As one set of construction projects end, more on the horizon in Platte City

With the full four-lane portion of Kentucky Avenue set to open early this week, Platte City made another step in the long-range process of improving infrastructure.

Yet, with the dirt mostly settled for now and the pavement down, there’s reason to believe that 2017 might bring even more activity. Two major roadway projects and one sewer extension completed in the past year have opened up the possibility for more business in Platte City.
The two-part Kentucky Avenue extension should pay the most immediate dividends.

According to Platte City city administrator DJ Gehrt, QuikTrip still has plans to build a completely new store on its property while not closing the current one until the replacement is ready to open. The new Generation 3 store will offer more options to convenience customers while hopefully providing improvements to allow for more volume of customers at a location widely considered the company’s busiest in the Kansas City metro area.

We’ve known about this potential for a while, and like most projects, this one hasn’t started as quick as early estimates.

However, McDonald’s added to the stakes, and Gehrt now says the owner wants to undergo a full renovation, as well. This had always been hinted at but not really confirmed until last week’s Platte City Board of Aldermen meeting.

Not only did Platte City’s investment in the Kentucky Avenue project keep two key players in town, it also led to what should be some flashy upgrades.

The slower portion of Kentucky development should occur in the other direction. With the four-lane boulevard opening up, the Platte County R-3 School District plans to sell the remaining acreage of its property around recently opened Compass Elementary at the junction of Kentucky Avenue and Fourth Street.

You can read more about the district’s plan starting on the front page of the paper, but there has already been interest from developers on the site, which could be sold as one parcel of about 35 acres or divided into smaller ones.

There’s also interest coming in regarding the city’s land on the east side of Interstate 29 between Highway 92 and HH Highway. The new sewer lift station has been complete for a while and a comprehensive plan for the site should be done in February.

Gehrt said the interest has already started, giving Platte City two places for expansion.

The results could be the long sought after growth in tax revenue after a lengthy period of flat projections. Of course, like the construction, the effect won’t be immediate, but the completion of one long sought after project – the establishment of a road like Kentucky Avenue running across town has been envisioned for more than five decades – gives way to the potential.

A lot of this development has been discussed for years, and it appears the actual dirt moving might finally be on the horizon.

Platte City mayor Frank Offutt reported last week that $3 million in private investment was made in businesses last year. That includes the City of Platte City’s program, which helped spur improvements in the Main Street district, too.

The upgrades to Sprint Lumber (looks fantastic), Pine’s Barbershop and other buildings shouldn’t have gone unnoticed. If it has, get yourself downtown and check it out. Stop in and spend some money.

Offutt expects the investments to be even bigger in 2017, which is a bold but realistic projection at this point. The dirt will be stirring again and more pavement going down.

Ross Martin is publisher of The Citizen. He may be reached via email at Follow him on Twitter: @Citizen_Ross.