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“This is not a plan of dreams, this is a plan of action,” said Nando Micale, principal at the WRT design firm.
Micale was one of several project partners in attendance at the Nov. 17 public meeting to discuss the Paseo Gateway Transformation Plan. Part of the plan includes razing Chouteau Courts public housing, 1220 Independence Ave., and redeveloping the units as mixed income housing throughout Kansas City.
The planning process is being funded by a $250,000 Choice Neighborhoods Initiative (CNI) planning grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD awarded the grant to the Housing Authority of Kansas City (HAKC) as a means to revitalize neighborhoods and redevelop distressed public housing. The Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) matched the grant with $100,000 worth of in-kind services. LISC, along with Kirk Perucca Associates, Inc., are in charge of leading the “people plan” and community engagement.
Built in 1955, Chouteau Courts is outdated and considered “physically isolated.” The complex contains 140 housing units and more than 44 percent of the neighborhood lives in poverty.
“The primary goal is really the redevelopment of Chouteau Courts because the concentration of poverty only provides problems for the people living there and the surrounding community,” Micale said.
Micale said the study area for the Paseo Gateway Transformation Plan spans approximately one square mile and is bordered by East 9th Street to the south, Chestnut Trafficway to the east, I-35/I-29 to the west and the Union Pacific Railroad to the north.
The plan outlines three main goals: revitalizing distressed public housing; supporting positive outcomes for residents in terms of health, safety, employment, mobility and education; and transforming distressed neighborhoods into viable, mixed income neighborhoods with access to public amenities like parks and transportation.
Copyright © LISC 2015