East Side Development

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
miz.jordan17
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East Side Development

Postby miz.jordan17 » Fri Jun 17, 2016 10:41 am

An interesting article. It made me wonder if something similar could help with Kansas City's east side. The only problem noted by the article was lack of input from Over the Rhine's current residents. I still think the amount of revitalization in that area is great, though.

http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/ ... z4Bn3JMhSv

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Re: East Side Development

Postby pash » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:12 pm

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Re: East Side Development

Postby chingon » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:19 pm

What did the city of Cincinnati do in OTR that would be effective in east side neighborhoods?

What did the city of Cincinnati do that would be palatable to east side residents?

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Re: East Side Development

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:35 pm

Maybe, we could build a streetcar line through the East side to connect it with the rest of the city and spur development and perhaps even connect to the sports stadiums......oh, wait.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby pash » Fri Jun 17, 2016 2:44 pm

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Re: East Side Development

Postby chingon » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:44 am

pash wrote:
chingon wrote:What did the city of Cincinnati do in OTR that would be effective in east side neighborhoods?

What did the city of Cincinnati do that would be palatable to east side residents?

Well, your first question is what the article describes:

My previous post was meant to point out that that model is inapplicable to the East Side.


If you could wave a wand to lock up all the criminals and transform its residents without exception into educated, solidly middle-class types, you would still not mistake the East Side for the Over-the-Rhine; you would mistake it for Mission, Kansas

If we want to learn anything useful, we need to look for stories about how neighborhoods that somewhat resemble the East Side managed to turn things around.


Right, I read the article. Which is why I asked the question, "what are the elements of what they did in Cincy that would be effective in East KC?" It seems like you and I agree on the answer (few, if any elements of the OTR transformation are applicable in east KC), but since I don't live on the east side anymore, I'm curious what people who do live there foresee as the best possible future of the Eastside, as well as how they think the city can actually get there (which is the element most often missing from calls to "fix the schools/stop the crime/attract good jobs/build cheap but good housing"). Maybe there are elements of the 3CDC model that could be adapted to what east KC sees as its future.

I don't think east KC envisions OTR as its preferred future (I'm not sure a lot of northern Over-the Rhine residents do either). And while I think "the best you can do is make it Mission, KS" would usually suggest an ignorance of the actual built environment of the east side, I don't suspect you have that problem, as much as a flair for hyperbole.

My suspicion is that most east side residents actually envision something more like a predominantly black SW Corridor when they imagine a best case scenario for east KC...and it certainly has the bones for that, and then some. I just suspect that increasingly, I disagree strongly with the east side electorate about how to get from where they are now to where (I think) they want to be.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby pash » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:47 pm

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Re: East Side Development

Postby voltopt » Thu Jun 23, 2016 4:17 pm

pash wrote:To be clear, I think there's exactly nothing that the OTR's rennaissance can teach us about how to help the East Side, other than that we should look elsewhere for inspiration.

Indeed, pick any well known example of an urban neighborhood that has gone from an undesirable, impoverished place to a desirable place full of trendy shops and hip people over the past several decades: you will readily find attributes of the location or built environment of those places that explain why that happened, in large part. Many of these places have the advantage of a central location or a location easily accessible to the center by transit; others of them benefited from a surplus of cheap storefronts that attracted those trendy shops, or from exceptional historic housing stock, like the brownstones of Park Slope, Brooklyn. And pretty much without exception, these neighborhoods benefited from the economic and social pressures of being in thriving cities where the established desirable neighborhoods were becoming unaffordable to all but the wealthiest segment of society.

What attributes does the East Side have that make you think, "Oh, if it weren't for the crime and the poverty, I would love to live there because of X?" It's hard to think of any such X. Much of the housing stock is decent, but unremarkable. What is remarkable is the dearth of commercial buildings (and still more of historic, architecturally attractive buildings), so it's unlikely that a critical mass of popular shops, restaurants, or other businesses will ever provide an impetus for people from elsewhere to want to spend money there, much less move there. The East Side is not located especially close to other places in the city that people want or need to be, nor is it particularly well connected to them by transit links that people want to use.

And Kansas City lacks anything close to the economic dynamism to draw in outsiders at such a clip that people are pushed out of other, more desirable areas into the East Side. (Yes, negative pressures, like unbearable traffic and high rents and house prices are a big factor in revitalizing previously undesirable neighborhoods.) Further, there are neighborhoods like Northeast and Strawberry Hill with less intractable problems and greater potential attractions than most of the East Side, pushing those areas down the pecking order of places with potential to be reborn.

In short, I don't think there is much of anything about the East Side as a place that lends itself to solving the East Side's problems. (On the other hand, there certainly are some things about the East Side as a place that exacerbate its problems; those include the lack of good features that I've just described, but also especially its low residential density, which compounds its low economic density and makes it all the more difficult to create any significant momentum in the right direction.) I think it's unwise to think of the problems of the East Side, or of their potential solutions, as the problems and solutions of a place. Because they are problems of a population, problems that would exist among the same people in any place—although, yes, the problems are greatly amplified by their concentration into one place, and the attributes of that place do little to ameliorate its residents' problems.

On the bright side, I guess that means the East Side's residents need not worry much about being displaced due to gentrification any time soon. And it means that we probably will not get to pat ourselves on the back as we watch "the East Side's problems" resolve themselves as outsiders move in, shifting poor people and their poor-people's problems elsewhere. Since an invasion of trendy shops and hipsters typically does little directly to improve the lives of poor people, maybe missing that opportunity to delude ourselves won't be such a bad thing. But I'm not sure it's such a good thing either, because it's not fully a delusion: concentrated poverty is often more pernicious and more persistent than poverty among the same number of households dispersed more widely, so there's reason to think some gentrification would do not just "the East Side" some good, but also do some good for the people now living there.



This is an excellent and thoughtful post. A big problem with categorizing the 'East Side' is that 2/3 of the old city limits are lumped together as one generalized place. It is true that most of the building stock in this large area is composed of single family houses, but I think it would be beneficial if city leaders started breaking down the areas into smaller regions. For example, Midtown comprises a few neighborhoods, such as Hyde Park, Valentine, Volker, etc, but Midtown as a whole is limited by 31st Street to the north and 43rd Street to the south. The East Side, on the other hand, generally begins at Truman Road (15th Street) and extends south to, I guess, 79th Street, and is three times as wide. I'd suggest adding Squier Park, Center City, and Manheim to the Midtown boundary, but either way, it would be helpful to break the East Side into a few regions.

I also agree with Pash, I don't think there is a significant commercial node on the East Side that could support the kind of rapid redevelopment that Over-The-Rhine experienced. (There are pockets, such as 39th and Woodland, 27th around Indiana, etc, but these are disconnected.) However, I think it is this dominance of single family homes that gives some parts of the East Side its potential, specifically the terrible under-valuation the market continues to place on houses east of Troost and the rising home prices west of Troost. I know of at least four different families that have bought homes on various blocks of Manheim between 39th and 43rd or so, and have done so because of the lower price. Concerning displacement, this is where the city needs to be proactive and work on ways to create subsidized infill housing on the many empty lots throughout, to ensure that existing residents can remain if their property owner decides to sell their rental house.

Most of the housing stock is in pretty rough shape, but the interest is there to improve the quality of the infrastructure and the housing stock itself. I'd find it insufferable if trendy shops opened up everywhere, but it would be nice to have a few basic services beyond pharmacies and service stations. The rising downtown population traditionally splits at a certain point, and many of the condo owners or renters seek out single family residences, typically in Midtown, Brookside, Waldo, or Johnson County. Some of these folks are now turning their attention to SHP and Longfellow, pushing more of the traditional buyers in these areas further east. This is all subjective, of course, but I think the low density will actually be what stabilizes the East Side in a few decades. We'll see.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jun 24, 2016 10:27 am

There will become a tipping point, and I think it could happen fairly quickly, where the barrier of Troost becomes less of an issue for redevelopment and restoration of housing. There are less and less houses that need significant reconstruction west of Troost currently as most that were in disrepair have been redone. Prices are going up in those areas as a result. As the demand for urban neighborhood housing continues to grow, more people will take advantage of low prices east of Troost. This wave of redevelopment will move east to 71. The city should be incentivizing commercial redevelopment of Troost to spur this wave. I, personally, would love to see the city entice a Target or other large retailer to redevelop The Landing mall. Having a major development east of Troost at that location would prompt additional development up and down Troost from that location. Honestly, I think east of 71 (49?) will not change in my lifetime. As stated above, there is too little density and too much 'ground' to reclaim.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby chingon » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:09 pm

beautyfromashes wrote:I, personally, would love to see the city entice a Target or other large retailer to redevelop The Landing mall.


I would like to see a large mixed use development replace the Landing. If it's a Target, great, but something along the lines of the 51st street Whole Foods development would be a phenomenal boon for stretching "East Brookside" to Troost.

Among the single easiest and cheapest investments the city could make in the Troost corridor is to make the Troost MAX our first true BRT route from 63 to Hospital Hill and connecting to Union Station.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby flyingember » Fri Jun 24, 2016 12:18 pm

27th to Swope the Troost barrier will easily be broken to the Paseo. I expect this whole area to Gentrify quickly as companies like MAC finish the old building conversions in midtown and have to look further east. Paseo to US 71 is going to be harder due to freeway proximity.

North of 27th I expect development to hop right over 71 and run all the way to Prospect, especially south of 18th.

We're going to see the downtown and midtown adjacent neighborhoods where you can get a 10-15 minute commute into downtown by car or transit.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby beautyfromashes » Fri Jun 24, 2016 1:08 pm

^ Will be interesting to see. I think the 71 barrier is bigger than you probably do and think development will turn south between 71 and Paseo before we actually see a jump of the highway. Where you mention would definitely be the first place that it would move east of 71.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby KCtoBrooklyn » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:17 pm

http://fox4kc.com/2017/11/06/group-tackles-largest-urban-redevelopment-project-in-the-metro/

A nonprofit group is working to buy 425 blighted homes for what would be the largest scattered site redevelopment project the metro area has seen.

The "Restore the Core" campaign seeks to make homes livable again in Kansas City, Independence, Mo., and Kansas City, Kan.

"It’s the only way to make a difference," said Bill Kimble, a developer with Neighborhoods United. "As long as we keep cherry picking houses, two or three over here, four or five over there, we will not make a dent the way we are supposed to. When we get an abundance of homes and rehab them all at one time then we can start seeing measurable differences."

Through a partnership with the cities, the Economic Development Corporation and the Mid-America Regional Council, Neighborhoods United will spend $17.5-million during an eight year period to bring dilapidated buildings back to life.


I very much agree with the sentiment that just doing a few houses here and there won't make a difference, but then why are they spreading this over KCMO, KCK, and Independence? Even if it was just KCMO, there still would be too much area to make a noticeable difference. If this was targeting just a handful of neighborhoods (say, Troost to 71, 31st to Brush Creek), then I think it could have a bigger impact.

I think this is a recurring problem with various programs and developments for the East Side. I know that nobody wants to pick winners and losers, but if all of the energy and resources were focussed on a smaller area, we would see more results rather than random, spread-out projects that do nothing to move the needle.

Also, I noticed they are planning on doing 425 homes for $17.5 M. That works out to about $41k per home. Even if they are getting these properties for free from the Land Bank, I'm not sure how they will make this work. They do say they would take any rent they collect to apply to new projects. I guess that would have to add a significant amount to their budget.

Quibbles aside, I'm glad to see something like this happening and hope is can have some real results.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby JBmidtown » Tue Nov 07, 2017 12:54 pm

I wish a non profit/quasi-governmental agency would do this for the dilapidated and abandoned multi family housing on the east side to improve some denser options. It would also drastically increase the housing stock allowing market supply for lower income Kansas Citians to afford rent again (and in housing that isn’t slumlord run).

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Re: East Side Development

Postby FangKC » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:38 am

I agree JBMidtown. Many people can't keep up properties themselves either because of limited financial resources, or lack of skill. They need affordable multi-residential housing. There is an affordability crisis for many people, so having any apartment building sitting empty is a waste.

The reason so many houses get blighted is because homeowners cannot afford to do maintenance. They often stay where they are because of ties to the neighborhood, instead of just selling their house and moving into a nearby apartment. You see this mostly with senior citizens. But if there aren't affordable apartments nearby, they stay where they are, and let their house fall apart.

Real estate values are often based on neighboring houses--meaning that you can have a houses in great condition that are undervalued simply because they sit on a block with several blighted houses. Fixing up the blighted houses improves values for the entire block.

It makes sense to do these neighborhood rehabilitation efforts on block-by-block basis. It brings up the whole street if you fix the "bad" properties, and get homeowners in them. It's always better to have someone living in a house, than having it sit empty.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby flyingember » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:21 am

Let's say the 425 homes is 2.5 people per. So that's 1000 people in the community.

20% will be school aged. That's half an elementary school full of kids. That's enough people to support multiple businesses and drives need for a grocery store.

If they concentrated their efforts they could get a critical mass for one area to do much better. We've seen downtown how that works to encourage people next to an improved area to continue the efforts.

The problem of course is finding anywhere in the city they can buy that many lots all in one place. It's probably substantially easier to buy anything they can quickly get their hands on.

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Re: East Side Development

Postby chaglang » Wed Nov 08, 2017 12:39 pm

Is this the same group who has bought 40+ lots around 25th and Brooklyn?


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