INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — An eyesore in Independence is coming down Tuesday. The city is demolishing a former Kmart that has since become a frequent spot for crime.
In June, city councilmembers approved nearly $200,000 to demolish the former Kmart location that sits on Noland Road near Interstate 70.
The building has been vacant since 2017. It became a resting place for homeless people and vandalism during the past six years.
As of June, Independence police were called there 275 times in the past three years. Concerns included graffiti, broken windows, fires and flooding.
Gerry Winship, who manages the Noland Road Community Improvement District, estimated the city has been unable to collect roughly $2 million in property taxes, and the absentee owner hasn’t responded to citations.
Independence Fourth District Councilmember Dan Hobart said the demolition is bittersweet since he grew up in the area, but it’s a long time coming.
“This building has become an unattractive nuisance for Independence,” he said Tuesday.
Hobart said after the building is demolished, it will take a few weeks for crews to get the property cleared out and leveled.
As for what’s next, he said that will be up to the developer. But Hobart believes the property will be highly sought after once the work is done.