The City of Independence is Partnering with Industrial Realty Group in a Mixed-Use Development Project

Independence City Council passed an ordinance authorizing Mayor Anthony L. Togliatti to execute a Letter of Intent to negotiate an agreement with Industrial Realty Group, LLC (IRG) for the $2.5 million purchase and subsequent development of a 33-acre city-owned site on Rockside Road near the I-480/I-77 interchange.

The site, one of the largest parcels of undeveloped land in Independence, is located at the northwest corner of Rockside Road and Oak Tree Boulevard. The City’s Area Plan for this parcel calls for its development as a mixed-use employment center combining office space, retail uses, restaurants and possibly a hotel under Planned Unit Development (PUD) regulations adopted in 2015. PUDs enable developers to plan large areas as single entities, with the design flexibility to combine land uses that would typically develop separately.

The development will be the first project to develop under these regulations, Mayor Togliatti said. “The City has been seeking the right partner here for several years,” he said. “We’re looking forward to bringing a new, vibrant option to the City of Independence, and IRG has the vision and capacity to develop the property to its fullest potential.”

“This public-private partnership is an outgrowth of the growing momentum we see for exciting mixed-use projects in suburban communities,” said Peter Goffstein, IRG senior vice president. “In a PUD, different land uses can engage with each other in pedestrian-friendly ways, and we plan to open up this site’s possibilities with appealing amenities unique to this area.”

PUDs are subject to public hearings and council approval following a process to align proposed developments with a site’s natural features, what is feasible in the real estate market, and approved area plans. Goffstein said the first order of business is to work through wetlands issues with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That will have a significant bearing on how buildings are configured on the site, which also has some steep natural topography.

The completed development is expected to generate up to 1,500-2,000 new jobs. The City would provide the needed public services of all off-site infrastructure, such as the extension of Oak Tree Boulevard a quarter of a mile north, and storm and sanitary sewer service to the site.

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