Creating and supporting economic development opportunities

Governing Body and community leaders break ground at construction site

When it comes to economic development in Johnson County, most of it is accomplished through our cities. An exception is in southwest Johnson County, near the New Century AirCenter, where Johnson County is the home to dozens of companies creating thousands of jobs…with many more on the way. After many years of planning, the future of increased economic development at the New Century Commerce Center really took off in 2022.

Moving forward through….

Government officials and construction staff members dig dirt with shovels

…bringing new businesses to southwest Johnson County

Over 60 companies and organizations call New Century Commerce Center home. They are leaders in the fields of warehousing, distribution, printing, food processing, manufacturing and avionics. The future of NCCC expanded in May 2022, when more than one hundred people, including Kansas Governor Laura Kelly, celebrated an important groundbreaking event for this public/private partnership. After years of planning, county leaders, staff and partners turned ceremonial dirt, unlocking 850 acres of future development with an anticipated nine million square feet of building space adjacent to the New Century AirCenter.

Following the groundbreaking, construction kicked off on approximately $15 million worth of public infrastructure to serve this new development in the New Century Commerce Center. Improvements include streets, water, stormwater, streetlights, wastewater and dry utilities to support this economic development project.

The first phase of development of the New Century Commerce Center included two speculative buildings being constructed through with VanTrust Real Estate totaling over one million square feet of available space, located at the southwest corner of 159th Street and 56 Highway, with direct access to Interstate 35.

This economic development is expected to bring more than 4,700 new, permanent jobs over the next 10 years.

Chairman Mike Kelly shakes hands with Governor Laura Kelly

…supporting economic development expected to bring thousands of jobs

An even bigger economic development announcement in 2022 received support from Johnson County Government in multiple ways. In July, Governor Kelly announced that Panasonic Energy Co., Ltd. chose De Soto as the location for one of the largest electric battery manufacturing plants in the United States.

The site for the plant is in the long-vacant former Sunflower Army Ammunition Plant property. Earlier in 2022, the BOCC helped moved forward the clean-up and redevelopment of that property. In February, the board officially dissolved the county’s long-dormant Sunflower Community Redevelopment Authority and amended the redevelopment agreement with Sunflower Redevelopment, LLC, designated as owner/developer of the property by the U.S. Army in 2005. The amendment to the redevelopment agreement addressed the annexation of 6,000 acres by the City of De Soto and protects the beneficiaries of park land and other public uses. 

In July 2022, the BOCC once again helped the Panasonic Energy project move forward by allocating $15 million towards improvements to road infrastructure and a fire station with hazardous material suppression capability.