FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 24, 2017
City officials and neighborhood residents will celebrate the groundbreaking Monday for a new Sun Fresh Market that will anchor the Linwood Shopping Center, highlighting the ongoing redevelopment plans to restore the pulse of this once thriving east side Kansas City neighborhood.
This much-anticipated groundbreaking is being held on March 27, at 10 a.m. at Linwood Boulevard and Prospect Avenue. A tent will be set up onsite so even inclement weather won’t stop this show, which features demolition of the vacant storefront that closed in 2007.
“Attendees at the groundbreaking will witness a demonstrative and impactful display at the event, with the complete demolition of the old grocery store footprint,’’ said John Wood, Assistant City Manager and Director of Neighborhoods and Housing Services.
The City closed on the property in May for $950,000, raising that money by selling bonds to investors. The estimated cost for the entire redevelopment is expected to eventually reach $17 million after calculating additional costs like the public art, fixing a nearby water main, soft costs like legal and other fees, furnishings, etc. Future property tax revenue generated by the shopping center will be reinvested to cover redevelopment costs.
Plans call for keeping intact the retail stores at the north and south ends of the property, on each side of the City-owned grocery store. Workers for Triple 777 Construction, a local minority-owned company, have already started renovating the roofs. Some existing retail tenants like Gen X men’s clothing store will remain, while new tenants will also be added.
Redevelopment of the City’s east side is a steady work-in-progress that isn’t always obvious to casual observers. Nearly $2.3 billion in private and public money has been invested in projects that are either completed, underway or approved since 2011. Some of the higher profile projects are:
- Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center ($25 million)
- YMCA ($10.3 million)
- East Campus Police Station ($74 million)
- Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center ($17 million)
- 18th and Vine Improvements ($7 million)
- Aldi Grocery ($5 million)
- Northeast Community Center Improvements ($4 million)
The City also has a $10 million citywide initiative to demolish dangerous buildings, including many in this part of the town. These demolitions started last spring and have eliminated blight to help spark neighborhood revitalization.
Developers on the Sun Fresh project include the Linwood Shopping Center Initiative, LLC, owned by Don Maxwell, and Linwood Boulevard Development, LLC, managed by the R.H. Johnson Company.
Media inquiries should be directed to Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department Communications/Community Liaison John Baccala at 816-520-6646 (cell).