Archive for Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Improving city’s economic development key concern for officials

No grocery store: city searching for boost in businesses

November 24, 2004

Economic growth in Basehor could quicken at a more brisk pace as infrastructure -- streets and sewers -- inside two of the city's major areas of commercial development are completed or nearing completion, said Angela Solberg, Basehor city planner.

"Now that Pinehurst and Honey Creek are (finalizing work), I think we'll see some more, but it takes time," Solberg said.

Improving the development of the city's business climate will be a topic for discussion at next week's joint meeting between a Basehor Chamber of Commerce committee and Basehor city officials (see related story, this page).

Solberg said her planning and zoning department hasn't received much recent interest from commercial developers, outside of the handful of builders working on current projects.

"There's been some bites on some more residential stuff, but other than that there's really nothing else to talk about yet," she said.

Which is not welcome news for a city with one gas station and no grocery store. However, while none of the city's nor Chamber of Commerce officials are satisfied with the current economic state of affairs in Basehor, there is reason for optimism.

As Solberg said, several developments emphasizing commercial, business and retail businesses are currently on the books in Basehor.

According to city numbers, commercial developments that have received final plat approval are:

  • Pinehurst, located on U.S. Highway 24/40, south of the Basehor Town Square. The development lists 15 lots, or 45 acres, slated for commercial use.
  • Honey Creek Farms, located on U.S. Highway 24/40 and 166th Street, has 22 lots, or 28 acres, platted for commercial use.

Developments that have received preliminary plat approval for commercial zones are:

  • Prairie Gardens, located on 158th Street, has one lot and 41 acres of commercial use.
  • Basehor Plaza, located at the corner of 155th Street and U.S. Highway 24/40, has 13 lots and 16 acres slated for commercial use.

It should be noted that the scope of development at Basehor Plaza will most likely change in coming weeks. The area is in the process of changing ownership. According to the city's agenda for its Dec. 13 meeting, the City Council will decide on the final plat for phase 1 of the Wolf Creek Junction, formerly known as Basehor Plaza.

Two other areas the city may see economic growth lies at a proposed development known as the Wolf Creek Industrial Park, located on U.S. Highway 24/40, and ground just east of the Falcon Lakes development on Kansas Highway 7 owned by Tom Zarda, the developer behind the Shawnee Crossings area at the corner of K-7 and Shawnee Mission Parkway.

Basehor Chamber of Commerce president Debbie Breuer said her organization isn't satisfied with the city's current business climate and has made strides to improve it.

She cited recent Chamber-initiated projects that have included building a pamphlet reviewing all facets of Basehor -- city, school district and businesses -- as well as advertisements in major trade magazines. "Obviously we're promoting Basehor to the fullest extent," Breuer said. The Chamber leader also said her group and the city need to work more thoroughly to enhance benefits for prospective businesses.

While the current economic state isn't the most ideal, Breuer said she and the Chamber believe that Basehor has the necessary elements to be a good locale for businesses.

"I think we have to keep going," Breuer said. "We think it's going to come. Time will tell. You just have to keep fighting. You have to believe in it.

"We have made progress. We just have to keep the cry going."

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