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18th and Vine redevelopment plan sparks reaction in historic district

18th and Vine District
Posted at 9:06 PM, Feb 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-10 23:47:13-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — On Thursday, the Kansas City, Missouri, City Council meeting delivered significant news to one of city's most famous neighborhoods.

Council members voted to approve a redevelopment plan that will provide more retail and living spaces in the Historic 18th and Vine District.

Councilman Lee Barnes, who represents the city's fifth district, didn't mince words.

"I'm pleased to be on the right side of history on this," Barnes said. "I think this is a good day for Kansas City."

Councilman Brandon Ellington didn't mince words either.

"Me personally, I don’t know what it looks like," Ellington said. "Me personally, I have concerns and I have issues."

The redevelopment of 18th and Vine produced an intense discussion at City Hall, with Ellington contributing the most to the discussion.

"With this deal right here, I’m going to fight for the little people and I’m not going to support it," Ellington said.

Council members delivered a resounding message, approving by an 11-1 vote for 18th & Vine Developers, LLC.

The developers, which are incorporated in St. Louis, will build apartments, offices, retails space and new parking in the district.

In total, 54 market rate rental apartments, 33,000 square feet of commercial space, 28 new parking spaces and all existing facades in the district will be maintained and preserved.

"There is no reason that we should continue to drive by abandoned buildings, burned out buildings and vacant lots in one of the greatest districts in our city," KCMO Mayor Quinton Lucas said.

Business owners like Joey Thomas, of 180V Barber Salon, are eager for the next era, but with conditions.

"I’m just hoping that it doesn’t come with a cost of displacement for a lot of our residential community, our private investment communities, as well as some of our city led projects and properties down here as well," Thomas said.

Still, he's excited and hopeful for a new chapter in the neighborhood.

"With the right partners, with the right tenants, not only will we get a consistent marketing promotion for our district, but that will also get positive narrations," Thomas said.