Making Red Bridge Shopping Center Great Again 

Friday was billed as the groundbreaking for the $19 million Red Bridge Shopping Center redevelopment; but was it that or the kick-off event for Councilman Scott Taylor for Mayor? Before we decide that we need to thank some local politicians who made this day possible. Former Councilman John Sharp and Councilwoman Cathy Jolly deserve recognition for the ill-conceived Red Bridge CID which did nothing to improve the shopping center but enabled the property owners to create a blighted property. Remember that in 2008 when the CID was first granted Red Bridge Shopping Center could have and should have begun redevelopment. We can at least thank the Friends of Red Bridge for opposing the CID and wanting to see investment in the shopping center to improve it. Now Councilman Taylor can take credit for fixing the mess his wife helped create.

South Kansas City Councilman Scott Taylor sent out this e-mail:

I have said many times the Red Bridge Shopping Center Redevelopment would not have happened without the strong neighborhood support that was demonstrated during several public meetings last year. I am sure you have noticed the massive amount of construction that has started at the Red Bridge Shopping Center to renovate it. I am just as excited as you are about this. We are having the public groundbreaking on Friday, May 20th at 10am. It is extremely important that we have as many neighbors attend this as I can tell you the restaurants that are looking at Red Bridge continue to be concerned whether we can support them before they decide to locate there. It will be important to have a strong showing at this event. We will take pictures and get the media to cover to get the word out but need you to attend. If you are retired please attend. If you are working that morning please take an hour off and stop by to show support. This is extremely important.

It is interesting that Ward Parkway Center just announced a $16 million project to add 5 new restaurants and Truman Marketplace is undergoing a major redevelopment with additional restaurants. Both show their marketing area competing with Red Bridge Shopping Center. Other areas in the vicinity with restaurants that are established and growing are Martin City, Stateline Station, and Watts Mill. Now that Red Bridge Shopping Center is the last area to be redeveloped the market is already saturated with restaurants.

It seems we’re trying to create something with taxpayer money when there is no need or market. With all the talk of restaurants and little mention of retail it sounds like what we’re trying to create is Red Bridge Dining District even though Red Bridge is already surrounded with restaurants.