City leaders broke ground today for a transformative project that will soon bring new life to a park in the city’s Historic Northeast neighborhood. Upgrades to Independence Plaza Park are part of a $30 million grant from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and include:
- A new, attractive universally accessible playground for children regardless of their degree of mobility
- An active gathering/programmable space for families
- A futsal court and walking trail on the South side
- Fencing, LED lighting enhancements, and signage improvements for both the north and south side of the park.
Independence Plaza Park improvements are just one project among many planned through this grant, awarded to the Housing Authority of Kansas City and the City of Kansas City in 2016. The purpose of the five-year grant is to replace the Chouteau Courts public housing site and to support the revitalization of Pendleton Heights and portions of the Paseo West and Independence Plaza neighborhoods, known collectively as the Paseo Gateway.
“The improvements at Independence Plaza Park are an example of how improving housing isn’t just about the buildings we live in, but it is also about improving the amenities around it so that a neighborhood and its residents can thrive,” said Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Scott Wagner.
The $30 million grant from HUD through the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative program has leveraged the programs and investments of nearly 30 community partners to support the revitalization of the targeted Paseo Gateway area.
“This project brings to physical form the emphasis of Choice Neighborhood Communities- the intersection of housing, neighborhoods, and people. Community members helped the design evolve into a space that this neighborhood not only appreciates, but uses, nurtures and protects,” said City Planning and Development Director Jeffrey Williams.
Other planned improvements include storefront façade upgrades, a Samuel Rodgers Healthy Living Campus, infrastructure improvements along East 8th Street and Woodland Avenue and more.
Read more about project related to this initiative at paseogateway.com.