From December 2008 to today
Dec. 15, 2008 – Members of the Blue Springs Economic Development Corporation announce the Missouri Innovation Park in Kansas City. January 2009 – The EDC receives five inquiries from developers about designing and developing the park; at the same time, preliminary legislation is formed that would allow redirection of a portion of the state income tax on employees in the park and/or redirecting a portion of the state sales tax collected on retail centers near the park. Feb. 6, 2009 – The Missouri House of Representatives passes legislation amending the Quality Jobs Program of 2005, which would help funding for the innovation park. State Sen. Matt Bartle, a Lee’s Summit Republican, would later become one of the senators critical of the amendment. May 15, 2009 – The amendment is left out of the bill during the final day of the 2009 Missouri General Assembly session. A few weeks later, EDC members, city staff and officials pledge to try again in 2010. June 2009 – EDC members and city staff tour the University of Missouri to get an idea of how the university plans to operate in Blue Springs. Sept. 1, 2009 – Trammell Crow, a Texas-based developer, backs out of the project as master developer, citing real estate and investment issues throughout the country. The company did some basic site work and examinations, leaving that completed work with the EDC. Oct. 19, 2009 – Former Missouri governer and current Senator Kit Bond visits with EDC officials, showing his interest in project and pledging to do all he could to assist. Oct. 19, 2009 – It is announced that MC Realty Group of Kansas has joined the project. The company is to complete a land use master plan for the park. January 2010 – Congressman Ike Skelton visits with EDC officials, also showing interest in the project. February 2010 – Organizers for the project begin to promote the Jobs for the Future bill, which is relatively the same as last year’s proposal, allowing redirection of a portion of the state income tax on employees in the park and/or redirecting a portion of the state sales tax collected on retail centers near the park – but it includes more broad language, emphasizing that such funding would benefit all communities in the state and not just Blue Springs. Rep. Tim Flook, R-Liberty, is one of the bills sponsors. Congressman Roy Blunt of the 7th District visits with EDC and BSGI officials in mid-February, joining Skelton and Bond as those representatives who have been formally brief about the project. University of Missouri officials, citing a bad economy and looming university budget concerns, decide to postpone building the Mizzou Center. Instead, they will lease office space in the Heartland Financial Building beginning in March.