Kearney’s latest venture could mean big business

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KEARNEY, Mo. -- New projects are on the horizon in the city of Kearney.

During the past 12 years, city leaders have found a number of ways to pay for public works.

Some say the city's latest venture could bring a lot of business to Kearney.

The latest blueprints for the future have come from Mayor Bill Dane, who predicts changes for the west side of town.

A 38-acre piece of land is the projected home for The Shoppes of Kearney, a new 16 merchant retail center that will sit alongside the Karney interchange with Interstate 35.

Highway 92 will soon be widened to five lanes and two roundabouts will be constructed to help control traffic for motorists.

"We've built an infrastructure a lot in a community that won't have to invest in a lot for the next 25-30 years. We're proud of that," Dane told FOX 4 News.

The mayor also says the city won't incur many newly-created costs.  The Missouri Department of Transportation will assist with the widening of the highway.

The shopping centered is considered a TIF project, qualifying it for tax increment financing and assignment of already existing tax money to help with finances.

Chastain Parks is ready to see it all unfold.  He'll move the existing BIg V Country Mart to the Shoppes at Kearney, transforming it into a Price Chopper store.  He'll bring with him 37 years of experience selling groceries.

"We need some things that other towns around have -- a community center, a swimming pool. One of the keys is getting the people to not leave town to spend their dollars," Parks explained.

Mayor Dane says he's also hopeful to see the new shopping center will include several high-profile restaurants, which would be a big relief to the local economy around Kearney.

By the mayor's numbers, this city loses $8 million  worth of restaurant traffic annually.

Dane hopes that would enable the city with a population of less than 9,000 to prepare for the long haul.

"We are one of the fastest growing communities in the metroplex and in the state of Missouri. Easily, within the next year, we'll surpass 10,000 people," the mayor said.

Parks says that his Big V Country Mart in Smithville will also become a Price Chopper store soon.

Dane tells FOX 4 News the groundbreaking for the Shoppes at Kearney should happen within the next two weeks.  He expects to see the new Price Chopper store open sometime in November.



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