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Unified Government hosting 2 public meetings after last week’s heated discussion about old Indian Springs mall site

KANSAS CITY, Kan.-- The future of the old Indian Springs Mall site will be a hot topic once again Wednesday night as the Unified Government hosts not one, but two public meetings.

Developer Lane 4 wants to build offices and industrial buildings on about a third of the land, but many who live around the area don’t like it. They would rather the city build a community center, restaurants, a grocery store or a sports complex.

"A community center for this piece of property is not off the table; however as the property exists right now, we do have a Unified Government and Kansas City Area Transportation Authority Transit Center. We have a community room in that building," said Melissa Bynum, UG District 1 Commissioner.

Last Wednesday, more than 100 people packed a public meeting on the subject. Some were turned away because there wasn’t enough room. Those who did get inside complained about the lack of communication from City Hall.

The developer is ready to break ground and build $25-million worth of office space on this land once the city approves its plan, but many say they wish the city would’ve asked them what they wanted before moving forward with the current plan.

Unified Government officials say there is still a long process of approvals and public meetings before Lane 4 can proceed with construction.They also say public opinion is important before making any final decisions.

There are two different public meetings you can attend Wednesday to learn more about this project. The first one is at 4 p.m. at the Neighborhood Resource Center off 49th and State Avenue. The second is at 6 p.m. at the KCK Schools Central Office off 59th and Parallel Parkway. They promise to have more room to get everyone who wants to attend inside.

"Last week the meeting we called for the public was very full, very well attended and that everyone could get into the room," Bynum said. "It wasn't big enough. So we moved to a larger area to accommodate more conversation with the community."

Officials tell FOX 4 even if they build offices here, there will still be about two-thirds of the land available for other development down the road.

"Assuming that process were completed satisfactorily, then they would probably try to break ground as soon as possible because they want to get that construction project going and moving and people hired and working," Bynum said.

A final vote on this project is expected sometime in the next couple of months.