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This isn’t your streetcar of 1957, Tom Gerend stressed.

“This is the streetcar for the next generation,” the executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority said.

It’s a connector. It’s a development catalyst. And in 2022, Kansas Citians will start seeing more concrete progress in the southern extension along Main Street from Union Station to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. 

“It’s going to be a whole new phase of really kicking off the formal streetcar construction moving beyond utilities,” Gerend said.

Notable progress will include grading and retaining wall work, as well as laying track in the street. The line is expected to be operational in 2025. 

The Main Street extension has led to nearly $500 million in transactions and investments in new development in the past 10 months, he said. Developers want locations with a competitive advantage, and the streetcar is a key amenity.