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EDC Keystone Recognizes Developments, People and Progress

January 2021

EDC Chair Greg Canuteson presented a 2020 update on the organization during the virtual Keystone event Dec. 4. The presentation included the latest news on the EDC's Big 4 with programs like the 587 Plan. Go to this page to see videos of the 2020 Keystone Event.

The EDC’s Keystone Awards went virtual Dec. 4 with a packed agenda honoring 14 projects, individual efforts and more.

Chair Greg Canuteson opened the meeting with a review of 2020, a year of “tremendous challenge” that the EDC largely overcame.

“Your EDC did not close for a single day,” he noted. “We were here to help businesses and still are.”

Along with a wide range of ongoing business support services, the EDC this year distributed $1 million to Clay County businesses and, in one event, raised $50,000 for Feed Northland Kids. Despite the pandemic, the area saw 1,687 building permits issued during 2020, representing $172 million in investment — just in Kansas City. Equal strong growth was evident throughout the county.

Big 4 News

Canuteson also presented an update to the EDC’s Strategic Plan Big 4. The four initiatives, designed to ensure quality Clay County growth, include promoting development around the I-435/Highway 152 interchange, expanding the KC Tech Academy and Liberty Hospital/MU Orthopaedic Center programs, and bringing at least 50 new businesses and 5,000 new jobs to Clay County.

“We have always said, ‘It’s not a question of if Clay County will grow, but how,’” Canuteson noted. The Big 4 was created to help steer that “how” toward quality.

The biggest announcement involved the efforts surrounding I-435 and Highway 152, largely vacant land near one of the most strategic interchanges in Metro Kansas City. The EDC’s effort, named the 587 Project by combining the two highway numbers, is beginning with a feasibility study. Just announced, the study by Olsson Oschner Hare & Hare will answer questions like the type of businesses that would be attracted to the area and the related infrastructure that would be needed. The study is funded by a grant obtained by Kansas City’s Northland council members, Heather Hall and Kevin O’Neil.

Other Big 4 updates included successful fundraising for expansion of the KC Tech Academy and ongoing expansion of MU Orthopaedics at Liberty Hospital.

Clay County’s two new commissioners, who take office in January, were also introduced: Megan Thompson, eastern commissioner, and Jon Carpenter, western commissioner.

Keystone Honors

Tony Reinhart and Kirk Davis introduced the Keystone winners, starting with two special awards to Liberty’s massive Highway 152/Kansas Ave. improvements and the new Law Enforcement Memorial Garden, which honors law enforcement officers who have given their lives in Greater Kansas City. The awards were highlighted by recordings of the owners and developers of the winning entries, along with their respective local officials presenting the awards. The winning entries were as follows:

Grace Wins Home & Studio and The Loft at Grace Wins, Excelsior Springs.

The Hy-Vee Grocery Store Renovation, Gladstone.

T-Shotz, Kansas City.

The Hedrick Building Innovation, Kearney.

Mr. Dell’s Warehouse Expansion, Kearney.

Paisley Perk by Paisley Candle & Home, Kearney.

The Shoppes at Kearney, Building J, Kearney.

Ford Stamping Plant Expansion, Liberty.

Liberty Logistics Center Phase I, Liberty.

The Aloft/Element Hotel, North Kansas City.

The Backyard at One North, North Kansas City.

Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom, North Kansas City.

A final highlight of the meeting was presentation of the annual Jim Hampton Scholarships presentation to Lindsey Rippee of Staley High School and Olivia Nebal of Liberty.

Go to this page to see videos of the 2020 Keystone Event.

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