Transformation is coming to Downtown Kansas City, Kansas! Four years ago, Mayor Mark Holland launched a campaign to bring a grocery store and community center to our urban core. Today, his vision for a “Healthy Campus” is closer to reality.
“Our residents in northeast KCK are closer to getting several amenities they can be proud of, says Holland. “A full-service grocery store, a state-of-the-art community center, and, possibly, an innovative mixed-income housing development.”
Here’s where the project stands:
Fundraising has secured commitments for $12 million of the $16 million needed for the community center, which will be operated by the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. The UG is also on a path to apply for tax credits that would fund a significant portion of the gap. The facility will be located next to the grocery store downtown.
The Unified Government is currently in conversations with two operators of quality, full-service grocery stores.
“I am confident that we will have an announcement this summer of who the operator will be. To date, 6 urban grocery stores have been built in the last 8 years, and it is time to build one downtown,” Holland says.
Earlier this year, Prairie Fire Development brought to the Unified Government a proposal to build a 92-unit, mixed-income apartment project that would be flanked by an urban agriculture center. The complex would be located at 8th St. and Washington Blvd., near the Healthy Campus. Although many steps remain before this is a done deal, Holland says he is encouraged that developers are interested in building new housing downtown.
Holland went on to say:
“I am convening an “access team” to discuss strategies for making sure all of our residents, no matter their income level, can use the community center. When I challenged my office and Unified Government staff to join me on this vision of revitalizing downtown, none of us realized the amount of work and patience that would be required to get us to this point. But with their help, we are now on the cusp of a transformative project that will make our residents proud. I want to thank all those who have contributed their time and talents to this effort.”
There have been several donors that have pledged $500,000 or more to this project: Wyandotte Health Foundation, Hall Family Foundation, Illig Family Foundation, Sunderland Foundation, Capitol Federal Foundation, William T. Kemper Foundation, and the Unified Government. Without their support the Healthy Campus would remain just a vision.
To learn more about the Healthy Campus, check out its new website. You can also watch a presentation on the Healthy Campus during the Commission meeting n Thursday, April 27th.