March 7, 2008

Southwest JoCo can track changes from intermodal hub

The 20-year buildout of a freight hub BNSF Railway Co. plans near Gardner gradually will affect everything about southwest Johnson County, from the lay of the land to the area’s economics.

“The hub will have as much of an impact on Johnson County and the state of Kansas as the Kansas Speedway f you look at jobs and economic effects,” said Tim McKee, the Olathe Chamber of Commerce’s vice president of economic development.Johnson County around Olathe, Edgerton and Gardner.

The BNSF Intermodal Facility and Logistics Park will be on 1,300 acres. The Allen Group will have 8 million to 10 million square feet of distribution space there, and other firms are just beginning speculative development on other land in southwest Johnson County around Olathe, Edgerton and Gardner.

Twenty-five years from now, the southwest part of Johnson County will have changed drastically, McKee said. The Interstate 35 corridor south, including Gardner and Edgerton, will become a hub for distribution.