Building projects breathing new life into one of Kansas City’s oldest neighborhoods

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first new construction in decades is providing modern places to live in one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

The Ivanhoe Gateway, at 39th Street and Euclid Avenue, is helping revitalize the community.

The Local Initiative Support Corporation helped the Ivanhoe Neighborhood Council become a nonprofit housing developer so it could build new homes.

On land where an old elementary school sat vacant for years, Ivanhoe has built new duplexes for low and moderate income buyers.

And there are cottages with single story rental homes for low-income seniors.

Larnell Lowery, 75, moved into one of the new places a couple of months ago. His family likes that everything is on one level for him, and there’s space for older folks with disabilities to move freely.

“I was excited about hearing that he was moving from where he was,” said Charise Perez, Lowery’s daughter. “Then when he told me where he was moving, that made me even more excited because I knew these were newly built and they were for seniors. Due to his health condition, I knew it was built to be where he would have easy access in and out.”

Ivanhoe has been plagued by empty lots and abandoned houses. The neighborhood has a vacancy rate of nearly 40 percent.

This development shows how the area can be transformed. There’s already a long waiting list for cottages that haven’t been completed.

Affordable housing for seniors has been seeing a growing demand. That’s especially true in the urban core, where investments are hard to come by. So neighborhoods are taking it upon themselves to create the change they need.

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