American Inn demolition making way for multi-million redevelopment in Independence

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- The American Inn sits off of Noland Road and Interstate 70, and has been a problem for years. Police say they’re called to the area every year an average of 138 times, and have even busted a meth lab.

But now the American Inn building is coming down to make way for the future, with a $35 million redevelopment and expansion of the MarketPlace Shopping Center in Independence.

“Just the opportunity to reclaim one of the most visible intersections in Jackson County and redevelop this is really, really and exciting opportunity,” said Independence Mayor Eileen Weir.

The redevelopment is heralded as exciting and necessary for the survival for this part of the Noland Road Corridor.

“We actually had another piece of property under contract and we were going to leave this center,” said Alan McKeever.

McKeever one of the owners of McKeever`s Price Chopper -- the anchor store of the MarketPlace Shopping Center for 30 years. If his business pulled out it could have been the death knell for this property.

“We made a big commitment a long time ago and we want to stick with that commitment and they really helped enhance that,” he continued.

Heather Ruoff, CEO of the Marian Hope Center, was in the same position as McKeever.

“We have had a variety of um, um, what`s the word I am looking for? Characters come into our facility,” she said. “We have considered that for the safety of our therapists and the children that we provide services here.”

The Marian Hope Center provides services to children with disabilities, down the road from the MarketPlace Center. She's confident a viable and safe mall will benefit the entire neighborhood.

“Anxious to see what it will look like and how it will improve the economy and the safety of what we have right here,” she said.

“The developer expects it to take 18 month to complete the new development. He does not know yet whether it will keep the name MarketPlace or if they will rename the new development.