Building an international marketplace in the NE

Northeast News
August 7, 2013

The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce has a “dream” for Independence Avenue: making this key part of the Historic Northeast into an international marketplace.

Bobbi Baker-Hughes, Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce president, said she hopes one day Independence Avenue can become the international marketplace with the help of the cultures in the community and the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District (CID).

“The CID has been so inspirational to the community residents and business owners that any challenges of the CID have been overshadowed by the successes we’ve had,” Baker-Hughes said. “We are moving minds, not moving dirt in efforts for re-building Independence Avenue so as to set examples for others.”

CID Timeline of Events

Some of the main reasons the CID will help the Northeast community is to reduce crime and the perception of crime, said Baker-Hughes. In March, registered voters in the Northeast approved a one percent sales tax for starting up the CID, which will start in October.

During a March 7 public hearing, the Kansas City City Council spoke highly of the CID and was then approved by business owners. Support for the CID has come from the Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) in the form of grants, totaling approximately $59,000 for a pilot CID on addressing problems related to litter removal and safety concerns.

Following support from the City Council and from LISC, the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce kicked off a community-wide clean-up and flower planting along Independence Avenue May 18. Next, the Chamber invited all community residents to the Celebration of the CID event June 7 in an effort to bring community leaders and residents together in support of the CID. The Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) commissioned students of the Kansas City Design Center (KCDC) to study the Northeast for a year and design the vision for the future of Independence Avenue.

Reducing Crime

Throughout the summer, Independence Avenue CID ambassadors have been sweeping and cleaning along the CID boundaries in efforts to continuously beautify the area, which Baker-Hughes said is a way to reduce crime.

Baker-Hughes said littering problems have decreased.

“Instead of people throwing their trash on the sidewalks, those people will come up to the street ambassador and throw their trash away in his trash bin,” she said.

One of the initiatives the Chamber is doing to reduce crime and the perception of crime is by receiving help from students at the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB). This Wednesday, KCUMB students will work on separate projects in the Northeast in efforts to “making the Northeast a more vibrant and thriving urban community,” Baker-Hughes said.

At Little Burma Grocery, 2532 Independence Ave., KCUMB students will create a makeover with Little Burma’s window dressing and merchandise displays. Another project will be at Northeast Key Service where KCUMB students will create a mural on the side of his building to help attract more customers for his business. KCUMB students will also give a makeover to Second Chance Thrift Store on Lexington Avenue.

The Chamber will host another remodeling event this August, the ribbon cutting for Mi Mercado. The former Apple Market store at 3719 Independence Ave. will have a ribbon cutting Saturday, Aug. 17, at 10 a.m.

“The Chamber wants to celebrate the openings of new businesses and the anniversaries of the older businesses,” Baker-Hughes said. ‘We are excited with the forward momentum that is happening in the Historic Northeast and the Chamber is proud to play a part in that.”

Building an International Marketplace

With help from interns of CORO Kansas City, the Northeast Chamber has received information on ways to establish an international marketplace as well as receiving examples of other communities who have been through similar situations as the Northeast.

“The hope is to see what was done in other cities to use for the Northeast’s CID as an international marketplace,” CORO intern Kasey Anderson said.

Some of the ways CORO Kansas City said it could help start the International marketplace would be to “build local leadership, connecting immigrants with native-born persons, partnering with state and local governments and reframing the issue of cultural integration,” according to CORO Kansas City’s creating an international marketplace: a research project for the Northeast Chamber of Commerce document.

Along with CORO Kansas City’s international marketplace research, the Northeast Chamber has received information about another project called Invest Northeast. This project is working on behalf of the Northeast Alliance Together (NEAT) and the Mattie Rhodes Center with funding provided by the MARC Planning Sustainable Places Grant. Invest Northeast is managed by El Dorado Architects to focus on the implementation of four scopes: a transportation analysis, a neighborhood conservation overlay, a real estate market analysis and a scope that identifies planning and designing a regional food hub in Hardesty Renaissance.

Rachel Duncan, designer for El Dorado, said it is fascinating how different Invest Northeast is since it is an implementation plan and not just another study of the Northeast.

“The Northeast has seen so many studies, but the community wants results,” Duncan said. “Invest Northeast is significant because this will show an implementation plan to make sure these projects will actually happen.”

The fourth scope of Invest Northeast is to plan and design for a regional food hub in Hardesty Renaissance, which is supposed to “identify the available infrastructure necessary to operate a successful regional food hub… to test the feasibility of an anchor property that benefits underserved residents, regional, small and mid-sized farms, visitors and businesses all within one location,” according to Invest Northeast.

“The hope is to amplify the culture of Independence Avenue and the Northeast to make it possible for an international marketplace,” Duncan said.

The Invest Northeast project started this summer and is expected to have a final report by November. Duncan said there will be a presentation on Invest Northeast during the International Taste and Tour event.

One of the upcoming events sponsored by the Northeast Chamber to showcase the community’s international marketplace is the International Taste and Tour, Saturday, Sept. 7 from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. at American Sons of Columbus Hall, 2415 Independence Ave. More than 20 restaurants from the Northeast will be featured with tastes from America, Ethiopia, France, Haiti, Italy, Mexico, Somalia and Vietnam.

“We hope to bring partners in the community together to help our business owners achieve the American dream,” Baker-Hughes said. “The CID truly is a big piece of creating the vision of the future of the Northeast.”

Comments are closed.

  • Northeast News video: NEKC Chamber’s International Marketplace Resource Map

    May 5th, 2016

    Northeast News May 5, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The Northeast News recently filmed a video to help shine a […]

    Family business thrives in Northeast

    May 3rd, 2016

    Northeast News Trying to catch local business owner Eddie Musallet in one place for very long is, to coin a phrase, like trying to herd cats.

    Northeast Neighbor to Neighbor providing residents services for a decade

    April 5th, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Ten years ago, Dr. Elaine Joslyn had an idea to better provide for her Northeast community.
    By creating the private, not-for-profit organization Northeast Neighbor to

    Snyder’s Supermarket: Upgrades by the score

    March 1st, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — One step inside the old Snyder’s grocery store at Independence and Prospect and it is immediately obvious, this ain’t the old Snyder’s Supermarket.

    Inn at 425 offers many opportunities to explore NE

    February 3rd, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — When your bed and breakfast gets lumped into groups with Kansas City’s best hotels, you know you’re probably doing something right.

  • Chamber looks back at busy 2015

    January 6th, 2016

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Another year has passed for the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and its CEO has much to be proud of.

    KCU and Harris-Stowe State University Partner to Provide Novel Pathway to Medical School

    December 2nd, 2015

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences is growing with more partnerships.
    The Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCU), the largest medical school in

    Chamber launches micro-loan program with a twist

    November 25th, 2015

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Small businesses in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast neighborhoods now have a new tool to help them grow, courtesy of the Northeast Chamber of Commerce

    Rambo’s ready to serve the Northeast

    November 4th, 2015

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Opening a restaurant can be difficult.
    Rambo and Olivia Sajnani, owners of Rambo’s Chicken and Burgers, know exactly how difficult it can be.

    CID Sponsors 4-Corners Event

    October 14th, 2015

    Dress up that pooch and get those pumpkin carving tools ready to go because this Saturday the Independence Avenue CID is sponsoring its second 4-corners event, this time on the Eastern

  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Local officials visit reStart shelter, serve lunch

    Northeast News May 26, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – A group of legislators and local officials convened at the reStart […]

    Northeast Farmer’s Market to open rain or shine this afternoon

    Northeast News May 26, 2016 Attention, Northeast residents: despite the weather, the Northeast Farmer’s Market will be open this afternoon […]

    KC Streetcar service back up and running after delay

    Northeast News May 25, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – Smoke found near construction on Main Street just after 11:00 a.m. […]