Bid to Block KC Development Project Abandoned

The petition drive to block Kansas City's Bannister Mall redevelopment has been abandoned by organizer Richard Tolbert due to a stunning lack of support. Of the 8,475 signatures required to call for a vote on blocking the project, businessman Tolbert turned in two - yes, just TWO - and informed the city clerk that there would be no other signatures forthcoming.The city council recently approved the near-$1 billion plan, which calls for the construction of an 18,500-seat soccer stadium that would become the home of the Wizards, as well as 12 youth fields, a hotel, and retail and office space by 2010.

Tolbert had said that he and other business owners had joined together in the bid to resurrect the run-down mall site, insisting that the area could be turned into a thriving black business hub with proper management.

"This seemed like it was all a game to Mr. Tolbert," said Councilman John Sharp. "I think people were extremely upset that a group that didn't even live in this area could hold up a project so important to us by turning in two signatures."

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