The Paseo Gateway Project is currently in the second half of completion. The project includes the construction of five mixed-income residential apartments, various community projects, and the demolition of the Chouteau Courts public housing site near Independence Avenue and Tracy.
In January 2016, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) executed a five-year, $30 million Choice Neighborhoods Implementation (CNI) Grant for the Paseo Gateway project site as well as support for revitalization of Pendleton Heights and portions of the Paseo West and Independence Plaza neighborhoods, known collectively as the Paseo Gateway.
Choice Neighborhoods is focused on three core aspects: Housing, People, and Neighborhood. To address each area, Choice Neighborhoods aims to replace distressed public and assisted housing with high-quality mixed-income housing, improve outcomes of households living in the target housing, and to create the conditions necessary for public and private reinvestment in distressed neighborhoods to offer various amenities and assets, including safety, good schools, and commercial activity.
Christopher McKinney, Paseo Gateway Community Liaison, said the ultimate goal of this project is to create an inclusive community.
“The goal is to provide an improved quality of life for residents that were in the Chouteau Courts area and to address some other concerns in the neighborhoods. We work with Independence Plaza, Pendleton Heights and also Paseo West, trying to address those issues like vacant housing and bringing more residents to that area. When all the properties come online, one of the things we’ll be doing is putting on big events to help residents become more familiar with the area.”
The purpose of the grant is to replace the 134 units of Chouteau Courts public housing with new mixed-income, scattered site developments totalling 360 units in six to seven phases.
Phase one included the construction of Rose Hill Townhomes that was completed on vacant land at Troost and Admiral Boulevard and fully occupied in December 2016. Phase two was the completion of Pendleton Flats, a 30-unit mixed-income rehabilitation site adjacent to Independence Plaza Park, which was completed and occupied in the Fall of 2017.
Construction is currently underway on Pendleton ArtsBlock (phase three), Quinlan Place (phase four), and Quinlan Row (phase five). Various other community projects, that make up phase six and seven, are also in the works.
Chouteau Courts, the public housing site on the northside of Independence Avenue, between The Paseo and I-35, is the subject public housing site of the grant. Its 134 units were completed in 1958 and are now obsolete and isolated. The Housing Authority of Kansas City, Missouri (HAKC) selected Brinshore Development, LLC (Brinshore) as the master developer through a national search completed in 2013. Together HAKC and Brinshore are constructing new mixed-income developments that include replacement public housing units, affordable housing units, and unrestricted market rate units.
The residents of Chouteau Courts were moved in January 2018 into temporary housing or into one of the first two housing units, Rose Hill Townhomes and Pendleton Flats.
Chouteau Courts will be completely demolished. McKinney said there are no plans in place yet to what will be done on that property, but he said a Request For Proposal (RFP) will be put out later to make that decision and that the community will be engaged and addressed to determine the best use of the property. A date for the RFP is not yet known.
McKinney said Critical Community Improvement projects will also be taking place, which includes renovations to Independence Plaza Park.
Louis Cummings, District Superintendent with Parks and Recreation, said there will be several improvements to the park.