Developer to Pay Nearly a Half-Million in Asbestos Fines

The developer of a large retail and residential project in Kansas City will have to pay $450,000 in fines for ignoring Missouri asbestos laws during preparation for construction.

The company that plans to develop Citadel Plaza, Community Development Corporation of Kansas City (CDC-KC), reached this settlement agreement with the state earlier this week. According to an article in the Kansas City Star, a portion of the fines will go towards “green initiatives that could turn Citadel Plaza from a contaminated tract into one of the most visionary environmental projects in the city.”

CDC-KC will also undertake other projects, including providing grants to remove asbestos from five inner-city homes.

“This project is going to have environmental benefits that go far beyond the asbestos problem,” said John Fougere, a spokesman for the Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon, whose office put the settlement together.

In addition, the company will be required to remove any asbestos that remains at the site. Experts estimate that removal and disposal will cost about $300,000.

According to the article, CDC-KC is the nonprofit developer of the Citadel Plaza, which has already seen its share of financial troubles. This $85 million redevelopment project includes a 35-acre shopping center which will feature a full-service supermarket, restaurants and other retailers.

Though Citadel Plaza has been in the planning stages since the 1990s, construction has yet to begin though CDC-KC keeps announcing new start dates.

In 2006, the developer was accused of tearing down more than 100 homes and burying tons of asbestos-containing materials at the construction site. Asbestos debris was also left lying around the neighborhood, including in spots where children often play.

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