Gov. Jay Nixon today was joined by Kansas City Mayor Sly James and Cerner Corp. officials to announce that the company has completed its purchase of the Three Trails Crossing property, paving the way for a historic expansion that will create up to 15,000 new jobs in Kansas City. Cerner’s estimated $4.3 billion redevelopment of the former Bannister Mall site will be one of the largest economic development projects in state history.
The 237-acre redevelopment will extend Cerner’s nearby Innovation campus and accommodate the company’s projected growth. The redeveloped site will include a training center, potential future data centers, and associate amenities such as on-site daycare, a health clinic, food service, and a fitness center. The company currently has more than 8,700 associates in Kansas City, with nearly 3,000 at the Innovation campus.
“Today’s announcement by Cerner is great news for the company, for the Kansas City region and for the entire Show-Me State,” Gov. Nixon said. “From Day One, my administration has focused on helping Missouri companies create jobs and grow our economy. Today we see the results of this approach paying off in a big way for communities in this region and across our state.”
“This is a great step forward for this site and for the City,” said Mayor James. “I'm excited that this area will soon be a beacon for innovation and another win for our high-tech economy. Cerner is a valuable community partner and I deeply appreciate the company’s commitment to our City.”
“We’ve started demolition on the Three Trails redevelopment to provide the space Cerner needs for adding up to 15,000 new jobs to Kansas City,” said Cerner President Zane Burke. “In addition, the extended campus will provide an economic boost to the area, allow Cerner to expand its valued community partnerships, and further reinforce the region’s reputation as a technology and innovation hub.”
Bannister Mall was once one of the largest malls in the Kansas City area, featuring 180 stores, and providing employment for hundreds of residents in its peak years. After several decades of decline, the mall became blighted, eventually closing its doors in 2007. The mall was demolished in 2009.
The state has proposed a strategic, performance-based economic incentive package based on the company’s jobs creation and investment.
“A transformative expansion like this project is what our economic developers and partners strive for each and every day – to grow our state and provide Missourians with more opportunities,” said Gov. Nixon. “As Governor, I am pleased to be a part of such a monumental expansion that will have significant impact on the State for decades to come.”
The announcement by Cerner is the latest indication that Missouri’s economy continues to grow as unemployment continues to decline. Missouri’s unemployment rate has been below the national average for 51 consecutive months and the most recent jobs report showed that Missouri was a top 10 state for job growth in 2013. Since January 2013, nonfarm payroll employment in Missouri has increased by 43,900 – more than all but nine other states in the nation. In addition, Missouri employers added 15,000 jobs in November, helping bring the state’s unemployment rate down to 6.1 percent, its lowest point since August 2008.
An independent report recently found that Missouri had the third-fastest rate of technology job growth in the nation in 2012 and Missouri recently bested both California and New York for growth in technology jobs in the first half of the year. The Kansas City area was also named one of the “Most Promising Tech Hubs to Watch in 2014” by techie.com.