LEE’S SUMMIT, Mo. – A $250 million sports complex and development is getting close to opening after more than a decade.
Plans have changed a bit over the years for Paragon Star off I-470 at View High Drive in Lee’s Summit.
The original plan was for sales tax from a mixed-use project featuring restaurants, retail, and hotels to support construction of a sports complex. But with COVID-19 and some other factors they ended up shifting the construction timeline.
On 8 of the 10 Liga turf fields ready for FIFA certification built so far, robots are helping to paint the lines for eventual play at Paragon Star. It’s a welcome sight for two men who’ve hoped to bring the sports complex and development to the Lee’s Summit/Kansas City border for more than a decade.
“It was 30 million in infrastructure because it was nothing literally nothing,” Flip Short, Paragon Star CEO, said.
“We had no infrastructure here, no roads, no sewer, no water,” Bill Brown, COO, said.
Along the way they faced hurdles after the 2016 groundbreaking including 22 acres of wetland and having to bring in 900,000 cubic yards of dirt for an elevated flood plain.
“When we started we looked at this as a youth soccer complex, we’ve now evolved into a sports and entertainment complex,” Short said.
“We’ll have pickleball, getting bigger every day we’ll have sand volleyball, a ropes course, a climbing wall so they’ll be plenty of reasons to come out to Paragon Star and that’s just the sports complex,” Brown said.
The first of a village of buildings is going up that will bring in 80,000 square feet of restaurant and retail as well as apartments and office space. Developers decided to make the financial leap to go ahead with the sports complex first.
“The delays would have been another year before we even started this now the community would have lost out on this,” Short said.
But they say it’s state-of-the-art, the only in the nation with more than 6 fields with shock pads and organic infill.
“|You’ll see a significant drop in the heat that is generated because you aren’t using that black chrome rubber that absorbs the heat the organic product will instead repel it,” Brown said.
Kansas City Scott Gallagher will call it home, but as they plan soccer tournaments they also are readying those lines for NAIA Women’s Flag Football and possibly even some NFL sponsored events in conjunction with the NFL Draft.
“This has been a long time coming the community has been waiting they’ve been very supportive, but to be able to deliver a best in class facility for the community is a pretty good feeling,” Brown said.
Developers are working with city officials in both Lee’s Summit and the section of the project in Kansas City on the final checklist of items needed before they are ready to open in the very near future.