Southpointe Development: The plan to revamp KC’s 63rd and Prospect blight

Picture of Southpointe site from KCMO

Picture of Southpointe site from KCMO.

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25 acres of empty fields and cracked roads northwest of 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue is getting a new breath of life. The Kansas City Council voted to approve a redevelopment plan, including 300 units of mixed-income housing, a hotel, a supermarket + restaurants.

In the present, barricades block the roads into the acreage. Beyond them, roads fall aways into weeds. What could be a 3x3 block of neighborhoods is just a field of grass.

How did this blight happen?

Property records show that there were homes on this land ~20 years ago. Between 2003-2006, these homes were demolished — as shown in city permits like this.

Picture looking north of 63rd on Olive

Picture looking north of 63rd on Olive, taken by Google Maps in 2007.

Heather Brown, the managing projects director of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, told KCtoday that a developer wanted to build a grocery store and other retail.

“Many of the homes were demolished by the developer improperly, resulting in environmental contamination,” she said.

The plans were nixed. Afterward, a legal battle and lots of cleanup brought us to today.

The Southpointe Development Plan

UrbanAmerica has been chosen to revamp the 25-acre site. The city controls the site through a 99-year lease with the Tax Increment Financing Commission — an entity that pays to fix blight. There are 6 phases:

  • 1: A 300-unit multi-family building and a 120-key extended stay hotel
  • 2: A supermarket and 3 mixed-use buildings with offices and retail
  • 3 + 4: 2 big-box retail stores, up to 3 restaurants, and a gas station
  • 5 + 6: Self storage and additional businesses

The plan also sets deadlines on the phases:

  • 2 years for Phase 1
  • 5 years for Phase 2
  • 8 years for all phases

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