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Crews begin making improvements to 18th and Vine District

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Improvements to the 18th and Vine District will begin Monday morning.

The first step involves city crews demolishing a condemned building. The building used to be the Black Chamber of Commerce Building.

The goal is to make this land more attractive to developers, so they might come in and build apartments and retail stores,  which would attract more people to live, visit and shop in this area.

Earlier this year, the Kansas City City Council agreed to invest $7-million to fix up this historic district.

Besides tearing down condemned, non-historic buildings, the city will use the money to improve lighting, parking and streetscapes in the area; renovate the American Jazz Museum, the Boone Theater and the Black Archives; and complete the Buck O’Neil Education Center.

With the Urban Youth baseball Academy also being built in this area, city officials are excited about the future.

The city has already invested tens of millions of dollars over the past few decades to redevelop this area, and while the returns have been mixed, city officials are not giving up.

They plan to hire a management firm to attract developers and retailers to set up shop here.

City officials will be on site at 10:30 a.m. to discuss the future of this area and afterwards, they will tear this building down.