Redevelopment of Indian Springs among ideas discussed at squabbling UG Commission meeting

Redevelopment of the former Indian Springs shopping mall site could take the form of an innovation park and an electric vehicle charging destination.

That idea was presented to the UG Commission, along with several others east of 55th Street, on Thursday night. Lavert Murray, the mayor’s economic development adviser, led the effort to present developers. An impressive number of developers presented plans and ideas.

However, the process Thursday night was not part of the UG’s usual planning and zoning pipeline, and Mayor Tyrone Garner pointed out the lack of the UG’s economic development staff at the meeting.

Commissioner Andrew Davis had stated the lack of developer Willie Lanier Jr. at the meeting, and Murray responded that Lanier had been invited. Lanier had been working on a Reardon Center redevelopment project that ended after the current administration took office.

“His project was completely axed,” Davis said at the meeting. “We did not hear about it until March or April. I hope that never happens to you all.”

The UG Commission had been in meetings for about five hours Thursday when some comments were made back and forth about the process of this development event. It was a total of around eight hours of meetings from the time the special session started until the end of the regular meeting. The budget was one of the topics at the special session.

Commissioner Davis encouraged the developers to go through the regular planning process. He told them the staff determines what is feasible and advises the commission. They will need six votes for their plans to pass, he said. “That’s the secret sauce,” Davis said.

Davis also asked Dr. Greg Mosier, president of Kansas City Kansas Community College, about the college’s taxes. Dr. Mosier had been at the meeting to present plans of the planned expansion of the community college on a downtown campus.

He said he had been asked why they are spending money on student housing, and he has replied that, “Our students deserve better.” Students had been renting apartments that were moldy and caused respiratory issues, and the college had to provide better housing. They had to use hotel space, which was more costly than building new housing. They built new student housing on the main campus.

Dr. Mosier said the college has tightened its belt straps, and by providing a downtown campus that teaches students the best in technology, it would raise the standard of living in the county, providing more tax funds eventually for the local governments. The college is frugal and planning for the future, he said, not raising the mill levy in over six years.

“I am strategically investing for the future where we have not been able to do that for 20-plus years,” Dr. Mosier said.

Indian Springs site

Erik Murray, developer, told the commission on Thursday about his plan to create a mixed use development on more than 80 acres at the former Indian Springs site. Located at 47th and State, or near I-635 and I-70, Indian Springs would be in a good place for motorists to stop and charge their electric vehicles in the future.

There would be a Comfort Inn hotel planned for the site plus a quick-serve restaurant and retail operation, he said. He added he had financing lined up for the project.

The Indian Springs project had been under redevelopment as a Foodie Park, but that plan also ended as a new administration came in.

Several other developers came forward with plans for development east of 55th Street at Thursday night’s UG meeting.

No action was taken on any of the development projects on Thursday night.

To watch the meetings, which lasted almost eight hours, visit

3 thoughts on “Redevelopment of Indian Springs among ideas discussed at squabbling UG Commission meeting”

  1. Interesting that the commission grilled the community college about a proposed 13.58% increase in mill levy! While the mill levy for the county is projected to increase 13.16% and the city mill levy is projected to increase 13.76%! If these proposed budgets are approved, each and every one of us WyCo residents will have a 10%+ increase in our tax bills. Have services been upgraded or expanded? Not in my part of town. Where does the $$$$$ go?

  2. The community college needs to get off the tax teat. They are the hugest wasters of money and provide little in return. They live on federal and local tax dollars, but keep taking up more and more real estate, for nothing but a 2 year degree, and thats for the ones that even complete that.

  3. A 10% increase in property taxes? A small price to pay to have Tyrone Garner as mayor.

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