Mayor James to proposes Shared Success Fund to boost Kansas City’s underdeveloped neighborhoods

Joe Jarosz
Northeast News
Feb. 17, 2016

KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Last week, city officials announced plans that would address dangerous buildings in Kansas City.

Mayor Sly James wasn’t done. On Wednesday, James made a presentation to the City Council’s Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee to introduce a resolution to encourage economic development in the most severely distressed areas of Kansas City, based on federal designation criteria. The plan is called the Shared Success Fund and the mayor said the idea behind it is to direct the city’s continuing momentum and success of economic development to portions of the city that are not currently enough attracting development.

Too often, he told the committee, developers choose not to build projects in certain areas of the city. This gives the city another tool in their toolbox to encourage development in distressed areas. Under the resolution, the city’s revenue from participating economic development projects would be put in the Shared Success Fund and an advisory committee would be established to recommend eligible projects to Council.

“In its simplest form, the fund is designed to share the economic development success of some parts of our city with all parts of our city,” James said.

Initial criteria under review to qualify to receive these funds include a preference to provide Shared Success Fund money to projects that are commercial developments, involve capital investment in commercial real estate, generate high quality jobs, leverage other public/private investment and have a long-term impact. Under the proposal, projects will not be eligible for the Shared Success Fund if they qualify for Public Improvement Advisory Committee funds; if they are in business for the sale of package liquor, firearms or scrap metal, or if they are considered pawn shops, payday loan establishments, cigarette or smoke shops, tattoo/piercing parlors or adult-oriented businesses.

“The Shared Success Fun is a new way to help provide gap funding to get qualifying projects going,” James said. “This fund isn’t something that will be able to transform an entire neighborhood by next week, rather the fund will build up over time. But we must start now so that we can add another tool to the city’s toolbox for developing all areas of our city, not just the areas where development comes easily.”

The Shared Success Fund resolution will be formally introduced during the City Council Legislative Session on Thursday, Feb. 18. The resolution and the schedule for review can be found at http://cityclerk.kcmo.org/LiveWeb/Common/Default.aspx after the resolution is introduced.

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