Once called the “Paris of the Plains,” Kansas City has a rich history—culturally, artistically, architecturally, politically, and in just about every other arena. But it hasn’t always been a history that’s been well preserved. Throughout the years, portions of Kansas City have been through booms and busts, some having been transformed completely from thriving cultural or economic centers to places where it’s hard to get a pizza delivered after dark.
Troost Avenue is a good example. Once home to “Millionaire’s Row” and the sprawling mansions of the richest individuals in the region, Troost later fell into disrepair and disrepute, and in recent decades was considered one of Kansas City’s worst neighborhoods. Fortunately, urban renewal and redevelopment have begun to reclaim Troost Avenue and return it to a place of pride through infrastructure improvements, new construction, and commercial investment ventures.
Many of Kansas City’s historical landmarks and signature neighborhoods have been lost over the years to disuse and disrepair but Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA) initiatives are helping to reclaim embattled neighborhoods by encouraging investment and removing blighted conditions that make neighborhoods unsafe or uninviting. In Urban Renewal Areas all over the city, the LCRA can offer developers advantages like 100% real property tax abatement for up to 10 years, bond financing, and the power of eminent domain to help encourage new development and the reclamation of historic neighborhoods.
In the last 30 years, Kansas City has seen a variety of urban renewal victories, especially in its downtown neighborhoods. The construction of the Power and Light District between 2005 and 2008 marked one of the largest development projects in the history of the Midwest, while the opening of the Sprint Center in 2007 and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in 2011 reminded the country that Kansas City was a force to be reckoned with in the cultural landscape.
Originally founded in 1987, the goal of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City (EDC KC) has always been to act as the business and community’s link to city resources and to serve Kansas City by retaining and growing existing business. We actively support the development of disadvantaged areas, promote entrepreneurship and new business investment, and otherwise do our best to help to grow the economic integrity of the metro area. With LCRA initiatives, we can help reclaim blighted neighborhoods and structures, and transform them back into thriving, vital parts of the community, shopping and industrial districts where people are proud to live and work.