KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Wednesday begins the transformation of the Indian Springs Mall, which has been an eyesore in Kansas City, Kan. for the past decade.
City officials are expected to break ground on a new transit system, making it easier for Kansas City, Kan., residents and visitors to use buses to get around town. Offices inside Indian Springs Mall will begin moving out in December. Crews are expected to begin demolition in February. The City of Kansas City purchased the mall fr $7 million through eminent domain.
The new $4.5 dollar Midtown MetroCenter will be built at 47th and State Avenue, right where the Indian Springs Mall has stood since 1971.
The center is expected to open in August 2013 and it will accommodate eight buses and include sidewalks and shelters for those waiting to take the bus. It is one of two bus transit centers being built in Kansas City, Kan. The other one is located at 7th and Minnesota. Construction at that location began in July of this year.
The plan is for the city buses to run from the MetroCenter in downtown Kansas City, Mo., located at 10th and Main through the Downtown KCK MetroCenter at 7th and Minnesota, down State Avenue to the Midtown MetroCenter at 47th Street all the way to Village West at 108th and Parallel Parkway and then back, with stops along the way.
City officials said bus ridership in the metro is expected to be up 15 percent this year from 2010, and with more than a million people taking the buses each year, they believe this is a worthy investment.
The project is mostly being paid for with a TIGER grant -- a federal grant the Department of Transportation awarded the metro back in 2010 to be used toward infrastructure improvements. Local taxpayers will fund just a small percentage of the project.
The construction project is great news for those who live near the Indian Springs Mall.
The city declared it a dead mall six years ago and finally, something is being done to renovate the area.
The Kansas City, Kan., police substation already here will be moved into the new building.
As for the current building behind me, we expect city officials to unveil plans for that later today.