Dust was flying this morning as a bulldozer knocked down the vacant building at 1501 E. 18th St., making way for the visionary redevelopment that will transform Kansas City’s Historic Jazz District into a premier attraction for locals and tourists.
Reed and Lucas have co-authored legislation promoting the project which, so far, has generated a $7 million capital infusion by the City Council. City Manager Troy Schulte also is leading the drive to find private investors to support the development.
“We continue to be laser-focused on making sure there is a developer who can help us with the implementation, with an eye toward finding the right combination of retail experience and attracting more visitors in the area,” Reed said.
The City is stabilizing historic structures on 18th and Vine Streets, directed by City Council ordinance. A firm has been hired to design parking and streetscape improvements.
Other progress includes:
– Construction for the Urban Youth Baseball Academy
– Requests for Proposals (RFP) for developers for the proposed new retail shops/apartments also have been released
– Recently approved legislation that will allow the City to acquire properties currently owned by the JDRC
The redevelopment is happening in phases, with this initial phase estimated to cost $6.5 million and the beginning and completion dates for the second phase contingent on public-private partnerships to fund the additional $7.5 million needed to continue.
Members of the 18th and Vine Development Policy Council will provide project oversight. Mayor Sly James is expected to name these members by the end of the year.
“This is just one step in turning around not just this one block in this neighborhood that we’re standing in today, but in turning around this entire city,” Lucas said.
For links to the RFP’s or more information about the redevelopment, please visit the project update page.
Media inquiries should be directed to City Communications Director Chris Hernandez, 816-513-3474.