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Gov. Parson signs bill allocating additional funding for Kansas City’s South Loop project

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Posted at 1:45 PM, Jul 28, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-28 14:45:47-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson joined local officials Thursday night to sign a bill that brings additional funding to a project that would connect downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to the Crossroads Arts District.

Dubbed the South Loop project, the design calls for an urban park “cap” over Interstate 670 on the south side of the downtown loop.

Earlier this summer, Parson announced he had signed Missouri House Bill No. 7, which allocates $28.6 million toward the $200 million project. Additional funding sources include $28.6 million in federal funds, $10 million from Kansas City, Missouri, $10 million from H&R Block, $5 million from the Loews Convention Center Hotel and other private funding commitments.

“I think it’s going to be very popular,” Parson said Thursday night. “I think a lot of people will come down here for fun, relaxation, the atmosphere and for big cities, it’s a big plus for people because they want to be outside.”

Earlier this year, city officials said they planned to submit an application to the Missouri Development Finance Board for additional funding credits worth up to $30 million.

Officials hope the funding secured so far allow developers to get to work on the next phases of the project, with the goal to have it complete prior to the city’s hosting of the FIFA 2026 World Cup.

“This is the culmination of a good deal of work,” Kansas City, Missouri, Mayor Quinton Lucas said during Thursday night’s announcement. “Downtown has changed in a miraculous way.”

Lucas says the park, which could include public green spaces, accessible play spaces, entertainment forums and different transportation options, would help transform the area into a 24-hour space, allowing residents to live, work and play in downtown.

The park, which would sit atop the interstate below, would run from Grand Boulevard on the east to Wyandotte Street on the west, with two additional blocks extending to Broadway Boulevard underneath Bartle Hall Convention Center.

Port KC is the lead agency coordinating the project, with the Downtown Council and KCMO also contributing efforts.