News about what is happening in Blue Springs, MO

Agenda of Progress in Blue Springs

clock April 1, 2010 10:43 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 Olive Garden, Texas Roadhouse, Chipotle, Panera, Sonic, Panda Express, Taco Bell, Planet Sub. The addition of these eight restaurants, along with new retail shops like Petco, Gamestop and Maurices in the developments surrounding Coronado and Adams Dairy Parkway have provided opportunities for residents and visitors alike to have greater options for shopping and dining.

How very different this area looked just five short years ago. The area along R.D. Mize consisted of deteriorating homes, with the majority of the area along the parkway largely undeveloped for well more than a decade.

These developments have not come easily or without conflict. Our District 3 City Councilmen have continued to look for ways to stop these developments from progressing, in spite of the overwhelming support for new retail development in our citizen surveys. As I drove through the area after lunch at Olive Garden, I observed the restaurants and shops, all teeming with customers, and I simply could not comprehend why anyone would want to impede such progress.

Our council members must continue to open their minds to the opportunity inherent in these developments and look for ways to encourage the refurbishment of older shopping and business districts throughout our city.

New restaurants have recently opened in both the northern and southern areas of Blue Springs; we have seen progress in our downtown district; and the redevelopment of Woods Chapel Road is under way from Interstate 70 to the railroad tracks. The majority of our council members are eager to continue the positive momentum of the past several years. They understand the commitment they are making to finish what began and reap the benefits for our community.

Much work remains. On April 6, each district in our city will elect a council member. This is a privilege and a sacred responsibility. Those whom we choose to represent us will influence the future of our city.

Over the past several weeks, I have encouraged each of you to be an informed voter. Citizens willing to serve are a blessing, and we are fortunate to have two candidates to choose between in each district. The following are my endorsements for City Council:

District 1 – Dale Carter will listen to his constituents, consider the facts and ramifications before making a decision, and seek collaborative solutions on the important issues facing our city.

District 2 – Sissy Reed has served our city well for many years and will provide an experienced voice of coherent reasoning. Her calm leadership and respectful decision-making will guide the rest of the council members and facilitate support for continued development of all areas of our city.

District 3 – Grant Bowerman has a clear understanding of the issues facing our city. His positive demeanor, his passion for the community, and his intelligent evaluation of the challenges facing our community will serve the citizens of District 3 well.


Gordman’s to Open in Adams Dairy Landing

clock March 28, 2010 15:23 by author Jeff Quibell

Tom Ryan, Store Manager has announced  the grand opening of Gordman’s at Adam’s Dairy Parkway on Friday, May 7 at 8:30.  You are invited to attend this special occasion for our city.  Tom is hoping that LOTS of people will attend. 

His contact information is: 402.350.5662


Proud to be a part of the EDC

clock March 6, 2010 10:33 by author Jeff Quibell

JeffQuibell201002 As I observed this past Monday’s City Council meeting, what struck me once again regarding certain members of the City Council is how they repeatedly seem to excel at being an embarrassment to our community. 

At first glance, one might see a thread of logic in some of the questions our District 3 councilmen asked of Blue Springs EDC President Brien Starner regarding Missouri Innovation Park. But when you drill down into the facts several inconsistencies arise that leave one wondering about the nature of their true motives.

Councilman Solon asked whether the EDC had ever paid a sitting councilman for services rendered.

One would hope our EDC would choose, whenever feasible and appropriate, to utilize local business services in Blue Springs.  Several councilmen, current and former, own businesses in our community. It would be no surprise that such activity might have occurred. 

My company has helped the EDC on a number of occasions with computer network issues since my service as a city councilman. Prior to engaging my company, the EDC did its homework to ensure that the services it was purchasing would be delivered at a fair price and at the professional level it required. We participated in a competitive bid process and were awarded the work based on the bid submitted.

I am proud we were able to provide the quality service to meet the needs of the EDC.

Councilman Solon suggested that the city should consider placing Innovation Park on a 100-acre tract north of I-70 on Adams Dairy Parkway.  She seemed puzzled as to why a 250-plus-acre project would not fit on a 100-acre tract.

Why is she so determined to promote that land and so opposed to the current location? Didn’t she state during her campaign for the City Council that she wanted to bring “real jobs” to Blue Springs? Why is she opposing a project that will achieve her own stated objective?

In the fall of 2009 Councilman Solon led a comprehensive plan review task force. Her task force’s recommendation to the council was to amend the comprehensive plan to establish a land use category for Missouri Innovation Park and recommended tracts of land, approximately 250 acres surrounding the Adams Pointe Golf Course, for that designation.

While claiming Monday that she had not received an update on MIP since May 2009, Councilman Solon apparently forgot her Sept. 16, 2009, council briefing prior to her recommendations that were adopted in October 2009. 

In the end, it was exciting to learn that the University of Missouri would be accelerating its entrance into our community by almost two years.

It should come as no surprise that the current economy has slowed capital investment in the project, but by coming to Blue Springs early, MU is demonstrating its commitment to the project and to its eventual success!


MADE In Missouri State Entrepreneurship Competition Will Highlight New Businesses In Missouri

clock March 1, 2010 10:42 by author Jeff Quibell

Missouri - February 22, 2010 - Calling aspiring business people! The Missouri Alliance for the Development of Entrepreneurship (MADE) is proud to present the 2010 MADE in Missouri State Entrepreneurship Competition, an event that will highlight new and aspiring businesses through a competitive and educational business development process.

The competition will provide new and potential business owners in Missouri an opportunity to put their business ideas up against others throughout the state. Participants start by answering a questionnaire about their business idea, and will be provided with tips and suggestions as to how to improve their businesses. Finalists will present their products and services at the Missouri State Fair on August 19, 2010, in Sedalia, Missouri, with cash prizes awarded for startup capital to the winners.

Registration is open to any potential business owner or current business owner in operation three years or less. There are Youth and Open categories for participation, and entrepreneurs considering going into business for the first time are welcomed. Participants do not have to be in business yet to compete.

Submissions for the preliminary level are due April 10, 2010. For more information and to register, go online to www.mvcaa.net/made.php, or contact:

Cheryl Zimny

Community Development Manager

Missouri Valley Community Action Agency

1415 S. Odell

Marshall, MO 65340

660-886-7476

zimnyc@mvcaa.net

The Missouri Alliance for the Development of Entrepreneurship (MADE) is a project facilitated by Missouri Valley Community Action Agency of Marshall, Missouri, a not-for-profit organization.

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MADE

Missouri Valley Community Action Agency

1415 S. Odell, Marshall, MO 65340

660-886-7476; Fx: 660-886-5868

www.mvcaa.net/made.php


Innovation Park still offers hope

clock February 17, 2010 16:48 by author Jeff Quibell

The headline on the front page of Saturday’s Examiner, “Innovation Park hits roadblock,” was discouraging to me considering the hard work and dedication so many people have invested in making this project a reality. As I went on to read the article, my hopeful expectations for the future of the Innovation Park were restored.

Rarely do complex projects advance exactly as originally envisioned. Adams Dairy Parkway itself is an example of the need and benefit of adaptability in accomplishing objectives for the greater good of the community.

imageToday, we know that the University of Missouri component of the park will initially locate in the Heartland Financial building, adjacent to Adams Pointe Golf Course, while waiting for economic conditions to improve before beginning construction of the Mizzou Center. This is an excellent example of adapting and recognizing that market conditions require flexibility to accomplish this very worthy goal for our community.

The vision of Missouri Innovation Park is to build a regional home for a knowledge-based workforce dedicated to innovation and the commercialization of the ideas that come from that work. The park will link scientific research, higher education and entrepreneurial development and as a result encourage high-tech commercial development along the Adams Dairy Parkway corridor.

The current plan is to locate the first building in the park immediately south of the Adams Dairy Landing shopping center. Future expansion will initially be to the south.

A recent economic impact study found that over the next 15 to 25 years the Missouri Innovation Park would bring close to 3,765 new jobs within the park itself and indirectly an additional 2,140 jobs in the surrounding community. The average pay for these jobs would be $51,000 per year and in many situations, higher incomes are likely.

Proposed state legislation to encourage and accelerate the development of the park – House Bill 1635 and Senate Bill 922 titled “Missouri Jobs For the Future” – is the vehicle for accomplishing this objective. I would encourage us all to stand together in support of these bills as we work to continue the progress toward the Missouri Innovation Park’s development.


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.


Blue Springs Park Can Help Innovate Area into a Better Future

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

- IN THE NEWS -

Blue Springs Growth Initiatives, Inc.

 
 

Blue Springs, MO- September 25, 2009

For more information, contact:

Ann Judd, Business Operations Manager

Blue Springs EDC

816-228-0208

ajudd@bluespringsedc.com

 

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
lmbraude@aol.com
www.bizjournals.com

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

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Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation

1600 NE Coronado Drive

Blue Springs, MO  64014

www.ThinkBlueSprings.com

   
 

Development group is working well

clock September 23, 2009 16:43 by author Jeff Quibell

Jeff2007small During my time in office I had the pleasure of corresponding with thousands of Blue Springs residents regarding city business. On Saturday’s Examiner opinion page, one of those residents raised some good points that should be considered when talking about the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation.

It is true. I have a bias in favor of the Blue Springs EDC. It is also true that I am one of the investing partners in the Blue Springs EDC. When the public/private partnership of the Blue Springs EDC was formed, the City Council continued the $300,000 annual budget allocation that had previously funded the city’s Economic Development Department as the public side of the venture.

The city then solicited businesses and private individuals to partner in the formation of the EDC, to be advocates for growth in Blue Springs. Those investing partners may be found at http://bit.ly/bsedcmem

From 2005 through 2011, Wanda and I have paid and/or committed $15,000 of our own personal funds through our company, CPros. As local IT professionals and custom software developers, we believe in giving back, and this is just one of the ways we choose to support our community.

Each of you living in Blue Springs is committed by the City Council to an annual contribution of approximately $5.45 (or a total of $32.70 over six years) through the taxes that you pay to the city each year.

So what is the return on the investment that Mr. Comerford is referring to in his letter, which he believes will benefit me financially? That return is economic growth for our city. And the great thing about this return is that each Blue Springs resident receives exactly the same return on your investment as I do.

Let’s talk about what that means to each of us. Is that investment worth having a new Target store in town? Is it worth getting a shopping center with Gap Outlet, Staples, Petco, Famous Footwear, Gordman’s, Maurices, Olive Garden, Chipotle, Gamestop, Arby’s, Sally Beauty Target, Lowes and Books-A-Million? Is it worth seeing three tired old strip malls totally refurbished? Is it worth capturing a science and technology park that will bring thousands of 21st-century, high-paying, quality jobs to our city and position Blue Springs as an international research destination?

I believe my investment is justified, and I’m proud to support the EDC in its efforts to provide quality growth for Blue Springs. Each one of you can communicate your belief to your councilmen. There is much more work to do, but each of you should feel confident that our EDC is effectively and professionally promoting our city and bringing new retail and employment opportunities to Blue Springs!

The Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation is non-profit, and its investing partners receive no direct financial benefit.


Tenants for Adams Dairy Landing

clock September 3, 2009 11:26 by author Jeff Quibell

Grand Canyon Jeff Upon my return from vacationing at the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas, I learned that Gap Outlet, Staples, Petco, Famous Footwear, Gordman’s, Maurices, Olive Garden, Chipotle,
Gamestop, Arby’s and Sally Beauty will join Target, Lowes and Books-A-Million at Adams Dairy Landing in Blue Springs. These are just a few of the tenants that will open at the shopping center.

The 550,000 square-foot shopping center is located at the southeast corner of I-70 and
Adams Dairy Parkway in Blue Springs, Missouri. Phase I of the project will open on October 11, 2009 and will include Target, Sally Beauty, Gamestop, Maurices, Gap Outlet and Chipotle. Phase II will open in Spring 2010 and will include Lowes, Gordman’s, Petco, Books-A-Million, Staples, Famous Footwear, Olive Garden and Arby’s.

It is exciting to see how much our city has advanced over the last four years and to think about what remains to be achieved.  Please join me in thanking RED Development for bringing this quality development to our city!