CID takes new strides in Downtown beautification

Antonio, a member of the CID Landscape staff, spends his days working to beautify Downtown Kc.

Antonio, a member of the CID Landscape staff, spends his days working to beautify Downtown KC.

Clean, Safe and Green have long been the mantra for the Community Improvement Districts, but they have been joined by an ambitious commitment to beautify Downtown and the River Market one tree well at a time.

“Every day, more and more people are walking the city’s sidewalks, as they make their way from home from work, to run errands, to shop or to enjoy a performance,” said Mark Rowlands, director of the CIDs. “In that spirit, we have created a new opportunity for businesses and residents in the Central Business District and River Market to help us make their streetscapes more colorful and welcoming.”

The CID Tree Well Adoption program is contributing to the beauty of streets and sidewalks in the Central Business District and River Market.

The CID Tree Well Adoption program is contributing to the beauty of streets and sidewalks in the Central Business District and River Market.

The Tree Well Adoption program is designed to create teamwork and esprit de corps within local businesses. This project is designed to enhance property aesthetics, promote sustainability and improve the walkability of Downtown and the River Market.

The CIDs, in partnership with the City of Kansas City, are spearheading this effort to encourage business owners and property managers to invest in the beautification of their front entrances or buildings to create a welcoming “front door.”

“By adopting a tree well(s), you will demonstrate to your tenants, clients and customers that you care about your building and the neighborhood,” Rowlands said. “The program is off to a fast start this spring and summer.”

The City Landscape crew recently – and beautifully – landscaped several tree wells in the CBD and River Market kick off the CID’s Tree Well Adoption Program initiative, including wells outside of Copaken Brooks (Town Pavilion and 1201 Walnut); Executive Hills (One Main Center); and three more on 3rd Street on the south side of Old Townley Lofts.

In the next few weeks, the City Landscape Ambassadors will be improving wells on 12th Street in front of City Hall, on the north side of the Kansas City Board of Education and the north side of the Bartle Hall loading docks near Broadway.

“We believe this is a great new program to beautify the neighborhood and get residents and business to help play a role,” Rowlands said.

The CIDs have enlisted the talents of local landscape architects from BNIM, Confluence, KCMO Parks & Recreation and Vireo to develop a Recommended Plant List that includes plant varieties that will thrive in the urban environment and require low maintenance.

“In other words, we will be doing the heavy lifting on this project,” Rowlands said.

Multiple planting plans have also been created to take the guesswork out of how to create an impactful display. We have designed the program, so your team can have fun designing, planting and caring for you tree well(s). It is only limited by your imagination.

For more information on how to sponsor your own tree well, contact Rowlands at (816) 979-1081 or email at mark@downtownkc.org.

 

Student lemonade sales are set for Wednesday

 

Crossroads Academy students will be selling lemonade at six Downtown locations over the lunch hour on Wednesday.

Crossroads Academy students will be selling lemonade at six Downtown locations over the lunch hour on Wednesday.

 

Students and staff from the Crossroads Academy – Downtown’s K-8 charter school – will be celebrating the beginning of the new school year with Downtown lemonade stands this Wednesday.

Make plans now to stop by one of six lemonade stands during your lunch break tomorrow. Students will be selling lemonade for $1.00 per cup between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday (Aug. 26)!

The students will be accompanied by Community Improvement District Ambassadors as all six of the lemonade stands. Be sure to stop by the stand that is most convenient for you:

l* 10th & Baltimore (Central Library)

11th & Broadway (DST Systems)

11th & Main (Planet Sub)

12th & Walnut (Oppenstein Park)

12th & Oak (City Hall)

13th & Main (Power & Light District)

The annual lemonade stands are a fundraiser and friend-raiser for the Crossroads Academy.

Clean, Safe, Green: CID Ambassadors

Safe. Clean. Green. These three words not only the mantra of the Downtown and River Market Community Improvement District (CID) Ambassadors, they also describe the foundation of Downtown Kansas City.

The CIDs are private, nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to maintaining a clean, green, safe and economically competitive Central Business District (CBD) and River Market. The mission of the CIDs is accomplished daily by a team of maintenance, horticulture and safety ambassadors dedicated to Downtown, and its employers, workers, residents and visitors.

The DCID Board of Directors met earlier this week for their annual board meeting. In addition to thinking their outgoing board chair, Pamela Hahn, 1212 McGee Building, the board approved its new slate of officers for 2015-16. New officers include:

  • Chair: Kathie McBride, MC Realty Group
  • Vice Chair: Mike Klamm, CBRE
  • Secretary: Chris Erdley, Tower Properties
  • Treasurer: Jared Campbell, Signature Personal Insurance

The CIDs are managed by the Downtown Council, and are considered to be the cornerstone of the renaissance of Downtown Kansas City.

KC is ranked among the top 10 downtowns in the U.S., which points to a “walkable and livable downtown” – the kind of urban experience that simply wouldn’t be possible without the CIDs and their dedicated “yellow jacket” Ambassadors.

This blog post introduces a weekly series that will introduce you to the Ambassadors and the remarkable work they perform every day in Downtown KC.

 

 

River Market is raising $$ for an Off Leash Area for dogs

The River Market is working to raise the money necessary to create an Off Leash Area for dogs in the neighborhood.

The River Market is working to raise the money necessary to create an Off-Leash Area for dogs in the neighborhood.

The River Market is going to the dogs … in a good way.

The River Market Community Improvement District (RMCID) and the River Market Community Association (RMCA) are working to raise $32,000 to build a fenced, Off-Leash Area (OLA) for dogs.

Presently, residents of the River Market and Columbus Park have few options in the area when it comes to places to safely and respectfully exercise their dogs, according to Mark Rowlands, a spokesman for both nonprofit organizations. Rowlands is the executive director of the RMCID and is the current president of the RMCA.

The River Market OLA, located at 5th and Locust Streets, will provide a place where people and their well-behaved dogs can socialize and exercise in a clean, safe environment, without endangering or disturbing people, property or wildlife, Rowlands said. In the meantime, some dog owners let their pups run off leash, despite City ordinances requiring dogs to be on a leash at all times … unless in a fenced in enclosure or building.

The RMCID will manage and maintain the OLA which will be on property leased from MoDOT. The creation of an OLA will foster an increased sense of community by encouraging social interaction among citizens within the area while reducing encounters with citizens who are apprehensive of off-leash dogs in other public parks.

The River Market Development Fund has pledged $15,000 in matching funds to the project, Rowlands said. To date, $11,100 has been either donated or pledged for the construction of the OLA.

“We only need to raise $4,100 to make this Off Leash Area a reality,” Rowlands said.

Tax deductible contributions may be made to the Downtown Kansas City Civic Ventures, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation.

Checks should be payable to the Downtown Kansas City Civic Ventures (with RM OLA in the memo line) care of: Mark Rowlands, 1000 Walnut St., Suite 200 Kansas City, MO 64106.

For more information, call Mark at (816) 979-1081 or email at mark@downtownkc.org.

 

 

CID, PIAC team up to repair infrastructure in River Market

The City of Kansas City, Missouri and its Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) have built a great and productive great partnership with the River Market Community Improvement District (RMCID).

Since the fall of 2009, RMCID Ambassadors have been repairing River Market infrastructure, thanks to $300,000 in PIAC funding. PIAC dollars are earmarked for a series of projects that can be managed and maintained by the Ambassadors themselves.

 

Each year, Ambassadors have been repairing subsided pavers, installing new landscaping, repainting fire hydrants and pedestrian light poles, fixing damaged tree wells and purchasing and installing site furnishings such as benches, trash receptacles and above-ground planters. The RMCID is currently in its fifth year making infrastructure improvements to the district.

In the first four years of PIAC support, the $300,000 was used by Ambassadors to:

  • Repair more than 240 square feet of subsided pavers
  • Install about 2,400 square feet of new landscaping
  • Repair 48 damaged tree wells
  • Repaint 48 pedestrian lights
  • Repaint 48 fire hydrants
  • Purchase and install 29 new Streetscape Master Plan-approved trash receptacles
  • Purchase and install 14 new Streetscape Master Plan-approved benches
  • Purchase and install 34 new Streetscape Master Plan-approved above-ground planters

The RMCID Ambassadors have also purchased and installed (XX) decorative tree enclosures on Walnut, Fifth and Delaware streets in the River Market.

“The design of the tree enclosures complements the comfortable atmosphere that the district enjoys. The enclosures were also designed to be easy to install and maintain,” said Mark Rowlands, director of the River Market and Downtown CIDs. “Their simple design enables the RMCID Ambassadors to install the enclosures with just a few tools and minimal disturbance to surrounding infrastructure.”

RMCID celebrates anniversary; steps up in role in public improvements

Employees of the River Market Community Improvement District took time out recently to celebrate a major milestone in the life of Downtown Kansas City.

The Downtown CID celebrated its 10 anniversary in April — a decade of clean and safe leadership in Downtown. The Downtown and River Market CID Ambassadors celebrated in style on Friday, April 19, as board members and Downtown Council colleagues acknowledged the accomplishments of both CIDs at the Annual Party at the Central Public Library.

“Downtown – both the Central Business District and the River Market – is definitely a different place from 10 years ago when the first yellow barrel hit the streets, the first graffiti tag came down and the first Bumblebee greeted that lonely Downtown employee with a friendly smile. And Downtown is definitely a better place,” said Mark Rowlands, CID director.

The CID Ambassadors are widely acknowledged for serving as the start of Downtown’s revitalization, as they began working daily to make Downtown clean and safe for residents, employees and visitors.

That work continues to accelerate in the River Market. Just last year, the TIF Commission named the RMCID as its developer for public improvements in the River Market District. The RMCID will manage the use of $825,000 over the next 10 years to make improvements.

“The TIF funds will prove to be a great investment in the health and vitality of the River Market,” Rowlands said. “The public improvements that will stem from these dollars will make the district even more attractive for business and residential growth.”

In January, the RMCID sought proposals from contractors to repair approximately 1,500 linear feet of damaged curbs, 7,200 square feet of concrete sidewalks and 6,400 square feet of paver sidewalks from 3rd Street to Independence Avenue and Grand Avenue to Wyandotte Street.

Rowlands said that Musselman and Hall Contractors have been selected as the contractor. Work will begin in June on the selected areas, once the permitting process has been completed with the City.

“The RMCID has met with the City to coordinate repair work so as to not conflict with utility relocation and track construction for the new Downtown streetcar, which is due to begin operations in about two years,” Rowlands said.

The RMCID is also in the process of working with Pro Circuit Incorporated on a proposal to retrofit all 176 high-intensity discharge, or tungsten, pedestrian lights in the River Market to LED. The total cost for the retrofit will cost approximately $47,000, but will be eligible for about $23,000 in rebates from KCP&L. The LED retrofit will result in close to $10,000 in energy savings annually. The LED lamps have a 100,000-hour life which will also reduce maintenance costs.

And, while the TIF funds will provide the RMCID with a lengthy list of projects, that will not impede the Ambassadors’ daily duties to keep the River Market clean, safe and green.

“The River Market CID Public Safety Ambassadors continue to be on the front lines to ensure a safe Downtown community, while the Public Maintenance Ambassadors remain dedicated to making our streets clean and inviting,” Rowlands said.

Gold Star for CID Safety Ambassador Keith Libeer

Libeer, Keith_CTA Gold Star Award

Keith Libeer (center), CID Public Safety Ambassador, accepted the Certified Tourism Ambassador Gold Star Award during the Kansas City Convention and Visitor Association’s Annual Meeting. Presenting the award were Rick Hughes (left), KCCVA president, and Bill George, Kansas City Transportation Group CEO.

Keith Libeer, Community Improvement District (CID) Public Safety Ambassador, was recognized with the Certified Tourism Ambassador Gold Star Award during the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association’s (KCCVA) Annual Meeting on May 2.

The Gold Star Award honors a Certified Tourism Ambassador who demonstrates exemplary customer service skills and a great knowledge of Kansas City and its attractions and who has worked to promote the ideals of the Heartland Tourism Ambassador program.

“Since 2004, Keith has been providing unsurpassed service to visitors and residents as a safety ambassador,” said Mark Rowlands, CID director. “His knowledge of the district, attractions and even bus routes continues to inspire those around him. His friendly, easy going demeanor along with his extensive knowledge exemplifies his pride and genuine desire to make every visitor encounter memorable.”

“It’s really no surprise that Keith was recognized for his work as a CID Ambassador,” Sean O’Byrne, CID executive director, said. “Keith takes his work as an Ambassador very seriously and always has a lot of fun doing it. We are grateful to have him as part of our team and proud that he has been recognized by the KCCVA.”

Mayor Sly James welcomed nearly 600 people from the tourism and hospitality industry at the KCCVA’s annual meeting at the Kansas City Convention Center Grand Ballroom. The luncheon kicked off National Travel & Tourism Week (May 4 – 12) and celebrated the importance of meetings and meeting planners.

 

DCID celebrates milestone anniversary

 

Employees of the Downtown Community Improvement Districts took time out recently to celebrate a major milestone in the life of Downtown Kansas City. The DCID celebrated its 10 anniversary this month — a decade of clean and safe leadership in Downtown. The CID  Ambassadors celebrated in style on Friday, April 19, as board members and Downtown Council colleagues acknowledged the accomplishments of the CIDs at the Annual Party at the Central Public Library.

The Annual Party is one of three events the DCID sponsors yearly to acknowledge the hard work the Ambassadors perform every day through every kind of Midwestern weather. This year, the DCID  had even more reason to celebrate after Ambassadors contributed to another successful month of March Madness with four collegiate basketball tournaments — NCAA regionals, Big 12 conference,  NAIA nationals and MIAA conference  — over three weeks at Sprint Center and Municipal Auditorium.

“Downtown is definitely a different place  from 10 years ago when the first yellow barrel hit the streets, the first graffiti tag came down and the first Bumblebee greeted that lonely Downtown employee with  a friendly smile. And Downtown is definitely a better place,” said Mark Rowlands, CID director. The CID Ambassadors represent the beginning of Downtown’s revitalization, as they began working daily to make Downtown clean and safe for residents, employees and visitors.

Buildings that once stood derelict have been converted into housing or new office space, the Sprint Center and the Power and Light District sprung to life, H&R Block moved back to the neighborhood and brought a lot of new friends with them, and the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts changed the way the world sees Kansas City. Legoland Discovery Center and and the Sea Life Aquarium are here now to entertain the kid in all of us as Google Fiber is spreading across the city. And soon, Kansas City will have a streetcar again after nearly 50 years.

“Call us biased, but we like to think that the DCID had a lot to do with this incredible transformation,” Rowlands said.

The DCID Public Safety Ambassadors have been on the front lines to ensure a safe Downtown community while the Public Maintenance Ambassadors have been dedicated to making our streets clean and inviting. Below are some of the statistical highlights that have been achieved by the DCID Ambassadors over the last ten years.

  • Citizen assists, directions & special events        
75,548
  • Trespass, drug activity & public drinking interventions        
68,321
  • Homeless contacts & referrals
46,597
  • Aggressive panhandler interventions
12,160
  • Safety escorts
6,089
  • Citizen & merchant introductions
6,813
  • Police arrests/assistance & medical assists
3,373
  • Trash bags collected
94,513
  • Graffiti tags removed
9,875

CID NEWS: WEEKLY BUZZ FOR OCTOBER 29

It takes less than a minute for a thief to break your car window and snatch valuables setting in plain sight. And a few coins in your car’s cup holder is all that it takes. Just imagine the time and expense it will cost you to report the crime and then have your window replaced.

Car break-ins can happen anywhere, but they don’t need to happen at all. By following a few very simple tips, you can greatly reduce the chances your vehicle will become a target. And as Downtown KC continues to be a popular spot to visit, work and live, we each need to educate ourselves on ways to make our Downtown experience the best it can be.

Master Patrol Officer James Schriever, with the KCPD Central Patrol Division, has discussed this issue regularly in his weekly Crime Reports. He believes that this frustrating crime can be reduced significantly, but only with the community’s help. Education, informational awareness and implementation of the techniques are the keys to prevent yourself from becoming a victim.

To learn more, download and read the info in the attached “If I were a Thief”  brochure for easy ways to protect your car and valuables. And, then please forward it on to all your friends, co-workers and family.

“IF I WERE A THIEF” (PDF)

CID NEWS: WEEKLY BUZZ FOR SEPTEMBER 14

CID Maintenance barrels with new, heavy-duty decals wait to get put to work.

 

It will be business as usual for the CID Ambassadors, but with an exciting new look.

After months of planning and preparing, the CIDs’ new logo will be visible all over Downtown and the River Market on our trash barrels, trucks and other vehicles. Wednesday’s weather was perfect for the four-hour installation of the new decals in the parking lot at 10th and Wyandotte.

“The Downtown and River Market districts have gone through some incredible changes over the last few years, and it’s great to see the image of the CIDs reflect the energy of all the great things happening,” said Mark Rowlands, CID director. “The new look will be even more inviting to the thousands of visitors, residents and employees in our great city.”

The new brand identity for the Downtown and River Market CIDs were approved by the two boards of directors in early summer. The brand is a reflection of the new look of the Downtown Council and of Downtown itself, explained DTC marketing director Mike Hurd.

“The logo is meant to represent the energy, vitality and diversity of the neighborhoods that make up greater Downtown,” Hurd said. “We are proud to have the CID Ambassadors waving the flag of our revitalized Downtown.”

The new logos have already started popping up on the new green and black uniforms of the Landscape Ambassadors. The  already familiar Safety and Maintenance uniforms should be arriving soon.

The CID would like to give big thanks and recognition to our partners who helped in every aspect of this change. Sturges Word Communications, along with sub-contractor Don Mackey, helped ensure layouts and sizing issues for all the decals in their different applications. The heavy-duty decals were printed by Print Surfaces and skillfully installed by Sign Mobile.

To offer comments or suggestions, contact Mark Rowlands at mark@downtownkc.org.

CID BUZZ: WEEKLY NEWS FOR SEPT. 4

It’s always difficult to pick just one Ambassador out of our entire staff to honor with the Employee of the Quarter.

We have such a great group of men and women who take pride in their work — regularly going above and beyond their regular duties —  and always performing their jobs with a friendly smile. Consistent performance, attention to detail and professional growth helped make Teoppalious Beauvoir, Library Safety Ambassador, stand out from the crowd for this quarter.

Mr. Beauvoir, or “T”,  joined the Library Safety Ambassador staff about a year ago. Over the last few months, he has demonstrated a remarkable improvement to his performance on a daily basis.

“He arrives eager and ready for work,” said Frank Jackson, Library Safety Supervisor. “He maintains a pleasant, polite and professional demeanor that I find incredibly well-balanced.”

Transplanted from Ft. Worth, Texas,  Beauvoir has called Kansas City home for the last 15 years, but his allegiance is still to the Dallas Cowboys. Hopefully, this years KC Chiefs will sway him, if just a little bit.

“I love Downtown Kansas City though because of its fast pace, and especially the Library, because of all the different people we meet here every day,” Beauvoir said.

His most memorable moment at the Library was when he was scheduled to work a wedding in Kirk Hall. “It was real elegant and different,” he said, “I’ve never seen a wedding in a library before, but it was great.”

Next time you visit the Library, make sure to congratulate “T” for his dedication and hard work, or you might catch him grabbing lunch at Tasty’s in the City Center Square food court. He’ll probably be enjoying the catfish since catching his own doesn’t always work out.

“I used to go fishing all the time when I was younger,” he said, “but I don’t seem to be able to find time for it now.”

River Market area is showing the benefits of CID work

CID Ambassadors assemble and install rod-iron tree enclosures along Delaware Street.

Delaware Street is getting a face lift. The Community Improvement District Ambassadors have been hard at work this summer in the River Market on various projects to make the area even more attractive.

Work has recently been completed on resizing 24 tree wells on the east and west sides of Delaware from 3rd Street south to 5th Street. Currently, the crew is installing rod-iron tree enclosures in the refurbished tree wells. Ambassadors started the enclosure installations in front of the Farmhouse, 300 Delaware, and will work their way down the west side of the street.

The tree enclosures were specially designed to be installed without the need for welding equipment or the need for outside contractors.

“This really gives the Ambassadors an opportunity to make a significant, visible improvement to the area,” said Mark Rowlands, CID director. “For years to come, they will be able come down here and proudly say, “I did that”,  and know that they made a difference.”

The tree enclosures on Delaware Street continue the transformation that began on Walnut Street back in 2009. While the look is the same, modifications were made to the original design to secure them better and to allow for greater adjustments.

“We have a little more work on the front end of the installation since we now need to hammer drill through the concrete underlayment,” Rowlands said, “but these things won’t be going anywhere very easily.”

This fall also will bring more improvements as CID Ambassadors will install new additional trash receptacles, park benches and above-ground planters. Dead trees will also be removed and new trees installed along Delaware and around the area.

To offer comments or suggestions, contact Mark Rowlands at mark@downtownkc.org