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Columbus Park redevelopment kicks off

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Yesterday April 6 2004

Rediscovering Columbus

An old KC neighborhood hopes for a jump-start in redevelopment

By KEVIN COLLISON The Kansas City Star

The quiet revival of Columbus Park, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, is expected to get louder today with the kickoff of a $1.2 million residential development.

The groundbreaking for East Market Row, an eight-unit town house and condominium project at Fifth and Holmes streets, could be the precursor to a much larger redevelopment plan for the neighborhood being pursued by the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority, a city agency.

The authority has received proposals from three groups interested in redeveloping a 22-acre site between Third and Fifth streets, from Gillis to Cherry streets, an area that encompasses about 20 percent of the neighborhood. The goal is to create a mixed-use development, predominantly owner-occupied housing, that complements the density and style of the rest of Columbus Park.

The redevelopment authority is scheduled to choose a developer later this month after receiving recommendations from the Kansas City Housing Authority, the Guinotte Manor tenant association and an advisory committee established by Mayor Kay Barnes.

Mike Sturgeon, past president of the Columbus Park Community Council, said the neighborhood had been on a roll since the $46 million redevelopment of the Guinotte Manor public housing development. In recent years, young professionals and artists have been joining the Italian-Americans and other ethnic groups that make up one of the city's most ethnically diverse areas.

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