springs will soon enjoy an international treat.

Legend of Asia, a huge new local restaurant is a creative Japanese and Chinese fusion. It is the creation of local Chef-Restaurateur George Xiao, three times winner of the coveted "Top 100 Chinese Restaurants in the USA" awarded in the category of "Top 100 Nutrition Friendly Menus". This award goes to the most exceptional restaurants, which have demonstrated the highest standards of cleanliness, cuisine, décor and service from more than 45,000 restaurant entries in the USA.

Think all Chinese Buffets are the same? Legend of Asia will offer a spacious 9,240 square foot restaurant that will comfortably seat 338 people. The Buffet will offer over 80 Chinese Dishes and over 25 varieties of authentic Japanese Sushi, skillfully prepared and artfully presented. Plus, there will be many kinds of salads, fruits and desserts to choose from. Only the freshest ingredients are used in everything. No MSG is used and cold pressed olive oil is used in their stir fried dishes. You will love their Egg Rolls, Crab Rangoon, General Tso's Chicken, Chicken Teriyaki Stick and many more items offered in the buffet. Plus, Special Buffet Chinese dishes are offered that are cooked in front of you, such as Pan Fried Dumplings, Fried Rice, LO Mein and Egg Foo Young along with many kinds of Barbecue. If you are looking for even more variety, Legend of Asia definitely offers it with over 150 items on the Chinese Menu and over 60 items on the Japanese Sushi Menu. Whether youre throwing a party or just looking for a great place to eat, be sure to check this restaurant out!

Just drive out south on 7 highway and you will see construction well underway at the new Southridge Shopping Center. Mr. Xiao expects to open in Mid-December 2009.


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 http://www.bluespringsgov.com/woodschapel.

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!


Participate in the Second Woods Chapel Road Improvements Open House

clock November 18, 2009 18:03 by author Jeff Quibell

CITY OF BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI
MEDIA ADVISORY
903 W. Main Street Blue Springs, MO 64015 P: 816.228.0110 F: 816.228.7592 W: www.bluespringsgov.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: November 17, 2009
CONTACT: Merideth Parrish, Public Information Officer
Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.935.4176
Email: mparrish@bluespringsgov.com

Open House Public Meeting Scheduled for
Woods Chapel Road Improvements, November 19, 2009


Blue Springs, Mo. – The City of Blue Springs, the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and District 2 City
Councilmen Sissy Reed and Kent Edmondson will host a second open house-style public meeting on Thursday,
November 19, to share plans for Woods Chapel Road Improvements from I-70 to south of Briarwood Drive. The project
team, TranSystems of Kansas City, Mo., will be on hand to answer questions from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Valley View High
School, 5000 NW Valley View Road, Blue Springs, MO 64015.

The City of Blue Springs encourages anyone who uses this route to stop by, review preliminary plans, share project
issues and concerns, and provide written comments at the public meeting. No formal presentations will be made.

For questions or additional information, visit www.bluespringsgov.com/woodschapel or contact the Blue Springs
Engineering Department at (816) 228-0121.

###


Open House Public Meeting Scheduled for Woods Chapel Road Improvements

clock November 5, 2009 21:28 by author Jeff Quibell

image CITY OF BLUE SPRINGS, MISSOURI
image MEDIA ADVISORY
903 W. Main Street Blue Springs, MO 64015 P: 816.228.0110 F: 816.228.7592 W: www.bluespringsgov.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: November 5, 2009, 2009
CONTACT: Merideth Parrish, Public Information Officer
Phone: 816.655.0497, Cell: 816.935.4176
Email: mparrish@bluespringsgov.com
Open House Public Meeting Scheduled for
Woods Chapel Road Improvements, November 12, 2009

Blue Springs, Mo. – The City of Blue Springs and the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) will host an open
house-style public meeting on Thursday, November 12, to share plans for Woods Chapel Road Improvements from I-70
to south of Briarwood Drive. The project team, TranSystems of Kansas City, Mo., will be on hand to answer questions
from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. at the Howard L. Brown Safety Building, Multi-purpose Room, 1100 SW Smith St., Blue Springs,
MO 64015.


The City of Blue Springs and MoDOT encourage anyone who uses this route to stop by, review preliminary plans, share
project issues and concerns, and provide written comments at the public meeting. No formal presentations will be made.
For questions or additional information, visit www.bluespringsgov.com/woodschapel or contact the Blue Springs
Engineering Department at (816) 228-0121.

###


Private Lakes and Taxpayer Money

clock October 28, 2009 12:01 by author Jeff Quibell

Jeff2007 When is a lake not just a lake? When it also functions as a storm-water detention basin! A lake that functions as a storm-water detention basin is called a wet retention basin.

Now, what’s so important about detention/retention basins? The big issue is actually the maintenance of detention basins and who is responsible for the different components of the system. As the City Council prepares to address this issue, we need to think about the potential cost to all of us, as taxpaying citizens.

Here’s some background. Throughout our city is a network of detention basins that are a part of our stormwater management system. Our city requires developers to participate in expanding our stormwater system whenever they build a new subdivision. By law, a development must manage the on-site storm water so it leaves the property at the same rate or less than before the development was built. Detention basins provide for the storage and slow release of excess water during a storm. This helps protect our homes and property from water damage.

Here’s where it gets a little murky. Some developers choose to combine an amenity such as a lake with their detention basins. These lakes serve two primary functions: controlling storm water runoff and adding beauty, recreational opportunities and increased value to the homes in the subdivision. This provides a desirable private amenity for the use and enjoyment of the property owners.


Currently, our city provides for the maintenance of all of our city’s detention basins, including those that are combined with private lakes in some of our upscale subdivisions. It is the city’s responsibility to ensure that our stormwater system functions properly, that the basin is able to adequately manage the flow of water and properly release it. As taxpaying citizens, we all share in that responsibility through our taxes.

Recently, a number of homeowners whose subdivisions include these lake/detention basin combinations have approached the City Council, requesting to have the city pay for maintenance of their lake. Over time, lakes fill up with silt and periodically have to be dredged. Dredging is expensive, and doing it – or choosing to let the silt fill in – has no effect on the ability of the basin to control storm water. Dredging simply maintains the amenity for the subdivision.

I am confident that the city will continue to meet its responsibility of maintaining all of our stormwater detention basins, as it has for many years. The question is whether we, the taxpayers, should also have the responsibility of maintaining private lakes. If you have an opinion on this important issue, you should call your city councilman and let them know. Their contact information is available at http://tinyurl.com/bscontact.


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 - jeff.martin@examiner.net

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.