KANSAS CITY, Missouri - Antioch Center has a new owner and new plans to redevelop the
Leaders in the Northland hope that this time something will
actually happen at the site of the 50 year old mall.
Savanah Phillips needs new shoes for her fast growing son.
She lives near Antioch Center and is frustrated by the lack of
"It's really hard to shop when there's not a lot of stores close
to your area," said Phillips.
Only three stores remain at Antioch Center.
"If they're going to actually do something with it, I just want
something that everyone can enjoy and be able to shop and eat and
do whatever they want close to home so they don't have to go far,"
The new owner of the shopping center at Vivion and North Antioch
is a local firm that expected to tear down the building and bring
in new retail.
The previous owner was a Canadian company that let it become an
eyesore with peeling paint and damaged awnings.
Neighbors have been upset because the dying mall has dragged
down nearby business.
"You can just see it all over. The neighborhood people are
worried about their property values. It's like a cancer that has to
be stopped. And so that's why we're excited about this new deal,"
said Jim Rice, the CEO of Northland Neighborhoods, Inc.
It's been five years since the city declared the area blighted
and set up a TIF district to offer tax breaks for
The previous owner never got the job done.
But city officials believe the new owner can do something.
"Absolutely, he's got a track record of getting the the projects
done, quality projects, but also... as important a track record of
working with the neighborhoods," said Deb Hermann, a KCMO City
Council Member who represents the area.
Hermann says the city will expedite demolition permits.
Although the mall will be quickly torn down, there's no decision
yet on what new retailers will end up here.
The new developer has experience with another, similar local
It tore down the former Blue Ridge mall and built new retail
anchored by a Wal-Mart store.