CenterPoint stands behind estimate of $175M to demolish Federal Bannister Complex

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - CenterPoint Properties spoke about the contaminated Bannister Federal Complex for the first time since they were awarded the bid to take over the property in December.

Senior Vice President of the real estate company, James Cross, stood by the bid of $175 million to demolish the site.  In a meeting at the Trailside Center he said that's how much CenterPoint's team of scientists and engineers determined would take to get the site cleaned up.

The plant houses the General Services Administration and Honeywell, a company that makes parts for nuclear bombs. Now, workers are moving out and plans to destroy the buildings are underway but Michael Copeland, who worked at the complex for 32 years, wants to make sure it's done the right way.

Copeland explained that he wants, "[The government] to convince the people that you really did clean this place up and you're going to have to monitor it for years."

He watched as coworkers and family members battled illnesses like Sarcoidosis and various cancers.

A 41 Action News investigation identified hundreds of sickened former workers. The U.S. Department of Labor found nearly 900 toxins present in the complex including beryllium, asbestos and plutonium.

A report from the 1980s revealed it would cost at least $800 million to remove the pollution and keep any contamination from spreading to the neighborhood and nearby Blue River.


"We've got documents that they will tell you that they cannot move that building. If they move that building the plumes of toxic contaminants will let loose," Copeland said.

Copeland wasn't satisfied with the response from the real estate company. He doesn't think the bid will be enough to clean up all of the contaminated buildings.

The Army Corp of Engineers did an assessment of the land and landfill on the complex grounds. Those results were not available yet.

If the Department of Natural Resources approves all of CenterPoint's proposals, the company will take over sometime in 2015.

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