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.
An employment center, home to many light industrial businesses with deep roots in the city, and the site of many social service providers.
Date: 3rd Wednesday of every month
Time: 9 a.m.
Location: Arts Asylum, 1000 E. 9th St., Kansas City, Missouri, 64106
Independence Plaza Neighborhood
A close-knit residential neighborhood with historic housing stock and important service providers like the new, $25 million Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center.
Date: 2nd Thursday of every month
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: on Zoom
A residential neighborhood that was the first suburb of Kansas City; prior to its incorporation within Kansas City, local elites built grand Victorian mansions in this neighborhood that sits on bluffs high above the Missouri River. Many of those homes are still standing, but are now adjacent to bungalows built for factory and stockyard employees.
Date: 2nd Tuesday of every month
Time: 7 p.m.
Location: PH Coffee, 2200 Lexington Ave, Kansas City, MO
Members of the Gateway Advisory Council are stakeholders from the Choice Neighborhood which include: Chouteau Courts residents, Paseo West Neighborhood Association, Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association,, Independence Plaza Neighborhood Council, Somali American Association, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center, Central Bank, Central Baptist Church, Housing Authority of Kansas City, City of KCMO, Local Initiative Support Corporation, Brinshore Development, Westside Housing, Zahner, Jerusalem Farm, Scuola Vita Nova, Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, United Way of Greater Kansas City and The Mattie Rhodes Center.
In addition to the Gateway Advisory Council there are also supporting partners: St. Luke's Hospital, American Heart Association, Charlotte Street Foundation, BikeWalkKC and The Downtown Council.
The Mattie Rhodes Center plays a key role in the Choice Neighborhoods initiative and employs the community coordinator. The community coordinator host the Gateway Advisory Council meetings, coordinates community stakeholders , develops supporting programs and projects and, is the liaison to the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Team, based at Mattie Rhodes Center.
Project 1: Redevelopment of Independence Plaza Park
The CCI Plan includes physical improvements to Independence Plaza Park — a I .73-acre- park divided into two parts — one half located on the north side of Independence Boulevard in Pendleton Heights, and the other half on the south in Independence Plaza. Two replacement housing sites surround the northside of the park, as well as a high performing charter school that children of Chouteau Courts attend. The park is currently underutilized and is a crime hotspot in the neighborhood due to the proximity of a neighboring liquor store. Improvements to the Park will include upgraded playground equipment and greenspace to the north, and a walking track and futsol court to the south. Construction will begin in Summer 2021.
Project 2: Storefront Façade Improvements
The CCI funded storefront façade grant program provides for the storefront façade improvements, which will target businesses along the neighborhood's main commercial corridor — Independence Boulevard. This project is administered by the Northeast Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City. For more information, call 816-231-3312 or go to nekcchamber.com.
Project 3: Homeowner Façade Program
The CCI Plan funds façade improvement grants to homeowners. The City works with local nonprofit Westside Housing Organization to administer this program. Funds are used for overall physical exterior improvements to prevent further deterioration, increase neighborhood confidence, and encourage additional development within the community. Choice Neighborhoods funds can 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.
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.