Kansas City Today
In a sharp contrast to the outward annexation made popular in the 1950s and ’60s, the Kansas City of today has returned to its roots to focus a multibillion-dollar redevelopment renaissance on the city’s downtown. New landmarks like the Power and Light District, H&R Block World Headquarters, the Sprint Center, and the Kansas City Star’s state-of-the-art printing plant stand alongside downtown’s historic buildings in a seamless blend of past and present. Downtown activists like the Downtown Council and various neighborhood associations have become a vocal, energetic part of the redevelopment process, working tirelessly to attract new business, residents, and, in the future, a downtown school.
Historically significant districts like 18th and Vine are undergoing their own makeovers, adding attractions and businesses like the American Jazz Museum and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to enhance the district’s existing appeal and pay tribute to the rich history that defined these districts and their residents.
In Kansas City’s outlying areas, expansion continues as developers spread outward in search of land and opportunities. Possibly one of the most dramatic metro case studies, the development of western Wyandotte County is a true Cinderella story. Anchored by Kansas Speedway, Schlitterbahn Vacation Village, the Legends at Village West, and a supersized Nebraska Furniture Mart, along with hotels, restaurants, and strip malls, the western half of Kansas’s most population-dense county has become a true tourism destination for the Kansas City area, and a much-needed source of revenue for Kansas City, Kansas. The overall transformation of Kansas City is one that’s been well-received and documented in various national news and travel publications, many of which name Kansas City as a city to watch now and in the coming years. It’s a fanfare the city deserves after overcoming so much hardship, a return to an unadulterated joy reminiscent of Kansas City’s early decades when the city rapidly rose to regional prominence.
Kansas City has made its triumphant return on a journey expected to become only more impressive with each year.
© Katy Ryan from Moon Kansas City, 1st Edition