Article on Tolbert: http://www.pitch.com/2006-08-17/news/the-blight-king
New from the Star:
Group opposing Bannister Mall redevelopment passes first test
A group seeking to stop redevelopment efforts at Bannister Mall has crossed the first hurdle toward forcing an election but now faces a steeper hill.
The Save the Bannister Mall Group Inc. turned in 148 valid signatures, according to election officials, in its intent to force a referendum. It needed 100. Now the group is allowed to try to gather 8,475 signatures by Jan. 22. Until then, the ordinance passed unanimously last month by the City Council allowing the redevelopment project is on hold.
The Three Trails redevelopment plan calls for demolishing Bannister Mall, Benjamin Plaza and a former Wal-Mart. That would make room for an 18,500-seat soccer stadium for the Kansas City Wizards, a soccer tournament complex and hotel, as well as retail and office space.
Proponents say it is a much-needed project to revitalize an economically depressed area.
Richard Tolbert, secretary of the opposing group, says it is wrong to destroy an asset that could be valuable to the black community.