Paragon Star - new "premier sports complex" Jackson County located on Rock Island & Little Blue Trace Trails — MetroWireMedia

Headlines are quick hits from media outlets from Missouri and around the world. Follow the headline link for the full story. The source of this headline says:

Lee’s Summit will soon be home to the finest, state of the art sports complex in Kansas City -- maybe even the country -- as a development team steps forward with a $212 million plan to capitalize on the burgeoning youth sports travel industry. . . .

The name “Paragon Star” is a nod to the five components of the project -- recreation, residential, entertainment, office, and restaurants. It’s part of an overall 300-acre master planned development that will occur in three phases.

The team worked with the City of Lee’s Summit to conduct a joint feasibility study with RERC, which estimated the project could support 139,000 square feet of retail and services; 33,000 square feet of restaurants; and 42,000 square feet for an entertainment venue, as well as a 100-room hotel. . . . .

The amount of visitors the project will attract, based off the feasibility study, are impressive. Compared to 11 highly ranked complexes around the country and the 32 soccer complexes in the Kansas City metro, a state of the art sports complex of this magnitude can attract 120,000 attendees and 30,400 hotel bed nights, as well as an additional 200,000 annual player visitors for training, league play, camps and clinics. . . .

RECREATION

Today, the Katy Trail has about 400,000 users which generate $18 million in revenue. Paragon Star will expand the Katy Trail by adding about 17 miles, which will generate an additional $5 to $6 million a year. The team also plans to restore the Little Blue River on the project, so that users can fish and kayak there, as well as offer zip lines and rock climbing.

SUSTAINABILITY

The project incorporates a number of sustainable concepts. The team is exploring LEED design, using natural light and ensuring the project is walkable and pedestrian friendly. Brown says the site will generate alternative energy sources and incorporate a site-wide recycling program.

MoBikeFed comment: The reference to "expand the Katy Trail by about 17 miles" is referring to the 17.7 miles of the Rock Island Trail recently acquired by Jackson County that will be the western terminus of the Rock Island Trail and also the western terminus of the Katy Trail-Kansas City connection.

Jackson County now has an economic development office with several staff devoted to promoting development projects like this tied to the Rock Island Corridor.

http://www.jacksongov.org/776/Rock-Island-Rail-Corridor-Authority

The economic development plans are tied to the forthcoming 17.7 mile section of trail, but also to future plans to bring commuter rail service to the corridor.

This project is immediately adjacent to the Rock Island Corridor, so it will benefit from direct access to that trail--which Jackson County is planning to open by 2018. That will connect directly to the Missouri State Park section of the Rock Island Trail between Pleasant Hill and Windsor, which is slated to open by Dec 31st, 2016. That means the complex will be located on the statewide Katy/Rock Island Trail.

In addition, the complex is located on the Little Blue River--meaning that connections to both the Little Blue Trace Trail and the Longview Trail system are in the works. The Little Blue Trace Trail leads north along the Little Blue River nearly to the Missouri River. The County plans to extend the trail south to Longview Lake, connecting through this planned development:

http://www.examiner.net/article/20151117/NEWS/151119242

That puts this planned Paragon Star Development at the nexus of two major trails--and one of the most ambitious economic development initiatives we have seen in Missouri that is so directly related to trail development.

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