KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With hopes for reopening as a profitable gambling operation dashed, the former Woodlands racetrack in Kansas City, Kansas, is for sale, the Unified Government for Wyandotte County and KCK announced Wednesday.
Las Vegas casino owner Phil Ruffin bought the 100-acre property off Interstate 435 at Leavenworth Road with plans to reopen the track for horse racing and add slot machines.
Despite support from the county and city government, the Kansas Legislature did not amend state gaming laws to allow the plan to proceed.
Ruffin and the Kansas Lottery were at an impasse over how much revenue the Woodlands could keep from slot machines.
Now, Ruffin plans to sell the property to an Indianapolis-based property management company for an alternative use.
The Woodlands opened in 1989 and ceased operation as a racetrack in 2008. It was the first legal gambling location in the state in more than 60 years at the time.
Scannell Properties has proposed construction of a 1,000,000 square-foot distribution warehouse, office park and retail space, which the unified Government estimates will create 1,000 new jobs.
The horse- and dog-racing tracks, which the Unified Government described as “crumbling,” would be demolished this summer with plans to open the warehouse in 2021.
Under the proposed plan, 70 acres between the new development and Wyandotte County Lake will become new green space and walking trails.
The project requires review by state and local authorities as well as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which will require public hearings and eventually final approval from the Unified Government.