The Independence City Council approved the NorthPoint Eastgate Commerce Center project during the May 2 Council Meeting. This decision included three re-zoning ordinances and a development agreement with the company. In total, this agreement includes approximately $1 billion in investments in the Independence community.
“This is an exciting new chapter for the City of Independence,” Mayor Rory Rowland said. “It is rare to have a company not only willing to invest $1 billion in a community, but also assist in improving the community around them. This project includes millions of dollars to improve roads, protect green spaces, and invest in jobs, training and more for Independence. NorthPoint listened to our residents, they did their homework, and this project is an example of how communities and developers can work together for the benefit of everyone.”
The Eastgate Commerce Center project, located off M-78 Highway and Little Blue Parkway, is estimated to bring more than 10 million square feet of mixed-use industrial facilities, more than 5,000 direct jobs and more than 4,000 indirect jobs over the next twenty years as the project is completed.
“More than 85 percent of our residents working in industrial or manufacturing jobs leave Independence to go to work every day,” 4th District Councilmember Dan Hobart said. “This project brings not only new jobs for our residents, but the potential for new residents to join our community. I am incredibly excited about the jobs center and the continued potential for our schools to help develop the next generation of workers for our community in all areas of industry.”
Current estimates project revenue from the project will bring more than $97 million to the Independence, Fort Osage, and Blue Springs School Districts.
“One of the most frequent concerns we heard from our residents was the potential for increased traffic on the Little Blue Parkway and the intersection of I-70,” Mayor Rowland said. “This agreement includes more than $4.9 million to improve Little Blue Parkway, Jackson Drive, and the intersection of Little Blue and I-70.”
The project provided additional changes to meet citizen concerns including no industrial developments around the Horseshoe Lake, which will be saved for community uses such as a grocery store. Proposed buildings were eliminated to increase open space, wetlands, and lakes with trail extensions to the Little Blue Trace Trail. In total, more than 60% of the proposed space will remain green spaces for the use of public and wildlife in the area.
Construction is expected to begin later this summer with the first buildings opening in fall of 2023. You can read an overview of this project here and find full details of the agreement approved by Council here.