Historic Northeast ranked as one of the fastest growing areas for international community

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Historic Northeast in Kansas City continues to make its mark as a leading international community.

Thousands of refugees and migrants are calling the area home, bringing with them unique businesses like La Selva de los Relojes, an exclusive Latin theater, located at the intersection on St. John and Askew Avenue.

“I feel so good, feel happy here. I build my own business, you know? I feel good,” said Sharif Lel, owner of The Sharif Store.

Lel moved to Kansas City in 1996 to escape life in Somalia. He opened his store eight years ago to cater to the large Somali community in the Northeast.

According to Lel, business is booming, and all up and down Independence Avenue in Kansas City’s northeast side of town something similar is happening.

“Our community here has been an immigrant and refugee community since the 1800’s, and we just continue to build that community by celebrating it. Celebrating the culture, the traditions, the food, it keeps happening, and we keep celebrating it,” said Bobbi Baker-Hughes, president of the NEKC Chamber of Commerce.

Members of the Chamber of Commerce said a low cost of living and high quality of life are some of the biggest draws to the area.

“It’s our job as the chamber of commerce and my job personally, to explore, discover and experience the world right here in historic Northeast,” Baker-Hughes said.

On Sept. 14, the Northeast Chamber will be celebrating their 8th Annual International Marketplace Taste and Tour event. Mayor Quinton Lucas will be in attendance.

The event features five restaurants, three coffee shops and entertainment from around the world. The event will start at American Sons of Columbus Hall, located at 2415 Independence Blvd.

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