Developer scraps plans for Indian Springs Mall site amid public backlash

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Potential building plans that divided the KCK community have been pulled. Hundreds had expressed anger about the future of the old Indian Springs Mall site and what the city was working toward putting in its place. Tuesday, Wyandotte County Unified Government announced the developer, Lane 4, has backed out.

KCK resident Stevie Wakes said he and others in the area were disappointed about the city's plan to put an office space and industrial development on part of the old Indian Springs Mall site. Wakes said, "We were not involved initially and had we been, we would've had more say so into the development and determined exactly what we wanted."

The Unified Government did hold a couple public meetings, and Lane 4 held one as well, but not until after talks with the developer had progressed to a point where plans were almost up for a vote. UG spokesman Mike Taylor said, "I think we did learn that as we were trying to work out the economic development plans for this site, we probably should’ve included more community ideas."

Hundreds brought those ideas forward at the meetings in the last couple weeks. Wakes said people want to see, "a grocery store, green space, parks, something for kids."

"The real challenge that we face is in today’s economy, what will realistically work on that site and trying to blend that as best we can with what many members in the community think it ought to be. Those two aren’t necessarily the same thing," said Taylor.

Taylor said he wants the public to know their leaders are listening and working to move forward so the community and city and reach an agreement that is smart and economically rewarding.

Wakes is encouraged that, in his words, city leaders are now working with the community. "Now that we have the opportunity to be involved, we’re going to see involvement and hopefully a decision that’s made that everyone can really support."

The Unified Government said over the next three months, it'll meet with community members and regroup with Lane 4. They hope to have plan in place in July.