Kansas City streetcar plan attracting new businesses to downtown area

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - On Thursday, Kansas City council members will consider spending $17 million dollars on four new streetcars.

The streetcar line still has yet to be built, but proponents say it is already proving to send Kansas City down the right economic track.

A Colorado company, Linden Street, of Boulder, said it hopes to transform a parking lot into apartments and a restaurant at 19th and Main. The company chose the location because it is located on Kansas City's upcoming streetcar line.

Sean O'Byrne, with the Downtown Council, noted the light rail plans helped attract Linden Street Partners.

"They are very big in Denver and California and love to go into cities where rail is coming in, where opportunities open up," he said.

According to the Downtown Council, it is not just one company but several companies who are now showing interest because of the two mile rail line that will run down Main Street.

"At the Downtown Council, we get three to four calls a week. We've heard from coffee shops to conservatories who are all interested in this phenomenon," O'Bryrne said.

Construction will start next spring and streetcar should be rolling by 2015.

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