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Kansas City's Power and Light District is booming, expected to continue growth

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Posted at 5:40 PM, Sep 28, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Kansas City continues to grow at a rapid rate since revitalization began over 15 years ago.

After billions of dollars in investment, downtown KC now welcomes over 10 million visitors a year. Twenty years ago, that number was just 225,000.

President of Power and Light District John Moncke is one of the visionaries behind KC’s growing skyline. He believes true revitalization began with the opening of the district. Now over 32,000 thousand people live, work and play downtown.

“The Power and Light District was really a catalytic project,” said Moncke. “We have 60 percent of the people — six, zero — that are moving into our buildings are actually coming from out of the market. So these are people that never lived in KC before, and they are choosing to move here because of these kinds of projects.”

Moncke’s vision is to build an ecosystem — a community of people that invests in each other. That all starts with creating jobs and places to live, including three luxury apartments Kansas Citians have surely seen.

Matt Jansen is a project director with JE Dunn Construction, a company in charge of building Three Light, a $140-million-dollar luxury apartment complex that broke ground in June 2021.

“Currently we’re working on level 16 of the concrete,” said Jansen. “Times have substantially changed over the course of several years since my last project. Material pricing — escalation, inflation has been a big item to work through. And material of available workers has also been a challenge.”

Even with pandemic-induced challenges, workers are turning over each floor in about nine working days. Interior framing for mechanical, electrical, plumbing and fire sprinklers have started this month and elevators are set to be put in starting Oct. 31.

As a long-time Kansas Citian who has been adding to the skyline for 18 years, Jansen says September 2023 cannot come fast enough.

“I’ve been here when the sidewalks kind of rolled up at five o’clock, and everybody made a b line out of downtown, and now its just the place to be,” Jansen said.

Manager of Bare Med Spa, Tiffany Patton, moved her business to the district in 2015 with the vision that Power and Light would boom. She says it has been exciting to grow with the area, so much so, Patton’s entire family moved to the neighborhood in 2018. She plans to be one of the first tenants at Three Light when it opens.

“We have grown since 2015. We’ve probably grown almost 90 percent,” said Patton. “They come downtown, they work and they go back to Leawood to the suburbs. Now, I see a lot of people living and working down here, which is great,” said Patton.