Blue Springs OKs industrial project

By Mike Genet

Blue Springs officials last month approved final plans for a $30 million industrial development project on the city’s east edge.

Developers have said they could start moving ground by the end of the year at the site east of the Faurecia plant and Kohl’s distribution center, off Jefferson Street and just north of Interstate 70 at the border with Grain Valley.

The City Council last month unanimously approved the final plat and industrial development plan for Blue Springs Logistics, a speculative industrial and warehouse building of nearly 600,000 square feet. The project would be funded with Chapter 100 industrial bonds that the city would not back, though developers are asking the city for 10 years of full tax abatement and a sales tax exemption on materials. 

The exception to that tax abatement, said Sid Douglas of Gilmore & Bell, the city’s bond consultant, would be a payment in lieu of taxes (PILOT) at 75 percent of the portion going to the Central Jackson County Fire Protection District. Douglas said those PILOTs would amount to about $640,000. 

The city will also be asked to pay about $1.5 million for necessary improvements to Jefferson Street east of the Faurecia plant, though developers would put in a public north-south road off Jefferson.

While development is still speculative, project backers said the market for such move-in ready structures is strong right now.

“The way this industry has moved, it was hot before COVID, and COVID has pushed it forward,” said Devin Schuster of the commercial real estate firm Flint Development, which has constructed a similar building in Liberty. “These tenants want space available. … We have to have space in the way they want.”

Blue Springs Logistics developers have planned for some earthen berms and a tall tree line around part of the property to mitigate noise and light toward nearby homes.

Blue Springs officials have also approved initial plans for a new Casey’s General Store off Woods Chapel Road just north of I-70, between Jefferson and Duncan Road. The gas station and convenience store will replace the small commercial building currently on site, which included a liquor store and small Chinese restaurant.

“I’m looking forward to this, cleaning up the area,” Council Member Jerry Kaylor said of the project.