After years of laying groundwork, elected officials and Downtown Kansas City boosters in April celebrated a formal planning start for a $160 million public park that would cap a portion of Interstate 670.

The announcement was the easy part. Now, the Downtown Council of Kansas City has mobilized to translate unofficial commitments from state and federal government representatives into concrete project financing.

Kansas City’s South Loop Link project (Photo courtesy Downtown Council of Kansas City)

So far, officials have announced a $5 million pledge from Loews Hotels & Co. to help advance design efforts.

That sum represents a portion of a $25 million initial private fundraising goal, Downtown Council CEO Bill Dietrich said. The park proposal has long been championed by The Cordish Cos. and other nearby landowners, who stand to gain a significant amenity from the nearby 5.5-acre green space.

Dietrich said his nonprofit will seek further funds from a broader potential support base through later fundraising efforts.