Northeast News

The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce hosted a number of events throughout 2023 and spearheaded myriad improvements along the Independence Avenue corridor during the past year. 

Beginning in January, the NEKC Chamber And Indepence Avenue CID office at 2657 Independence Blvd. opened their space to the community, hosting candidate forums for the 2023 municipal elections. Candidates for the 3rd and 4th City Council Districts addressed questions posed by community members on city policy, community improvements and public safety among other things prior to the primary election last March. 

In February, the NEKC Chamber and IA CID celebrated Fat Tuesday with their annual Beads, Beans and Booze fundraiser. This year the event was moved to the J. Reiger Distillery just down the hill in the newly christened Electric Park neighborhood. The annual fund raising event featured local food and entertainment and was a huge success. 

In March, the NEKC Chamber was awarded a grant from the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Solid Waste Management District. The funds were used to install field cameras, signage and murals in 4 public alleyways that have experienced high occurrences of illegal dumping and illegal activity along the Avenue corridor. 

Springtime brought the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District’s annual  beautification efforts along the Independence Avenue Corridor. Independence Avenue Street Ambassadors worked diligently to plant hundreds of native plants and flowers in huge planter boxes placed strategically along the Independence Avenue corridor. The Community Improvement District (CID) is managed by the Northeast Chamber of Commerce.

The IA CID and the city’s Public Works department completed the Independence Blvd ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) RAMP project, which saw the installation of over 30 new ADA compliant ramps at intersections between Highland Avenue and Gladstone Boulevard, replacing broken and missing bricks and concrete that had caused impairments to travel for those in the disabled community. 

In June and again in September, the NEKC Chamber and IA CID sponsored its annual International Marketplace Taste and Tour event that featured delicious foods and beverages from seven area international restaurants. Both tours featured different restaurants and each event was a sell-out. 

The Independence Avenue CID, in conjunction with CID’s across the Kansas City metropolitan area, helped to organize and sponsor an urban CID summit, hosted by Midtown Now KC, a non-profit community partner that promotes development in the Midtown, Kansas City area. Among topics tackled during the summit, infrastructure, crime, economic development and other common issues and challenges were discussed while proposing solutions moving forward. 

The NEKC Chamber and IA CID developed and submitted several Public Improvement Advisory Committee (PIAC) funding requests to the city in order to address infrastructure needs along Independence Avenue corridor. 

The NEKC Chamber also submitted Rebuild KC grant applications were also submitted to the city in order to address community development needs.  From that process, the NEKC  Chamber received funds to address Right-of-way infrastructure projects along the Avenue along with a grant to develop and paint  a new mural on the Avenue’s most famous urban legend, the low clearance, truck eating bridge on the eastern end of the Avenue corridor. 

The NEKC Chamber participated in HUD’s CHOICE Neighborhood CCI (Critical Community Improvement) program, which provided grant funds to complete its final facade improvement project at the Prospect Center retail space at 2536 Independence Blvd.

Murals are a huge part of the Historic Northeast community. This year’s annual NEKC Chamber Mural project, two local artists were selected to design and paint a huge new mural along the west wall of the Mercado Fresco supermarket at 2620 Independence Blvd. The new mural installation speaks to the Historic Northeast’s rich diversity as well as pays homage to two local heroes, Firefighters Larry Leggio and John Mesh who died in the line of duty fighting a fire on the site October 12, 2015. 

The NEKC Chamber, partnered with the Independence Avenue CID, to continued its outreach on the Avenue, distributing free, life-saving Narcan to various distribution locations the Avenue. Narcan instantly reverses the often fatal results of a Fentnyl overdose. The effort has already yielded life saving results on at least three separate occasions. 

During its monthly Chamber luncheon  and Coffee, Culture, and Conversation events, the NEKC Chamber highlights various businesses and services, as well as sponsoring numerous community partnerships with government entities for betterment of the Historic northeast community. 

As 2023 wraps up, the NEKC Chamber, along with the IA CID, will continue to plan and implement improvements that benefit residents and businesses throughout Historic Northeast. For more information on the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, visit

Our NEKC Chamber and IA CID staff wish you happy holidays and peace in 2023.