As KC’s West Bottoms neighborhood grows, officials hope more residents move in, too

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Catherine Buchanan has worked at The Painted Sofa in the West Bottoms for more than three years. In that time, she said she's had a front row seat to see the growth of the store and the area.

"We moved about six months ago from an 18,000-square-foot place to a 30,000-square-foot now. We know this is the place to be in Kansas City for growth," Buchanan said. "We're getting more and more restaurants down here. People are coming down here during the day, and they are also coming back here in the evening with some of the bars and stuff that are opening up."

It's a change that has not gone unnoticed by residents and businesses in the West Bottoms.

"It has become what some people say is the new Crossroads. You're seeing this influx of art galleries, restaurants, bars, jazz, but important to us is residents are moving in," said Chris Hernandez, KCMO spokesman.

Hernandez said Kemper Arena renovations and events such as Heritage Week and the West Bottoms Reborn Project have helped people look at the area with a new perspective.

"We are seeing activity on the east side, on the west side, up north, out south. That is part of that momentum spreading out to benefit the entire city and that's what we're seeing in the West Bottoms," Hernandez said.

It's a perspective Buchanan said is paying off in new ways every day.

"At my age it means a lot. It's nice to see people getting reinvested in the history of Kansas City and how history means something to everybody," she said.

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