Progress in the East Village Redevelopment District

There's been some recent progress in the Oratory's neighborhood - East Village district. The City of Kansas City has notified a contractor to proceed with the next phase of the $340 million East Village redevelopment project: demolition of the ReStart Inc. building at 601 E. 11th St.

The East Village plan calls for the transformation of nine blocks of scattered buildings and surface parking on Downtown’s east side into a mixed-use neighborhood anchored by JE Dunn Construction’s new $60 million corporate headquarters.

A notice issued by Kansas City’s Capital Improvements Management Office, a division of the city manager’s office, calls for the $1.6 million acquisition, remediation and demolition of the ReStart building. The work, to be performed or subcontracted by George J. Shaw Construction Co., is expected to begin later this month and be completed by late spring or early summer. It will necessitate closing one lane of 11th Street between Holmes and Cherry streets.

“We are very excited to see this project moving forward,” City Manager Wayne Cauthen said in a release. “This demolition will open up valuable property and allow the East Village project to continue to progress and improve the aesthetics and economics of the area.”

Remediation and demolition of another building in the East Village area, the former bus terminal at 11th and Holmes streets, is scheduled to begin in the fall.

The bus terminal parcel is part of a two-block site in the running for a proposed new federal office building that would house more than 1,000 employees of the General Services Administration and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The city bought the bus terminal with bonds to be repaid with tax revenue generated by the East Village project. Of $31.2 million in tax-increment financing approved for East Village, $12 million was earmarked for buying and cleaning up blighted properties in the nine-block area. This information is courtesy of the Kansas City Business Journal.

On the negative side, however, the Kansas City Star this morning reported a setback for the prime developer of the East Village area, Swope Community Builders. Apparently they have been unable to lock-in the required financing needed to qualify for already approved public financing. This could have a very detrimental effect on prospects for the planned improvements in the area bordering Old St. Patrick Oratory. Stay tuned.

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