Chamber selects Troost Corridor for boost - KCTV5 News

Chamber selects Troost Corridor for neighborhood boost

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The five metro-wide goals for the 'Big 5' initiative were announced back in September. The five metro-wide goals for the 'Big 5' initiative were announced back in September.

Neighborhoods along the Troost Corridor will see a boost from a unique private and public partnership.

This is a combination of a private and public effort to spur development in these neighborhoods, which include the Ivanhoe neighborhood. The Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and United Way of Greater Kansas City are working together on the project. A nonprofit will oversee the effort.

"I cannot tell you how much this means for the people who live in the area," said Margaret May, head of the Ivanhoe neighborhood association.

Chamber members and other community leaders will donate money and time for the cause. The hope is to have neighborhoods with safe streets where children can play without the fear of violence.

The 'Big 5' initiative was announced back in September.

Since then, several months worth of meetings have led Chamber and community leaders to this point, where they will begin to inject donated money and guidance into the neighborhoods to make them a better place to live.

Over the next few months, the newly formed board and neighborhood leaders will decide what the big needs are for those specific areas of Kansas City, and then city leaders will work in the three areas of education, safety and health of residents and prosperity.

May says the area east of Troost has been ignored for five decades. She said residents want homes rehabilitated, homes built on vacant lots and a grocery store built.

Squier neighborhood leader Jonathan Bish concurred.

"We need small businesses to come in," Bish said. "We need to make this a neighborhood where businesses want to come."

Kansas City Mayor Sly James embraced the Big 5 effort.

"It can be rehabilitated. Just like downtown faded into nothingness and was rehabilitated with significant investment," he said.

He said business, neighborhood, civic, community and philanthropic leaders must come together.

Bish believes the plan will make a difference and the area will boom again.

"I really think this is going to work, I really do," he said. "We all have to work together, but we all have the same goal."

The Chamber's Terry Dunn said the effort is an unprecedented collaboration of leaders from across Kansas City. He said much hard work is needed for planning and implementation but it will create positive and long-lasting change.

The Troost Corridor is between Troost and U.S. 71 and 23rd Street and 51st Street.

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