New development breaks ground at site of deadly 2015 fire

By Michael Bushnell, Publisher

Roughly ten months after final plans were approved for the new construction at 2600 Independence Blvd., final city permits were issued and ground was broken this week on the project.

The mixed-use development will occupy the site of the fatal October 12, 2015 fire that claimed the lives of two Northeast natives, Kansas City Firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh.

According to Thong Thai, an Architect with B+A Architecture, the 10,887-square foot lower level will house seven commercial spaces, including a restaurant on the far west end of the structure. The retail spaces will be accessible from both the north and south sides of the building. An outdoor dining patio will also be built on the northern part of the restaurant space.

The second floor will comprise 15, one-bedroom apartments measuring roughly 540 square feet per unit. The current public easement will be resurfaced with new asphalt and will hold 55 total parking spaces, 40 for the retail units and 15 for the residential.

Community members had expressed concern that no memorial was included for the fallen firefighters. To that end, architects designed an area that includes two benches flanked by two trees facing the current official memorial at the fire site on the west wall of Snyder’s Supermarket next door.

Additional lighting will be installed in the parking areas and through the alley between the new building and Snyder’s.

To date, one lease has been signed with a beauty salon. A cell phone store has expressed interest in space, as well. According to Thai, a number of retailers have expressed interest in space but are holding off until final completion dates are more firm. The larger corner space is specifically designed for restaurant use. Barring unforeseen weather or construction-related delays, the project is slated for an early September 2021 completion.

For a glimpse back to some of our coverage of this development see these links:

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