FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 9, 2016
The City of Kansas City, Missouri, is launching the next phase of its plan to tear down all 800 structures on the Dangerous Buildings List within two years by starting demolition of abandoned homes in several urban-core neighborhoods.
The demolitions of two dilapidated houses in the 2000 block of Chelsea Avenue are the first of 23 abandoned houses being torn down in the next two weeks. The City’s new program has already razed two large commercial buildings: a former restaurant at 60th & Troost and the former Manchester School on Truman Road.
“Demolishing these dangerous buildings is a top priority for our citizens and this will not only enhance the overall appearance of our City but also help strengthen our efforts to generate more public-private partnerships and boost economic development throughout the City,” Mayor Sly James said.
This neighborhood revitalization program is a focal point of the current fiscal year budget, which began May 1, 2016. The City Council approved issuing $10 million in bonds to fund the program. The money previously budgeted annually for demolitions will pay the bond debt service.
The proposal set forth by City Manager Troy Schulte is a remarkable acceleration over the 150 or so demolitions that have been regularly occurring every year.
“The City is taking a decidedly more aggressive approach to dramatically improve local neighborhoods,” Schulte said. “We know we haven’t always kept pace with the need but this program gives us a chance to get in front of the problem.”
Private companies are being encouraged to donate demolitions to support the program. So far, Kissick Construction and Industrial Wrecking have answered the call, agreeing to donate and coordinate a combined 65 demolitions.
Previously the KCMO Land Bank offered the Dollar Home Sale, which sold almost 50 homes on the Dangerous Buildings List for sale for just $1 each.
The City is also evaluating homes on the Dangerous Buildings list for possible deconstruction. Some homes may be deconstructed, which saves and recycles materials, but this process takes longer and is more expensive than traditional demolition.
During the first year of the demolition program the City will focus on bringing down buildings it already owns through the KCMO Land Bank.
The second year will be dedicated to privately-owned buildings on the list because those require more time to make sure the owners receive proper notification prior to demolition.
The public can follow progress of demolitions on the City’s Open Data Catalog at https://data.kcmo.org.
For more information, please contact Rod Richardson in the City Communications Office at 816-513-1064 or firstname.lastname@example.org.