Makeover planned for downtown Independence - KCTV5

Makeover planned for downtown Independence

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City officials are hoping to add more green spaces, incorporate more art and get better lighting and sidewalks along the square. (KCTV5) City officials are hoping to add more green spaces, incorporate more art and get better lighting and sidewalks along the square. (KCTV5)
INDEPENDENCE, MO (KCTV) -

Officials in Independence are hoping to reinvent one of the oldest downtown areas in the Kansas City area.

City leaders are hoping to reinvest in the square and, at the same time, renovate the Truman Library, returning the city to a destination.

Twenty-five years ago, city leaders said virtually every building around the square was boarded up.  Now, there are new restaurants and more people coming to the area, but the city wants to do more.

The courthouse recently went through major renovations and leaders are hoping to piggyback off that success.

"We recognize there's a lot of momentum on the square, a lot of momentum of economic development, we think it only gets bigger and better from here," Independence Chamber of Commerce member Mike Sanders said.

City officials are hoping to add more green spaces, incorporate more art and get better lighting and sidewalks along the square.

This is all part of a 12-block area the Independence Chamber of Commerce is hoping to revitalize. They hope their efforts make the city more of a destination, create jobs and bring in families who want to live and work in the area.

“Our goal as a chamber of commerce is to do everything we can to spur economic development on the square so it can have that exponential impact in terms of economic activity, job growth, really for this entire community,” Sanders said.

The project will cost the city some money. Officials say the project will cost just under $6 million.

The city is hoping to get private donors to help invest in the project.

"Once that initial investment is made, we think that lures and leverages literally tens of millions of dollars in private money to invest and grow this region," Sanders said. 

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