Bel Aire broke ground on the Sunflower Commerce Park in November of 2012 with the goal to create a premier business park located in South Central Kansas and Sedgwick County. The 800-acre park has a Union Pacific industrial line running through the center of the park, which the city envisioned utilizing for businesses needing rail access. With the funding package from KDOT, the siding will become a reality, allowing four lots totaling more than 60 acres in Phase 1 to now have rail shipping capabilities.
The city has been working with Buzzi Unicem to purchase a 12-acre lot on the southwest corner of 53rd and Greenwich. The contract contained a contingency that a rail siding be built in order for Buzzi to construct their $6-million dollar facility. With the funding from KDOT, the city can now move forward with construction of the siding and allow for the land contract to close. Buzzi will begin construction on the facility after the first of the year and utilize approximately 800 rail cars per year.
The city currently has two other land purchase contracts in the due diligence phase for lots in the park. One is Shuttle Aerospace and the other is a yet to be announced international company. Century Manufacturing was the first business to locate in the park and has been operating for almost a year.
TranSystems has competed engineering on the siding and Union Pacific has approved access to their line. Construction should begin on the siding after the first of the year.