Historic Hardesty Federal Complex given new life

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - From military hub to a place to grab organic grub, the historic Federal Complex in Kansas City's Northeast was given new life Tuesday.

City leaders announced big plans for an office building and hopefully an organic food market at the intersection of Independence and Hardesty.

Back in the early 1940's, the Hardesty Federal Complex was filled with 2,500 soldiers, readying food and supplies to ship to troops serving in World War II.

Currently, the area is an industrial wasteland.

City Councilman Scott Wagner described some of the challenges.

"The reality is that it's going to take a lot of work. You have six buildings, 18 acres, and it's a monumental task," he explained. "There's asbestos, lead paint and a lot of missing copper wiring."

For more than a century, the site has been vacant and overlooked.

It's Jim Turner's job to change that. Turner is the director for the new Hardesty Renaissance Development.

"Getting people to believe that what we have here can actually be made different in a better way is among my biggest task," Turner said.

Turner and the group Asian Americans for Equality bought the 18 acre site for just a half million dollars.

They hope to remodel it into "Hardesty Renaissance", a place where farmers can sell produce, businesses can open shop and Northeast residents can unite.

Within the next few years, the developers hope you'll see the Hardesty Federal Complex as a destination rather than an eyesore.

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