Green Impact Zone to close its doors

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - You can see shadows walking through a model apartment inside the Bancroft School and that makes Brooke Turner happy to stay in her neighborhood.

"It is nice and modern for a nice, young girl like me to move in," she said.

Since opening in mid-December, the 50-unit complex that revitalized an abandoned school has been taking in two to three tenants a week. It is one of the proud accomplishments the Green Impact Zone helped launch. Help also came from other organizations like Brad Pitt's Make It Right foundation. 

In a few weeks, the doors will close on the Green Impact Zone. Started with federal stimulus money and funded by more than $4 million of Kansas City taxpayer money, the project has outlived its original timeline but the funding has finally run dry.

Still, Director Anita Maltbia stands behind what she touts as more than $160 million in investment into what had long been struggling streets of a few Kansas City neighborhoods.

Millions were spent on 11 miles of new sidewalks as well as streets and traffic signals. More than 300 homes were weatherized and made more energy efficient. But Maltbia calls the biggest accomplishment hope that will spark future development and helping the volunteers of the local neighborhood associations become soldiers for change.

"It is not an act of charity to help revitalize the heart of your city," she said.

Now, Maltbia wants to see another zone started to help another set of neighborhoods.

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