KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Wednesday’s announcement by Julia Irene Kauffman of a $20 million pledge to build a Downtown Campus for the Arts was the latest sign that Kansas City's downtown renaissance is growing at its fastest rate ever.
Kauffman hopes the campus will be something equivalent to a Juilliard, and it is one of many projects bringing thousands of jobs to downtown Kansas City.
Last year, the Downtown Council said Kansas City added 4,000 jobs, more than ever before.
After losing some big business in the last few years, downtown is thriving with young people attracted to its new high paying, growth industries.
The Downtown Council said tech jobs have grown the fastest in the Crossroads. The group said some of the country's premiere architecture and engineering firms are adding jobs downtown.
Andrews McMeel, one of the country's largest publishers, relocated downtown, while Sporting KC recently opened up its administrative offices there.
Three new apartment complexes are coming to downtown. One is a 32-story apartment building, to be built by the Cordish Company near Power and Light. Another will be in the River Market, while the third is planned near 13th and Walnut.
Around 20,000 people live downtown as permanent residents now, with an average age is 36.
Sean O'Byrne with the Downtown Council credited a decade worth of work.
"It shows the investment during the last ten years does work," O’Byrne said.
Mayor Sly James told the crowd he had a message for all the naysayers who saw little downtown 10 years ago.
"(They) used to tell me Kansas City has never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” James told the crowd Wednesday.” I don't think it’s close to being that right now."
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