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Troost Avenue revitalization project gets green light, creating mixed emotions

Posted at 8:47 PM, Jun 12, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-12 22:29:29-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Troost Avenue corridor continues to change as several projects are underway in Kansas City, Missouri.

The the KCMO City Council Planning and Zoning Committee recently gave the green light to incentives for Midtown Redevelopment Partners to develop the Shankman and Michelson buildings into retail space, offices and a future home home for the Midwest American Indian Museum.

Across the street on the west side of Troost, Clemons Real Estate also is working on several buildings.

“We just saw a lot of potential in these historic buildings that this was once thriving as millionaires row, as an elite shopping district,” developer Andrew Clemons said.

The goal is to bring that back to the corridor, hoping that owner-occupants will buy some of the renovated buildings and improve the area.

Some people who live or walk around the area are happy to see the changes already.

“People used to come up here to shop, walk though and hang out, but now it’s like a ghost town,” said Paul Sharp, who frequently strolls along the corridor.

There's a lot he’d like to see.

“A little bit more shopping, places you can shop and restaurants, for sure," Sharp said. "We need more of them. We've got to eat."

But not everyone is happy.

"Improving the area is awesome, but we don’t want to run people out of town," Journey to New Life Operations Director Susie Roling said.

Her business is a place for those re-entering life after prison, and Roling wants her clients to be able to live and work in this area.

"Gentrification is not something we want to do," Roling said. "We want to include the wealthy, the lower income and the middle class. There’s a space for all of us at the table in the same neighborhood."

Clemons believes the new developments will be done in a responsible way.

"We’re not gentrifying," he said. "These were all vacant buildings. We’re bringing life back to the neighborhood, and we’re trying to work with the neighborhood and other groups in the area to fulfill different needs."