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Prospect Avenue redevelopment moves into phase two

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Posted at 6:15 PM, Nov 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-19 23:22:34-05

Some call it an urban renaissance, but developer Donald Maxwell believes it simply fills a need.

"A lot of people don't look at this area and say , 'Oh, I can go down to 31st and Prospect and get rich,' and that's not the intent here," he said.

Phase two of redevelopment at East 31st Street and Prospect Avenue is underway with a little help from the city. In phase one, Kansas City invested $17 million in the Lipari Brothers Sun Fresh and renovating the retail space surrounding it. Now, another $8 million will be sourced to do the same for the Linwood Square Shopping Center across the street.

The developer said funding is broken down like this:
- $7 million in tax increment financing.
- $2.4 million from the 1/8 cent sales tax.
- $350 thousand in public improvements advisory committee (PIAC) money.

Maxwell told 41 Action News the incentives are necessary "because you're in an area where the demographic would not necessarily support what you see in some of the suburban areas."

The project also qualifies for additional PACE, or property assessed clean energy program, funding because solar panels and LED lights will be installed. The center will also be made ADA compliant.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas said the store is financially solvent. Lucas acknowledged that there "were some growing pains when we got started."

"We've had different public safety issues. We've had concerns, but if you look at it now, people are happy about the opportunities they have in their neighborhood," Lucas said.

The work at Linwood Square is scheduled to be complete in April 2020.