Platte City completes sale of lane east of I-29; development coming

Platte City recently took another step in the process of developing land located east of Interstate 29, between Highway HH and Highway 92. The Platte City Industrial Development Authority (PCIDA) approved the lease purchase of about 40 acres of city-owned land during a Nov. 12 meeting. The Platte City Board of Aldermen then approved the sale at its Nov. 18 meeting at City Hall.

This clears the way for Platte City to start the process of expanding its sewer system underneath Interstate 29 and adding sewer infrastructure to service that plot of land. While more expenditure could be necessary, the ultimate goal remains to promote growth and eventually increase tax revenues through development.

“We’ve done what we can to jumpstart it,” Platte City administrator DJ Gehrt said. “We’ll continue to do what we can to jumpstart it with projects like this, by opening it up, getting the sewer going and things like that.”

PCIDA issued $2.1 million in bonds — $700,000 apiece from Wells Bank, Platte Valley Bank and Bank of Weston — and $1.3 million refunds the city’s original purchase investment. Platte City also receives about another $500,000 which can only be used toward the construction of the designated sewer projects.

Bids for construction of the new sewer system should go out soon, and Gehrt believes the bond revenue should cover most, if not all, of the project.

“We anticipate that we may have a little sewer money into it,” Gehrt said, “but it will cover the vast majority of it.”

Platte City continues to work with R.H. Johnson Company, which touts itself as Kansas City’s market leader in retail real estate service, on a partnership to promote development of the city land and about 260 acres the Laderoute family owns to the east and stretching south toward Highway 92. Gehrt said he hoped to have that contract finalized in December.

The sewer project should be completed by the end of the summer, and building on the land could begin in 2015 but should definitely start by 2016.

Planning would include a public component, allowing citizens to give input on what sort of development would take place and where. This all fits in with a likely larger project to include approximately 1,400 more acres located further east and down to the northern edge of Highway 92.

Indications are that retail, business and residential would all have a place in the final plan.

“What is economically feasible is really going to drive what goes where. The market is really going to tell us. We are just trying to lay a foundation so that when the market is ready, we have sewers available; we have a planning process available.”