Couple plans to transform KC neighborhood, building mixed income community

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An abandoned neighborhood, overgrown and cluttered with trash, is about to get a face lift, courtesy of a KC couple.

“Somebody’s got to rebuild our neighborhood. If we don’t, who will,” Dan Edwards said.

Since high school, he’s had a vision of bringing new life to the area near 25th and Michigan. Fifteen years later, he and his wife Ebony Edwards are finally ready to slide into their next chapter of revitalizing the neighborhood.

“Can’t you just see all the people running up and down the street, all the kids?” Dan said, dreaming of the future.

The KC couple own about 50 properties, or four acres, within two to three adjacent blocks. There used to be houses there, but that was long ago. Now it’s just overgrown.

“Our dream is really to build a true mixed income neighborhood, so that regardless of what you can afford you have access to housing and to a community that is supportive,” Ebony said.

Buyers get to sit down with the Edwards and help with the design. Dan said new construction costs for homes will average around $225,000 to $250,000.

“It’s actually bringing homes into that affordability area to where people with mortgages, or people who work for the city, or who are school teachers — they can actually afford to be our neighbors,” Dan said.

He said they’ve already got seven buyers, including themselves.

They also plan to incorporate the same vibe and musical culture heard in the 18th and Vine District.

“Right now we are actually in the atrium of our Black Box Theatre,” Dan said of an abandoned daycare and playground that will be transformed.

And past the neighborhood, there’s a park.

“It`ll be a performing center there, culinary art space, visual arts gallery, outdoor amphitheater, really just all themed around the performing arts industry,” Dan said.

The Edwards said they got the go-ahead from the bank Monday and are ready to break ground in 45 days.

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