The money comes from the Central City Economic Development (CCED) fund, supported by a 1/8 percent sales tax.
Projects that got part of the nearly $12 million were almost exclusively centered around affordable housing.
“Affordable housing is at the forefront of that and showing that we have affordable units for years to come is one of the big priorities we had this last round,” said Kansas City Housing and Community Development Department Division Manager Dion Lewis.
That’s why a $28 million renovation project at the old KCPS Ladd School will got $3 million from the CCED fund to create commercial space on the bottom floor and a variety of housing options on upper floors. The project is being done by LocalCode Founder and CEO Ajia Morris.
“Black people as a whole have very little generational wealth and any opportunities we have to create more is a value add for us,” Morris said.
Census data shows black families average about a quarter the wealth of their white counterparts and Morris says the situation is even more unbalanced in the commercial real estate industry.
This project will allow community members to eventually buy into it, earning a passive income from the same project that makes their community a better place to be.
So, the renovated project will have offices where black doctors can see patients, treating the mind and body. Salons and make up businesses will help people who live near by look their best all under one roof. Housing options will be custom-tailored to the neighborhood.
We’re doing east side affordable housing which is a different standard than your traditional, west-of-Troost prices,” Morris said.
Morris hopes to start construction in early 2024. You can find more information about it here.