CRE X Missouri

Healthcare tech corporation could bring new life to former mall site in Kansas City

bannister-mall
The Bannister Mall was demolished in 2009.

Finding uses for closed malls is never an easy task. Kansas City's Bannister Mall -- on the Missouri city's Southeast Side -- is a good example. The Mall closed in May of 2007 after 27 years and was demolished in 2009. Since that time, several redevelopment plans for the site have come and gone. But there is now hope.

Finding uses for closed malls is never an easy task. Kansas City's Bannister Mall -- on the Missouri city's Southeast Side -- is a good example. The Mall closed in May of 2007 after 27 years and was demolished in 2009. Since that time, several redevelopment plans for the site have come and gone.

But there is now hope: Cerner Corporation, a health care information technology corporation, has entered an agreement to purchase about 237 acres of the former Bannister Mall site for an office expansion project. If all goes according to plan, the expansion will bring 12,000 to 15,000 new employees to Kansas City.

Marc Naughton, Cerner's chief financial officer, in a press release said that the company's purchase should be completed by the close of 2013.

Cerner now employes 2,886 workers at its Innovation Campus at 10234 Marion Park Drive near the site. It also employs 8,794 in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The 12,000 to 15,000 new employees would arrive over a period of several years if Cerner's expanded campus is built. The pace of these additions will depend on the company's growth.

Plans for the new campus call for on-site daycare, a clinic for associates, fitness facilities, food service and training spaces. The campus might one day also house data centers. Cerner officials also say that they might reserve part of the site for retail stores, restaurants or a hotel.

"This is a great step forward," said Kansas City Major Sly James in a written statement. "South Kansas City has been on an impressive trajectory in recent months, but this site has remained an issue."