West Bottoms, nearby Stockyards district seeing flux of residents seeking unique history

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Despite the pandemic’s difficulties, a once-forgotten part of Kansas City is doing relatively well.

The West Bottoms and the nearby Stockyards district have welcomed dozens of new residents to a new development in the area. 

The Livestock Exchange’s website calls the building “where Kansas City was born.” At the height of its operation, the stockyards sold millions of cattle and other animals. Eventually, feedlot operations grew and took over, and by 1991, the stockyards held its last auction.

Since then, Bill Haw has poured time, money and love into the building and the area.

“It was just nothing,” he said. “It was a rat-infested abandoned stockyards. I think it’s an unusual neighborhood in that people really feel like it’s a neighborhood, both in the building and in the surrounding area here.”

Flaherty & Collins properties recently developed the apartment complex “The Yards.” It opened in April, with more than 200 units.

“It’s up and coming. I think that that’s a big thing,” Alyssa Vizitei said. “We’re next to the West Bottoms where the antique stores are. We get to enjoy those, but we also get to be a little further away.”

She and her husband Julian recently moved in to The Yards.

“There are lot of unique things you can do with all the old buildings,” he said. “It still has that rustic feel just because it’s been left alone for so long.”

“This is kind of the lifeblood of Kansas City, how Kansas City grew. There’s a fabric that you can’t replicate in other areas and that’s what drew us,” Ryan Cronk with Flaherty & Collins said.

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