LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. — Lee’s Summit could soon be growing by leaps and bounds with 1,860 acres of land hitting the market this week.
The city was wondering if 4,200 acres of land, which makes up roughly 10% of the city, owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be developed. But after 30 years they are selling.
Lee’s Summit has more than 100,000 people, and at 67 square miles, it’s the fifth-largest city in Missouri.
But there are parts of town just outside of downtown to the south and commercial areas along I-470 to the north that look just like any rural farming town.
“We have large swaths of land in between some denser locations. Like on the north side, you have Lakewood, and then you have the middle of the city, and the Raintree area, and in between we have really large land parcels that never got developed,” Mayor Bill Baird said.
Those 4,200 acres are roughly two-thirds the size of neighboring Raytown or all of Prairie Village.
In the past week, its real estate subsidiary Suburban Land Reserve announced it’s listing 1,860 of those acres through Newmark Zimmer.
This news was much to the delight of Lee’s Summit officials who already had the land in its master plans for commercial, industrial, and of course, residential uses.
“This is city planning at its finest because we aren’t working around developments that are already in place. Basically it’s a clean slate and we get to do economic development in the best way possible. So it’s a very unique opportunity given the size of the properties,” Baird said.
Development is expected to add thousands of jobs and tens of thousands of new residents.
“The pros, we would have more jobs, more housing. The cons, we will lose the nature that we are used to seeing; the deer and all the other wildlife,” resident Angela Streker said.
No buyers have been announced, but the mayor expects city workers to be busy soon.
“It takes a few years to develop it, to put the streets in and more, but there’s a lot of interest in Lee’s Summit for single family homes and subdivisions. We have great schools, parks and amenities, so I’m sure we’re going to have some interested developers,” Baird said.