Archive for Wednesday, March 21, 2001

Several commercial tracts poised for development

Two Tonganoxie subdivisions along 24-40 highway nearly ready for infrastructure improvements

March 21, 2001

It appears that Tonganoxie is on the cusp of additional commercial development.

Two subdivisions on the north side of U.S. Highway 24-40 in eastern Tonganoxie are poised for construction.

During the next few months, an addition to B&J Apple Market grocery store will be complete, a greenhouse is scheduled to open in Urban Hess Business Center, and a new restaurant featuring Southwest cuisine will begin serving downtown.

Steve Kelly, an Overland Park developer, said he's nearly ready for work to begin on 29 acres he owns in Urban Hess Business Center.

"What I would ideally like is a motel, a restaurant and maybe a convenience store, and maybe some independent small-business owners," Kelly said of the land that fronts U.S. Highway 24-40. "My anchor would be a motel, things like that."

On the land that's north of the highway frontage, Kelly envisions small businesses involved in warehousing or light manufacturing.

Kelly purchased the acreage for $400,000 from the Leavenworth County Port Authority. He's currently waiting for the city's approval on sewers and other infrastructure improvements.

"Once that's done, I'm going to let it out for bids," he said.

The other commercial acreage that's nearly ready to come on line is owned by First State Bank and Trust. It, too, is along the highway, adjacent to the bank's new building.

Chris Donnelly, who's overseeing the project for the bank, said construction on roads and sewers could start soon and be complete in three to six months. The subdivision, called Sunflower Plains, contains six lots. The bank will retain ownership of one lot for future construction, Donnelly said.

"We're still working on one prospective project, but it has been delayed until April," he said.

The bank is anticipating office and general retail development, such as professional offices for attorneys, accountants, doctors and insurance agents.

"Anyone who needs properties similar to what we have here on the highway," he said. "We would like to have compatible facilities so it makes the subdivision equal and people can depend on property values.

"We wouldn't be opposed to a restaurant or a retail drug store outlet."

At B&J Apple Market, an addition is well under way. Owner Jim Gambrill said he expects the project to be complete in mid-May.

The addition of abut 12,000 square feet will mean the 15-year-old store will become a Country Mart, a designation under Associated Grocers, the store's supplier.

The main addition to the building is on the south.

Once construction is complete, customers will walk through a newly designed entrance and airlock that will be just south of the existing entrance.

The new entryway will soar 36 to 38 feet in the air, according to architect Kurt von Achen, Eudora.

Inside the store, the produce, frozen foods and deli departments will double in size. The deli will feature eating space. A new floor will be laid, and new cases will be brought in. Also, a sprinkler system will be installed, a first for Tonganoxie.

Also in May, plans call for opening of a new greenhouse in the Urban Hess Business Center, near Laming Road and Leavenworth County Road 5. Tonganoxie resident Twila Hickman and her partner, local Realtor Art Hancock, plan to construct a retail gardening outlet, as well as a greenhouse.

In downtown Tonganoxie, Jack Cronemeyer soon will begin work converting a former antique store into Bad Jack's Southwest restaurant at 416 E. Fourth.

He, too, hopes to open in May.

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