Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Constructions crews tear down two motels that were once source of many 911 calls

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Construction crews are tearing down two run-down motels Thursday that have been a source of neighborhood complaints.

The trouble spots at I-435 and 87th Street are right next to Cerner's new Innovation Campus, which is the anchor of the revitalization effort here.

"They were one of the highest areas of calls for our police department when they were still operating," said Scott Taylor, 6th District Councilman. "Taking these down is so important for the community."

Cerner is promising to create 16,000 new jobs in south Kansas City, and the campus project has been expanded to eventually include the land where the motels sit.

For years city leaders say the properties generated a lot of 911 calls for police, and neighbors are pleased to see the landscape finally changing.

"I’m just really excited about the possibilities that are around Cerner from the standpoint of not just community development," said Pastor Ron Lindsay of Concord Fortress of Hope Church. "Now you are even watching new conversations around what does relevance mean for south Kansas City. Those are huge pieces."

At Lindsay's church, members say the changes already are helping develop more of a sense of community as neighbors feel safer and are more likely to invest in their area.

Many also like that the health care tech company is providing $6-million for Hickman Mills schools.

The investment Cerner and government are making in the area already is prompting interest to develop spinoff services for the growing workforce and those who live nearby.