Greater Kansas City LISC is the Choice Neighborhood partner dedicated to ensuring the successful implementation of the neighborhood strategy. This means that residents of the Choice neighborhoods (Chouteau Courts, Paseo West, Independence Plaza and Pendleton Heights) are firmly in control of the destiny of the Paseo Gateway. The goal of the neighborhood strategy is to create the necessary conditions to attract public and private investment. This will set the foundation for safe neighborhoods, high quality schools and job generating economic development.
Project 1: Redevelopment of Independence Plaza Park
The CCI Plan includes physical improvements to Independence Plaza Park — a I .73-acre- City owned park divided into two parts — one half located on the north side of Independence Boulevard, and the other half on the south. Two replacement housing sites surround the northside of the park, as well as a high performing charter school that children of Chouteau Courts attend. Though central to the housing plan, the park is currently underutilized and is a crime hotspot in the neighborhood due to the proximity of a neighboring liquor store. Design elements of the park will be of a unique nature, not available elsewhere in Kansas City’s metropolitan area, and so be attractive to park users, and serve as a source of pride to surrounding neighborhoods. The north side of the park will feature a new, attractive universally accessible playground for children regardless of their degree of mobility, and an active gathering/programmable space for families. On the south side of the park, a new futsal court and walking trail will be featured. Fencing, LED lighting enhancements, and signage improvements are also planned for both the north and south side of the park. The City will continue to own and maintain improvements made to Independence Plaza Park. Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2021. See the "Project Documents" tab on the top of this page to view plans for this project.
Project 2: Storefront Façade Improvements & Pendleton Arts Block Buildout
The plan includes commercial improvements through the creation of a storefront façade grant program for existing business, property owners, and funding for tenant buildout at Pendleton ArtsBlock. The storefront façade improvement program targets businesses along the neighborhood's main commercial corridor — Independence Boulevard. This program is administered by the Northeast Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City, MO. In addition, the first-floor of Pendleton ArtsBlock has been improved and set aside to provide resident artists an entrepreneurial opportunity to participate in a Start Up residency program. This art-focused program is a partnership between the developer and the Charlotte Street Foundation, who is instrumental in providing support and catalytic opportunities for Kansas City-based arts initiatives, entrepreneurs, and collaborative groups in their earliest stages of development.
Project 3: Homeowner Façade Program
A homeowner repair program is currently underway, offering single-family homeowners grants to make exterior improvements to their property. There are approximately 30 to 40 single family homes targeted for improvements under the program. Westside Housing Organization, a local nonprofit CDC administers the program. Funds will be used for overall physical exterior improvements to prevent further deterioration, increase neighborhood confidence, and encourage additional development within the community. Choice Neighborhoods funds will not be used for interior household improvements. To find out if you qualify, contact Westside Housing at 816-421-8048.
Project 4: Placemaking Through Public Improvements
The CCI Plan includes funding for a series of placemaking improvements along the neighborhood's commercial corridors or adjacent to replacement housing sites, primarily around E. 8th and Woodland Avenue. These improvements are currently in the planning stages with construction planned for late 2021. Click here to see a meeting held Nov. 16, 2021 detailing the 8th and Woodland Improvements
Project 5: Samuel Rodgers Healthy Living Campus
Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center is planning to add a beautiful park space on their property and a new community building directly adjacent to the final Choice Neighborhood housing phase, Sam Rodgers Place. CCI funds will help support the new the commercial space and will be an incredible community amenity. The anticipated groundbreaking is in late 2021 or early 2022. Sam Rodgers Place, the new park, the existing health center and the new community facing building comprise the Sam Rodgers Healthy Living Campus. See the "Project Documents" tab on the top of this page to view plans for this project.
Paseo Gateway Intersection Re-Design
The intersection redesign is a welcoming gateway to the Northeast and Downtown that will:
Reduce crashes at the intersections of Paseo Boulevard and Independence Avenue
Provide a safer and improved experience for motorist, pedestrian and bicycle travel
Improve public transit access
These improvements follow the City’s efforts towards implementation of the Paseo Gateway Transformation Plan completed in 2013.
St. Luke's Peripheral Arterial Disease Initiative
Recently, St. Luke's Hospital and UMKC worked with community members to develop an “easy-step-program” to improve vascular health. Among the projects associated with this initiative was a new mural focused on bringing attention to vascular health. The mural is located at the corner of Independence Boulevard and Prospect Avenue.