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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.

Choice Neighborhoods

Paseo West

An employment center, home to many light industrial businesses with deep roots in the city, and the site of many social service providers.

Neighborhood Meeting:
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.

Neighborhood Meeting:
Date: 2nd Thursday of every month
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: Salvation Army 3013 E 9th St., Kansas City, 64124

Pendleton Heights

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.

Neighborhood Meeting:
Date: 2nd Tuesday of every month
Time: 6:30 p.m.
Location: 1750 Independence Ave, Kansas City, MO 64106

Gateway Advisory Council

The Gateway Advisory Council is very vital to the neighborhood strategy. 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.

Community Coordinator

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. While based at Mattie Rhodes Center, the Community Coordinator uses the 555 Olive Center as a home base for convening Choice Neighborhood's stakeholders to pursue goals of the community’s comprehensive quality-of-life plan.

Critical Community Improvement Projects

Project 1: Redevelopment of Independence Plaza Park

The CCI Plan proposes 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. The City will continue to own and maintain improvements made to Independence Plaza Park.

Project 2: Targeted Acquisition at Independence and Brooklyn

Choice Neighborhoods funding is proposed to acquire a parcel of land adjacent to Independence Plaza Park and the replacement housing sites. As discussed above, this parcel currently holds a liquor store and is a contributing factor to crime in the neighborhood and park. The City of Kansas City will oversee the acquisition process.

Project 3: Storefront Façade Improvements & Pendleton Arts Block Buildout

The Plan proposes commercial improvements through the creation of a CCI funded storefront façade grant program for existing business, and funding for tenant buildout at Pendleton ArtsBlock. A total of $175,000 in funding is proposed for the storefront façade improvements, which will target businesses along the neighborhood's main commercial corridor — Independence Boulevard. This project will be administered by the Northeast Chamber of Commerce of Kansas City. Brinshore, the developer of Pendleton ArtsBlock, will buildout of the first-floor commercial space. This space will be under a master lease with a local arts nonprofit.

Project 4: Homeowner Façade Program

The CCI Plan proposes funding to provide façade improvement grants to homeowners. The City will work with local nonprofit Westside Housing Organization to administer 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.

Project 5: Placemaking Through Public Improvements

The CCI Plan proposes funding for a series of placemaking improvements along the neighborhood's commercial corridors or adjacent to replacement housing sites. The City will oversee the placemaking activities.

Additional Investments

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

St. Luke's Hospital and UMKC are working with stakeholders to develop an “easy-step-program” to improve vascular health. The program will be rolled out with a multi-faceted dissemination campaign. At the conclusion of this initiative, through the development of a quality of care initiatives program will have improved vascular health. Residents will receive PAD recognition education, increase exercise and be able to answer a series of questions such as "Where can I be screened for Peripheral Arterial Disease?”; “Why are healthy feet behaviors important?” "Where are safe places to walk?"