Project Tracker: MCI demolition

The project: Crews in the last few days have begun the demolition of the vacant Medical Center of Independence building at the corner of East 23rd Street and R.D. Mize Road.

The details: The Independence City Council unanimously approved an ordinance on April 22 of last year that authorized the city to begin negotiations to purchase the 14-acre property from Truman Manor LLC and repurpose that land by tearing down the old MCI hospital building and repurposing the adjacent three-story medical building for Independence Power & Light Department office space.

The progress: Truman Manor LLC bought the land more than six and a half years ago and had planned to convert the former hospital into senior housing. In September 2013, the city of Independence announced it was buying the site on the condition that the owner tear down the building and clear the site. The sale to the city was supposed to have closed on Dec. 1 of last year, but in December, Truman Manor LLC was granted a delay in the demolition through Jan. 31 and had asked for another delay. The city plans to buy the land for $1.5 million, more than a third of which would be put in escrow to satisfy back property taxes. In addition to turning the adjacent medical building into Power & Light office space, the city plans to market the cleared land where the MCI building is for other uses. “Our hope is to redevelop the property ... and get most of it, if not all of it, back on the tax rolls,” Independence City Manager Robert Heacock told The Examiner last September. And the city says the new office building on the property would alleviate Power & Light’s desire for a larger and more central location for its service center offices.

– Karl Zinke