Just 35 minutes from the city limits of Kansas City, Odessa was thriving, horse farms, fireworks stores, car dealers and small business's were growing. Homes were being built and business was good.
When the recession first started to take hold, the first to go was the outlet mall. A once thriving group of stores set up like a strip mall once drew thousands to the area for bargain footwear, clothing and essentials; now nearly a ghost town, the once popular mall has fallen into disrepair. Looking a bit like an old west town with tumbleweeds blowing through; the crowds are gone, the parking lots are empty and the revenue is non-existent. A few stores remain, The Dress Barn, a bridal shop and a grocery store. But the vast majority of the once popular destination is vacant.
8.5 x 11 sheets of paper on the vacant store doors boast attractive lease rates, but the takers are few. Improvements are underway to dress up the facade of the property, but the newest addition, a Mexican restaurant has a crudely hand-painted sign that would have hardly met the standards of the formerly prestigious development.
Then came the collapse of the auto industry, a long-time staple of the community fell victim to the cuts and Odessa Chevrolet shut their doors; Soon to become The Odessa Auction, showing a strong resolve to make it in spite of the circumstances. One has to be moved by the American spirit, that will not be put down, will not fail.
One of the most successful entities in Odessa is the Ritchie Brothers Auction facility, Located on the outer road just West of Odessa. So successful that in 2008 the City of Odessa proclaimed March 12, 2008 as "Ritchie Brothers Auction Day".
But a new wind is blowing in Odessa, a wind of change and hope! The recent announcement that Manna of Utah will be building a new facility in Odessa on the outer road near the Ritchie Brothers Auction has sparked a revival of sorts with Odessa locals.
Manna of Utah intends to produce thousands of "home generators" providing a green energy solution for homes and businesses to have the ability to power themselves. A sort of "off the grid" technology that is growing in popularity.
The announcement that as many as 3400 new jobs will be added to the Odessa economy has excited local residents.
This will surely be a great boost to the Odessa economy and the Odessa Outlet Mall which sits just a few yards from the proposed Manna plant site.