Port KC is charged with economic redevelopment and the conversion of the 1,400-acre former Richards-Gebaur Air Force Base into an international trade-processing center.
The site was constructed in 1941 as a Kansas City auxiliary airport known as Grandview Airport and transferred in 1953 to the United States government for use by the United States Air Force as an active military facility. In 1976 it was deactivated as an active military facility and transferred to the city, which transferred it to Port KC in 2007 for the purpose of handling environmental remediation and redevelopment.
Later that year, Port KC and the city of Kansas City completed the sale of portions of the property to CenterPoint Properties, a seasoned intermodal development firm with global experience. CenterPoint Properties is the master developer for the site and plans to utilize the property for diverse uses, including industrial, distribution, light manufacturing and warehouse. Redevelopment efforts are already well underway, with extensive infrastructure in place. The sites are build-ready for facilities up to 1 million square feet.
Additionally, there are an existing 489,000 square feet of light industrial and office space and a sophisticated rail distribution hub on the property operated by Kansas City Southern, making this the most significant and exciting industrial park development in the Kansas City region.
In 1997, Port KC was tasked by the city to lead the environmental remediation of a 55-acre site along the downtown riverfront.
An old coal gasification plant, regarded by regulatory authorities as extremely dirty, was one of the contamination contributors. Other previous uses along the site were a sand dredging and concrete plant and a construction debris dump. Together, they contributed to a seriously blighted area that earned its characterization as a brownfield site.
This $17 million undertaking utilized Brownfield Tax Credits to help pay for the remediation. Over a period of 10 years, crews cleared the riverfront of hazardous materials and used other recovered materials as fill for grading the site.
In September 2007, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources issued a “no further action” letter declaring the remediation complete and site suitable for redevelopment.