Cerner's newest Kansas City campus could revitalize former Bannister Mall area

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - This day could be one of the last quiet ones for El Paísa, a taquería in South Kansas City.

"First we started out with just the store and then we started doing some burritos to start the restaurant area," explained El Paísa manager, Mirna Lopez. "Now we have expanded more."

 

 

The taco and burrito shop is one of the many South KC mom and pops that could see a major bump in business now that the Cerner Innovations campus is open.

Beginning Monday, 600 people began working at Cerner's seventh campus in south Kansas City. Over the next month or so, 3,000 people in all will work at this campus. By 2020, that number will grow to 16,000.

That could add up to a whole lot of tortilla making for El Paisa.

"Really good business, a lot of business for us," she said. "I have people come and joke - later on you're going to have to have this whole [shopping center] because they really like the tacos and burritos and everything."

 

Photo: Cerner Innovations

With thousands of employees working at Cerner Innovations, it opens up the chance for the entire area to grow.

"It was kind of sad to watch the decline over the years to the point it just turned into a pile of asphalt out here," said Mike Nill, Cerner's Chief Operating Officer.
 
Nill said he grew up in Lee's Summit and spent a good chunk of his teen years hanging out at Bannister Mall.

"A development like this will have an impact on the area," Nill said. "Our associates will need amenities, places to live, places to eat. I can already see activity occurring on the surrounding border here. I can't help believe this will have a big impact on the area."

Which could be good news for the old Bannister Mall area which was once blighted and could soon be booming for businesses like El Paisa.

"I just hope it gets bigger," said Lopez. "Maybe we can open up a second one."

Want a job at Cerner? Click here for the careers page.

Want tacos at El Paísa? Click here to see the menu.

 

 

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Terra Hall can be reached at terra.hall@kshb.com.

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