Possible streetcar line expansion to Berkley Riverfront is one step closer

Posted at 4:55 PM, Sep 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-29 18:41:54-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- At the Quay Coffee shop, owner Cory Stipp said it’s a place that provides more than just a fresh brew.  

“We're all about community, and all about serving the community,” Stipp said. “This is our community down here, and we do the best we can to serve them and build relationships with them.”

The shop is located on Delaware Street, a spot the KC Streetcar passes every day.

“We see a lot of convention traffic. So a lot of tourists, things like that cause they'll hop on that and it's just like a fun thing to do around the city,” Stipp said. “I'd say most definitely it's been beneficial.”

And now, the streetcar line is looking to expand to the Berkley Riverfront. 

“The streetcar is more than just a mode of transportation, but it's also an economic driver for us,” KC Streetcar Authority Communications Director Donna Mandelbaum said.

On Thursday, KCSA approved going forward with the next phase of technical work for the extension. 

“This phase is a conceptual engineering phase,” Mandelbaum said. “So what we're doing is environmental work, assessing where the tracks would go, where the stops would be located, how many stops there are and also doing further financial analysis of how much something like this would cost.”

The project management team is a collaboration of KCSA, Port KC, and the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority. 

In this phase, the project costs $300,000, which will be fully funded by Port KC.

“We have a lot of momentum going on in the Riverfront right now, and we believe this is just the next step to keep that going,” Vice President of Corporate Communications for Port KC Marissa Cleaver Wamble said. 

For Stipp, he said while rent may go up in the area, the extension could balance the costs out. 

“At this point, I've got a solid lease so I feel good about that,” Stipp said. “This whole area’s getting built up. There's more people showing up and more people will hopefully offset the fact that my rent's going up, but I don't have to worry about that for a good little while so we'll see how this whole thing plays out first.”

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority is looking to get federal funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program, or TIGER grant funding, for the construction part of the possible expansion. 

For a detailed look at this phase, click here.