KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A proposed project on the northwest corner of East 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue could bring new life to a 25-acre plot of land that's been vacant for decades.
The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council approved the plan during its Aug. 19 meeting, supporting a Planned Industrial Expansion Authority, or PIEA, plan and a blight declaration for the area. Councilmembers also allowed $500,000 in Central City Economic Development funding for predevelopment expenses related to the plan.
UrbanAmerica also is pitching in $190 million to develop this property, which is expected to include multiple phases.
Phase 1 includes a 300-unit housing complex with mixed-income levels from market rate to affordable, and an extended stay hotel with parking. Phase 2 would add a supermarket and several mixed-use buildings, including retail.
Phases 3 and 4 bring in two big-box retail buildings and several restaurant sites. They also would reconfigure the existing BP gas station on the corner. Phases 5 and 6 would include a self-storage facility and other services for the development.
It's a plan that many who have lived in the area for several years are looking forward to.
"It would be nice to have a grocery store and other little things around the neighborhood," resident Linda Bass said.
Lamont Gaines, who has lived in the area his entire life, said the development will be great.
"It's going to brighten up the neighborhood a little bit and will make it a lot better than what it is already," Gaines said.
Even with nearby stores like Metro Thriftway, Aldi and CVS, Gaines told KSHB 41 News this is needed.
"It’s a lot closer, so it will make it a lot better," he said. "I usually go to Walmart all the way in Raytown, so it will make it a lot quicker for me to get to the grocery store over here."
After several attempts to redevelop the land over the course of several years, many who live in the area hope this is the project that finally cleans up the area.
"Something is always better than nothing," Bass said.
City leaders hope to get started on this project soon with the goal of completing all phases in the next eight years.