KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Renovation of the Red Bridge Shopping Center is helping fuel an expansion of neighborhood meeting space in south Kansas City.
At 99th Street and Holmes Road, strong community groups are credited for the resurgence of the business district. More than 8,000 people visited the Trailside Center for meetings and other community gatherings last year. And it seems like there’s something going on inside the center almost every day.
Despite a string of homicides along the trail, which kept some users away this summer, people who live nearby never gave up on the parkland. They knew in the long run it would remain an attractive asset that folks want nearby and will generate business for retailers in the area.
“We can’t let one bad actor change our lives,” said city Councilman Scott Taylor. “We’ve done some things, we’ve learned form it. We’ve put in place a plan to make it a safer thing for everybody.”
The city has created additional parking across from Trailside Center because more people are coming in. Once viewed as a retail district on the decline, a recent rehab of the shopping space is attracting new businesses, including Crow’s Coffee, the latest store to see great opportunities at Red Bridge.
“It just looked like the right time to expand again in a neighborhood I love,” said Zach Moores, owner of the coffee shop chain. “I know it’s going to do well. It’s been deprived of some good community spaces for a long time and I think with these renovations and some re-energizing of the neighborhood it’s going to be great. The community is ready for a place to kind of congregate and get to know each other.”
With the Wonderscope Children’s Museum also moving in nearby, many say south Kansas City is undergoing a rebirth. City leaders say another business announcement for the Red Bridge center will happen soon.