KC committee advances measures for grocery store, new streetcars

KC committee talks new grocery store, streetcars
Posted at 12:15 PM, Jun 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-29 15:05:57-04

If Kansas City Council votes the way the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee did Thursday, a new Sun Fresh could be at 31st and Prospect soon.

The committee advanced the nearly $13 million measure to go before the council later Thursday.

In January, crews started demolishing part of the Linwood Shopping Center. Now there is a giant hole in what will be a revitalized shopping center.

After two nearby grocery stores closed this year, getting things up and running is important to people in the neighborhood.

The $13 million will go towards building the grocery store and giving it a new look.

"If you go out to the site now you will see nothing but dirt in the middle. Now they are going to start digging in and start putting in the plumbing and all of the water run off system," explained Assistant City Manager John Wood.

The same committee also forwarded a measure for the city to buy two new streetcars.

Right now, the city operates with four. This would give the city two extras for maintenance.

"We don't have a lot of redundancy in the existing fleet. We are using most of our cars to operate service. If we have issues, we have to absorb those. We have to fix them very fast overnight… It puts a lot of pressure on the team," said Tom Gerend, executive director of the Streetcar Authority.

Gerend said there is a higher demand than originally anticipated. So far, they've given more than 2 million rides.

He said four streetcars would be good for about 2,700 rides a day and that in Kansas City they average about 5,000-6,000 rides per day.