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Cerner’s acquisition of old mall site has people, neighborhood excited

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Cerner has big plans for the empty lot where the old Bannister Mall once stood. The company intends to build a new campus. New construction will obviously help to beautify this neighborhood, but the aspect people are most excited for, are the jobs that will come with it.

“When I first lived here the mall was open and people were coming and going and there was just a lot of life here. Kids and families and now it’s just kind of barren and sad,” resident Gwen McKinley said.

These 237 acres where the mall once stood have been empty for a little more than four years. Now, they may be getting a new life with Cerner. The news of the new campus is a relief to many in this south Kansas City neighborhood.

“I think the community is ready for change, I think it’s a job on both the company and the communities part as long as we are open to that change and open for it coming to the community,” resident Mya Hibbler said.

But what neighbors are most excited for are the jobs. Cerner said the campus could bring as many as 12,000- 15,000 jobs to the Kansas City. That’s big news for someone like Hibbler, a recent college graduate.

“Whatever is going to get me a foot in the door at any kind of company that will be fill time for me, im really open for change,” Hibbler said.

Cerner reported it's plans not only include a massive campus with tons of amenities for employees, but may also make a portion of the site available to be developed as retail stores, restaurants or a hotel.

McKinley said she knows this would certainly help turn her old neighborhood back around.

“I think it’s going to be wonderful. More jobs in the community, places for people to go, families are going to be able to have jobs and build back up this community because it’s a great community so hopefully this will make it even better,” McKinley said.

Cerner said it anticipates that the sale of this lot will be complete by the end of this year.

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