City presents plans for millions in improvements at major intersection, public housing

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. --  The city of Kansas City presented its plan on Wednesday for improving the area of Paseo Blvd. and Independence Ave., an intersection that some call the "Gateway to the Urban Core" because of its location near the intersection of three interstates.

The presentation outlined the plans to demolish and replace Chouteau Courts Public Housing, make the intersection safer, and improve the surrounding Paseo Gateway Community.

"When somebody`s visiting this town, and they come off on Paseo, what do they say. That could be a really dynamic intersection of signage, attractive fountain or artwork, and it`s not there," said Kansas City City Councilman Jermaine Reed.

A grant given to the Housing Authority and donations, together amounting to about a half a million dollars, made it possible to study and formulate these plans.

"We've completed the plan, and we are pulling together the team to apply to HUD to obtain the implementation grant, and that was the purpose of the presentation at City Hall today to explain to city council what the plan was,"  said John Monroe, Director of Planning and Development.

FOX 4 spoke to some residents living in the Chouteau Public Housing complex. They were pleased the city is making plans to improve their apartments and surrounding area. One mother said it will benefit the kids.

"They really can't play with much because everything's been torn up and never replaced," said Stephanie Wilczak, a mother of three who lives in the public housing. "I`m pretty excited. Hopefully it`ll look better and feel like a home instead of like just, something you live in until your next best thing."

The Housing Authority will apply for the $30 million implementation grant next year. If it is awarded, the work would begin in 2016.

Click here for the PowerPoint presentation by the City Manager's office.

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