New development seeks to bring more residents to Lee's Summit - WDAM.COM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

New development seeks to bring more residents to downtown Lee's Summit

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LEE'S SUMMIT, MO (KCTV) -

Downtown Lee's Summit wants people to stay in downtown Lee's Summit.

But, downtown leaders say they need more housing.

"We get a call a day on average, or an email, saying, 'Please, we want to live in downtown Lee's Summit.' We just don't have the availability," said Trisha Drape, executive director of Downtown Lee's Summit Main Street.

Drape said while retail has flourished downtown, housing hasn't kept pace.

Now, one 'For Sale' sign, at Lee's Summit United Methodist Church, just on the edge of the Main Street Center, is turning heads.

"My mind starts thinking about what I would like to see in there," Drape said.

The church covers a lot of prime downtown land from nearly up to First and Douglas streets, down to Second Street, and all the way to Main street. In all, it's nearly three acres or almost a full city block.

"It's time for us to expand and offer a place for new people to come," said Robin Dawson, administrator for the Lee's Summit United Methodist Church.

The congregation has grown too large for the space so, after 100 years on the site, the church has purchased 42 acres on View High Drive outside downtown.

"I would love for somebody to come in and write us a check," Dawson said.

Realtors said there's been a lot of interest in the property and many possibilities of what could replace the church, including senior housing.

That has downtown business owners thinking dollars and cents.

"You're bringing another group of people down here. That is going to be shoppers in downtown, so I think that would just be an excellent idea too," commented Sherry Shackles, owner of the downtown business, The Living Stone.

For now, downtown Lee's Summit leaders and businesses alike will be waiting, watching and hoping for more downtown residents.

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