LaunchKC to introduce grants competition to SxSW tech festival

LaunchKC will headline a Kansas City program at The KC Outpost, during the SxSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas on Sunday.

LaunchKC, the Downtown Kansas City-based grants competition for tech startup businesses, will kick off its 2017 application process at the annual South by Southwest Interactive Festival (SXSW)  in Austin, Texas on Sunday.

This year, LaunchKC will provide the award for ‘Startup of the Year’ at Tech.Co Media’s annual startup night, which takes place after a presentation by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and company pitches at The KC Outpost event location in Downtown Austin. Husch Blackwell is the lead sponsor of this special kickoff event.

“The KC Outpost and partnership with TechCo provides the platform to not only promote LaunchKC, but also the Kansas City community and all we have to offer a business,” said Drew Solomon, chair of the LaunchKC grants competition and senior vice president of business development, Kansas City (Missouri) Economic Development Corporation. “We continue to demonstrate why we feel Kansas City is a great place to start and grow the next venture.”

PopBookings is one of the first 10 grant recipients from the LaunchKC competition for tech entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurs can win up to $100,000 in funding and one year of free office space in Kansas City’s innovation district through LaunchKC.  Winners will be supported by LaunchKC’s coaching, mentoring and funding programs to help develop high growth, successful businesses in the Kansas City area. The deadline for applications is midnight, Friday, July 7, 2017.

“We are continuing to search for the best and brightest startups and early-stage technology businesses to apply and compete for grants and free office space,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “Our competition has drawn more than 400 applicants each year, and has funded successful startups that have gone on to raise millions in venture capital funding from Kansas City.”

The 2017 LaunchKC grant competition features a $500,000 grant pool awarded to the top nine applicants – one $100,000 grand prize grant recipient, and eight $50,000 grant winners. The top 20 finalists will attend the annual Techweek Kansas City conference on September 11-16, where a panel of entrepreneurs and venture capitalists will select the grant recipients on Sept. 15. Entrepreneurs can apply at www.LaunchKC.org.

LaunchKC awarded grants in 2015 and 2016 to blooom, HealthID, Integrated Roadways, KC Drone Company, Nodal Security, PopBookings, IntelAg, Square Offs, Vertisense, VideoFizz, Big Bang, BLITAB, Consult US, FEWDM, Forest Devices, Labor Chart, Mobility Designed, Mycroft, Perfect Cube and Super Dispatch.

“The entrepreneurial culture in Kansas City is the strongest I’ve seen in nearly two decades,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “The work that LaunchKC is doing to bring in entrepreneurial talent from around the world is one reason our region has become a draw for innovation and start-up investment.”

LaunchKC focuses on business models in scalable, vertical sectors where Kansas City already has considerable expertise, including Advanced Manufacturing, Agriculture, Animal Health, Big Data, Cloud Services, Data Analytics, Financial Tech, Health Tech, Mobile and Real Estate.

LaunchKC is supported by public, private and philanthropic partners including the Missouri Technology Corporation, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the William T. Kemper Foundation, The Cordish Companies and UMB Bank. To learn more about LaunchKC sponsorships, visit www.launchkc.org/sponsors.

 

Downtown streets to close during Big 12 Basketball week

Downtown KC will be rocking next week when thousands of basketball fans pour in to town for the Big 12 Men’s Basketball Tournament and Big 12 Run at Sprint Center.

Are you ready for March Madness?!

Downtown KC will welcome thousands of basketball fans next week as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship returns to Kansas City for its highly anticipated 16th time, March 8-11.

A series of fan fests and other Championship activities will close the following streets surrounding Sprint Center:

  • Grand Boulevard (between 13th St. and Truman Rd.): closed starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 6, through 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.
  • 14th Street (between Main and Walnut Sts.): closed starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, through midnight on Sunday, March 12.
  • 14th Street (between Walnut St. and Grand Blvd.): closed starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 6, through 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.
  • Walnut Street (between 13th St. and Truman Rd.): closed starting at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, through midnight on Sunday, March 12.
  • Truman Road (from Oak St. to Walnut St., including the Grand Boulevard Bridge) will be closed starting at 10 a.m. on Monday, March 6, through 6 a.m. on Sunday, March 12.

In addition, Kansas City’s Big 12 Run will close the following streets on Saturday, March 11, starting at 10 a.m. and last until the conclusion of the race (roughly 12:30 p.m.):

  • Grand Boulevard (between 8th and 12th Sts., and between Truman and Gillham Rds.)
  • 8th Street (between Grand Blvd. and Holmes St.)
  • Holmes Street (between 8th and 18th Sts. and between 30th and 31st Sts.)
  • Truman Road (between Holmes St. and Woodland Ave. and between Grand Blvd. and Oak St.)
  • Woodland Avenue (between Truman Rd. and 18th St.)
  • 18th Street (between Woodland and Highland Aves. and between Holmes St. and Grand Blvd.)
  • Highland Avenue (between 18th St. and 17th Ter.)
  • 17th Terrace (between Highland Ave. and The Paseo)
  • The Paseo (between 17th Ter. and 31st St.)
  • 31st Street (between The Paseo and Holmes St.)
  • 30th Street (between Holmes St. and McGee)
  • McGee (between Holmes St. and Gillham Rd.)
  • Gillham Road (between McGee and Grand Blvd.)
  • Oak Street (between Truman Rd. and 9th St.)
  • 9th Street (between Oak St. and Grand Blvd.)

Due to traffic congestion related to these closures, city officials encourage drivers to allow for extra time when traveling through Downtown.

For a detailed parking map and other Championship information, visit the Official Fan Information Site at VisitKC.com/Big12Basketball. The Kansas City Police Department reminds fans to lock vehicles and stow valuables when cars are unattended.

LaunchKC opens 2017 grants application window today

Rachel Merlo, chair of the LaunchKC Steering Committee, announces plans for the 2017 grants competition, which begins today.

 

LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech entrepreneurs, will begin accepting applications today, Wednesday, March 1, for its third annual event – this year featuring a $100,000 grand prize grant.

LaunchKC has awarded $1 million to 20 entrepreneurs – from six states and three nations – via $50,000 grants in its first two years of competitions. The 2017 race will feature another $500,000 grant pool that will be awarded in September to the judges’ selection of the top nine applicants – including one $100,000 grand prize grant recipient, along with eight $50,000 grant winners.

The introduction of a $100,000 grant prize was announced early this year by Rachel Merlo, chair of the LaunchKC Steering Committee and community manager of Google Fiber in Kansas City. The announcement came at the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon on Jan. 27 before 1,000 business, civic and community leaders, as well as at a special LaunchKC Kickoff Celebration on Feb. 1 before 150 sponsors, former grant recipients and leaders in the KC tech space.

“The third LaunchKC competition provided us with the opportunity to introduce a grand prize in 2017,” said Drew Solomon, who chairs the competition for LaunchKC. “We believe the $100,000 grand prize will pique interest and applications from top tech entrepreneurs throughout the nation.”

The application window opens at 8 a.m. (CDT) today, Wednesday, March 1 and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 7. The online application will be available via the http://www.launchkc.org/ website at http://launchkc2017.startupcompete.co/

“We are continuing to search for the best and brightest startups or early stage technology businesses to apply and compete for $500,000 in grants,” said Mike Hurd, the marketing officer for LaunchKC. “We want to help these entrepreneurs make their business dreams come true in Kansas City, Missouri.”

LaunchKC is committed to elevating KC’s brand as an innovation leader nationally by investing in scalable vertical sectors like Advanced Manufacturing, Animal Health, Cloud Services, Data Analytics, EdTech, FinTech, HealthTech, Mobile and Real Estate Tech.

The 120-plus-day application window for the competition begins at 8 a.m. Friday, said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC. Applicants will be competing for $500,000 in grants – including a new grand prize grant of $100,000; free office space in the KC innovation space for one year; industry-specific mentor teams; and professional services, i.e., legal, financial, marketing, and more benefits. The application window will remain open until midnight on July 7.

“Our goal for 2017 is to raise the bar in our search for the best applicants, the most promising start-up businesses,” Hurd said. “Our focus is on tech-powered businesses and ideas that are poised for sustainable growth.”

LaunchKC selected its first class of 10 entrepreneurs, during the Techweek Kansas City conference in September 2015. The grant recipients included Blooom, Health ID, Integrated Roadways, KC Drone Company, Nodal Security, PopBookings, Pycno, Square Offs, Vertisense and VideoFizz.

The second cohort of 10 startups were selected at Techweek KC in September 2016, and included Big Bang. BLITAB, Consult US, FEWDM, Forest Devices, Labor Chart, Mobility Designed, Mycroft, Perfect Cube and Super Dispatch.

LaunchKC is powered by the Downtown Council of Kansas City, in collaboration with the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

It is fueled and inspired by a growing team of sponsors that features the Missouri Technology Corporation, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, the William T. Kemper Foundation, Techweek, the Cordish Companies, UMB Bank, DSI, Burns & McDonnell, Kansas City Power & Light, Lead Bank, Missouri Department of Economic Development, Google Fiber, Husch Blackwell, Polsinelli, Lathrop & Gage and J.E. Dunn Construction.

2017 TIMELINE

LaunchKC has adopted the following calendar of key 2017 dates in preparation for the thorough application review and judging process. The countdown begins tomorrow:

06:    Application window opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 1

05:    National call for applicants is set for SxSW in Austin, Texas on Sunday, March 12

04:    Application window closes at 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 7

03:    Application review process by panel of experts begins immediately after July 7

02:    Narrow list of applicants to 20 finalists by Thursday, Aug. 24

01:    Selection of 9 grant recipients – including the $100,000 grand prize – following presentations by all finalists at Techweek Kansas City on Friday, Sept. 15.

Visit LaunchKC.org, and learn how LaunchKC is turning ideas into dreams come true.

 

Survey to shape long-range parking plan for Crossroads

Employees, residents, students and visitors of the Crossroads Arts District are the focus of City-driven survey of parking- and transportation-related issues. The survey will be available for the next 30 days.

A long-range parking plan for the Crossroads Arts District is the goal of a new parking and transportation survey that has been introduced by the City of Kansas City and Walker Parking Consultants.

As part of the planning process, the City wants to learn more about parking and travel patterns of Crossroads employees, residents, students and visitors, and gauge attitudes toward parking- and transportation-related issues.

Your input will help shape solutions that will enable us to provide for effective and efficient use of our public parking assets with a goal of ensuring public access to and within the Crossroads Arts District.

To participate in the survey, click here.

 

LaunchKC to offer $100K grand prize; applications begin in 1 week

Rachel Merlo, chair of the LaunchKC Steering Committee, announced plans for the new, $100,000 grand prize grant that will be awarded during Techweek KC in September.

LaunchKC, the global grants competition for tech entrepreneurs, will begin accepting applications next Wednesday, March 1 for it third annual event – this year featuring a $100,000 grand prize grant.

LaunchKC has awarded $1 million to 20 entrepreneurs – from six states and three nations – via $50,000 grants in its first two years of competition. The 2017 competition will feature another $500,000 grant pool that will be awarded in September to the judges’ selection of the top nine applications – including one $100,000 grand prize grant recipient, along with eight $50,000 grant winners.

The introduction of a $100,000 grant prize was announced by Rachel Merlo, chair of the LaunchKC Steering Committee and community manager of Google Fiber in Kansas City. The announcement came at the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon on Jan. 27 before 1,000 business, civic and community leaders, as well as at a special LaunchKC Kickoff Celebration on Feb. 1 before 150 sponsors, former grant recipients and leaders in the KC tech space.

“The third LaunchKC competition provided us with the opportunity to introduce a grand prize in 2017,” said Drew Solomon, who chairs the competition for LaunchKC. “We believe the $100,000 grand prize will pique interest and applications from tech entrepreneurs throughout the nation.”

Entrepreneurs who enter the LaunchKC grants competition will be seeking one of eight $50,000 grants – of course, with an eye on the $100,000 grand prize grant – in addition to one year of free office space in Downtown KC; industry-specific mentor teams; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in Kansas City.

The application window opens at 8 a.m. (CDT) next Wednesday, March 1 and will remain open until 11:59 p.m. Friday, July 7. The online application will be available on LaunchKC.org.

The application window closes, LaunchKC judges will begin work evaluating and scoring each application. They will work throughout July and August to review and cull the list of applicants until they settle on on 20 finalists by Thursday, Aug. 24.

The finalists will be invited to Techweek Kansas City, where they will pitch their business plans before a live panel of judges – along with the Techweek audience – before the final nine grant recipients are selected on Friday, Sept. 15.

For more information, visit LaunchKC.org. And, remember, the application window opens next Wednesday!

Mayor proclaims Downtown KC is ‘back in the game’!

Mayor Sly James put the icing on the proverbial cake, as the Downtown Council celebrated the resurgence of Downtown Kansas City at its Annual Luncheon on Jan. 27 before an audience of 1,000 civic, business and community leaders and stakeholders.

Mayor James

“I look forward to this event each year because as a lifelong Kansas City resident, and as your Mayor, the evolution of our Downtown is something I never get tired of talking about,” Mayor James told the enthusiastic audience. “If there is one thing I believe wholeheartedly, it’s that what we see around us right now – is just the start of what’s to come.

“Downtown is a success story that we all can share in. And it’s a success story we want to see play out in all corners of KC,” he continued. “Thank you for your commitment to our city – to big ideas and bold vision. It’s because of this that I am so proud to say that Kansas City is back in the game! ”

In addition to the Mayor, the luncheon featured a series of awards, a keynote address by Christopher Leinberger, as well as with a series of speakers who extolled Downtown’s revitalization with new hotels, apartments, office spaces and entertainment venues.
The importance of the KC streetcar was touted frequently and proclaimed boldly with a new streetcar development map that tracks $1.2 billion in economic development – completed or under construction – along and adjacent to the streetcar line, PLUS another $955 million in planned development. (Copies of the map are available online or in print at the DTC office.) And, a special Downtown Council version of a rap video by Kemet the Phantom featuring the streetcar made its debut at the luncheon and won a rousing ovation.
DTC leaders also pointed to current urban priorities, including advocating for matching funds from the state to build the UMKC Downtown Campus for the Arts; supporting Kansas City’s $800 million bond package on the April ballot; and breaking ground this year on a new hotel to improve the city’s ability to compete for large conventions.

Diane Stafford, reporter for The Kansas City Star captured the essence of the luncheon, when she wrote “From economic ignominy a couple decades ago, Kansas City’s Downtown has re-emerged as an entertainment, cultural and residential hot spot with a new streetcar line that connects assets and builds walkable neighborhoods.”

Chris Leinberger

The Star focused much its coverage on remarks by Leinberger, the Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor of Urban Real Estate and Chair, Center for Real Estate and Urban Analysis, George Washington University School of Business in Washington, D.C.

“Leinberger gave Kansas City big thumbs-up for the catalytic development of the streetcar line connecting the River Market to Crown Center. But “it’s critical to build the second phase,” he said of the line’s proposed expansion south to the Country Club Plaza and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, according to The Star.

“Transportation, Leinberger emphasized, isn’t just a system to move people from place to place; it’s a system to spark economic development by providing public transportation, bike lanes and paths, and sidewalks that build vibrant neighborhoods.

“Increasingly, he said, sought-after neighborhoods — with premium price points for real estate — are in metropolitan cores, not suburbia. Even in suburban communities, he said, their downtowns and shopping centers are being redeveloped to reflect the new urbanism.”

For a complete rundown of luncheon highlights – including links to videos saluting the J. Philip Kirk Jr. Award winner Al Mauro and the five individuals honored as Urban Heroes, click here. Urban Hero recognition went to Deb Churchill, Andrew Bracker, Andrew Bracker, Julie Nelson Meers, Vince Bryant and Matt Staub.

To read the complete Annual Luncheon story in The Star, start here.

LaunchKC raises the bar for the 2017 grants competition

LaunchKC awarded $500,000 in grants to these 10 grant recipient companies on the final day of the Techweek Kansas City conference in September.LaunchKC is in the news again … this time with the Startland Newswhich reported on Friday:

 

Kansas City’s popular grants competition LaunchKC has raised the stakes for applicants in 2017.

Instead of allocating $500,000 via 10 equally-sized grants, LaunchKC will dish out eight awards of $50,000 and one $100,000 grand prize. In 2016, LaunchKC drew more than 400 tech startup applicants for the second year in a row.

Applications open on March 1.

Drew Solomon, chair of the LaunchKC grants competition, said that the new grand prize aims to generate more excitement and even more applicants.

The $100,000 prize is another way to use the competition to reach out to companies around the country and the world and push the envelope for Kansas City,” Solomon said. “We want to continue to be creative to stay relevant. Relevancy is key for competitions like this. Kansas City is part of a big world so we have to continue to innovate.”

In addition to a grant, a winning entrepreneur receives other benefits, http://www.downtownkc.org/including free office space for one year; industry-specific mentors; and professional services, in areas such as legal, financial, and marketing. The grant competition is led by the Downtown Council of Kansas City and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City.

Winners of the 2016 LaunchKC grants were: Big Bang, BLITAB, ConsultUS, FEWDM, Forest Devices, Labor Chart, Mobility Designed, Mycroft AI, Perfect Cube and Super Dispatch.

Winners of the 2015 LaunchKC grants were: Blooom, Integrated Roadways, KC Drone Company, Nodal Security, Health ID, PopBookings, Pycno, SquareOffs, Vertisense and VideoFizz.

LaunchKC will be hosting a 2017 Kickoff Celebration on Wednesday, Feb. 1 for those interested in learning more about the program. For more information for this free event or to register for passes, click here.

Research results: KC streetcar is a win for Downtown businesses

Ninety-seven percent of survey respondents credit the streetcar with having a positive impact on their retail business

According to a recent survey of small businesses located on the KC streetcar route, business is good and many are seeing an uptick in both revenue numbers and foot traffic.

In a unique partnership, the City of Kansas City’s Biz Care Office, the Downtown Council and the Streetcar Authority conducted a survey of retail businesses located directly on the streetcar route. This survey was performed during the fall of 2016 and includes data from May through September 2016.  Forty-one small businesses participated in the survey with a sampling from each district along the streetcar route. Businesses ranged from restaurants, retail shops, bars & pubs, and coffee shops.

“Much attention has been paid to new development along the streetcar route,” said Tom Gerend, executive director of the Kansas City Streetcar Authority.  “This was an effort to better understand the impact of streetcar operations on existing businesses, many who have been with us since before construction.”

“The City is committed to working with Downtown businesses to make the most of this important investment,” said John Pajor, City of Kansas City, Mo.

Of those businesses that participated in the survey, 97 percent credited the streetcar with having a positive impact on their business and 80 percent have experienced a positive change in revenue. This revenue percentage aligns with the 83 percent of participants that expressed a positive change in foot traffic.

“We are excited about the benefits the streetcar is bringing to Downtown businesses and look forward to what the future holds,” said Mike Hurd, Director of Marketing of the Downtown Council.

In addition to seven multiple choice questions, there were two questions asked that allowed businesses to elaborate on what streetcar related improvements they’d like to see that would benefit their business.  Of the 26 that responded, nine expressed interest in expanding the streetcar line and six expressed interest in either additional parking or a park & ride lot for transit users.

The KC Streetcar opened to the public on May 6, 2016.  In 2016, the streetcar logged nearly 1.4 million trips with a daily average of 5,830.

 

 

Downtown Council to celebrate accomplishments, opportunities

Christopher Leinberger will deliver the keynote address at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon today in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center.

The Downtown Council will celebrate the ongoing revitalization of Downtown Kansas City before 1,000 stakeholders and guests today (Friday), while reminding its members and civic leadership that its renaissance is far from complete.

The occasion will be the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.  Friday, Jan. 27 in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center. This year’s luncheon will carry the theme of Downtown KC: Back in the Game and celebrate the remarkable revitalization of Downtown over the last 15 years.

“This was a banner year for Downtown Kansas City,” said Bill Dietrich, President & CEO of the Downtown Council. “The KC Streetcar began operations and topped its first 1 million rides in just five months of operations; five new hotels have opened or are under construction; the first new construction, luxury, residential high-rise building opened, along with a second elementary school bringing 576 students and their families Downtown.”

The 2017 luncheon program will feature several highlights that will serve to celebrate accomplishments in Downtown, as well as to set the course for new and ongoing initiatives for the coming years. Highlights include:

  • Keynote address by Christopher Leinberger, The Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar and Research Professor, George Washington University School of Business and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C. Leinberger will address creating a vital Downtown by improving relationships with adjacent communities, discussing the impact of regional issues on Downtown and improving pedestrian mobility.
    • To learn more about Leinberger’s knowledge of KC, check out this 2012 KCPT story about the potential impact that the future streetcar (via transit-oriented development) would have on Downtown.
  • LaunchKC announcement by Rachel Merlo, KC Community Impact Manager for Google Fiber, and Chair, LaunchKC Steering Committee
  • Downtown accomplishments by Douglas Stockman, Principal, el dorado architects, and Cathy Smith, Vice President of Corporate Planning, Faultless Starch/Bon Ami, and Chairs of the DTC Board of Directors for 2016 and 2017, respectively
  • Five individuals will be recognized with Urban Hero Awards for their contributions toward making Downtown a better and more vibrant place to live, work and play, including:
    • Andrew Bracker, Brownfields Coordinator, City of Kansas City
    • Vince Bryant, 3D Development
    • Deb Churchill, City Market
    • Julie Nelson Meers, mobank
    • Matt Staub, Streetcar Advocate

The DTC’s highest honor, the  Philip Kirk, Jr. Award, in Recognition of Community Vision and Downtown Stewardship to Albert P. Mauro. Mauro served as Chairman of the DTC Board of Directors from 1992-1998, a pivotal time in the turnaround of a declining urban core.

“We will tell the story of Downtown’s recent economic and social revitalization and reflect on the impact of these and other changes,” Dietrich explained. “We will also provide updates on the exciting new projects that are coming closer to fruition including moving the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to Downtown; extending the streetcar south toward UMKC and the Plaza; and planning for a new Downtown KC high school.”

The Annual Luncheon event will begin at 11 a.m. Friday with a one-hour Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit showing more than 40 Downtown businesses and organizations.

Click here to see a list of exhibitors: http://www.downtownkc.org/annual-luncheon/exhibit/. The exhibit will make way for the luncheon and program, beginning at noon.

For more information, go to http://www.downtownkc.org/annual-luncheon/.

Downtown Dazzle to feature Urban Homes Tour on Saturday

Alex Walter and Carolina Holden of Kansas City enjoy apartment living downtown in the Crossroads area on Main Street. They live in the brand-new 1914 Main building. (Photo by KC Star.)

Alex Walter and Carolina Holden of Kansas City enjoy apartment living in Downtown KC in the Crossroads area on Main Street.

Downtown Dazzle shows off Downtown living during its inaugural Urban Homes Tour of 20 Downtown residential properties from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

Downtown Dazzle is back for a third consecutive year, connecting all Downtown Kansas City holiday events and festivities via the KC Streetcar and special Downtown Dazzle trolleys, this weekend and next.

The Urban Living Tour, a free look at 20 residential properties in Downtown KC, is set for Saturday, as part of the Downtown Dazzle holiday event schedule.

The Urban Living Tour, a free look at 20 residential properties in Downtown KC, is set for Saturday, as part of the Downtown Dazzle holiday event schedule.

The Urban Homes Tour will welcome guests to enjoy viewing urban living spaces and luxury amenities at each of the 20 participating properties, as well as special holiday experiences, such as holiday cookies, seasonal cocktails, raffles, contests, and more.

The self-guided tour is free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged and can be made by visiting www.DazzleKC.com. Guests are encouraged to ride the KC Streetcar to connect them to the participating properties on the tour.

Each guest will receive an Urban Homes Tour Passport to stamp at each property visited. Passport holders who visit six or more properties during the Urban Homes Tour will be eligible to win a special prize package that includes a suite stay at One Light Luxury Apartments, in the heart of the Power & Light District.

Passports will be handed out along with an Urban Homes Tour map at guest registration, which is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at either Union Station or Visit KC’s offices in Downtown Kansas City.

Participating Properties
Title Level:

  • Board of Trade Lofts, 500 Delaware St.
  • EBT Lofts, 1601 Walnut St.
  • Fountains Lofts, 712 Broadway Blvd.
  • Pickwick Plaza, 933 McGee St.
  • SKY on Main Luxury Apartments, 910 Main St.
  • Freight House Lofts at Stuart Hall, 2121 Central St.
  • Switzer Lofts, 1829 Madison Ave.
  • Trolley Park Lofts, 412 W. Eighth St.

Platinum Level:

  • One Light Luxury Apartments, 50 E. 13th St.
  • Two Light Luxury Apartments, 1251 Main St.
  • Union Carbide Condos, 912 Baltimore Ave.

Gold Level:

  • 909 Walnut, 909 Walnut St.
  • Centropolis on Grand, 501 Grand Blvd.
  • Quality Hill Square Apartments, 425 West Ninth St.
  • Wallstreet Tower, 1101 Walnut St.

Silver Level:

  • Quality Hill Apartments, 1003 Broadway Blvd.
  • The Argyle on 12th, 306 East 12th St.
  • UC-B Properties, Multiple properties in the Beacon Hill neighborhood

For more about Downtown Dazzle, visit www.DazzleKC.com, like Downtown Dazzle at www.Facebook.com/DowntownDazzle, and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @DazzleKC and @DowntownDazzle, respectively.

Downtown Council to honor 6 urban champions in January

The Downtown Council will celebrate Downtown champions and milestones - including the 7-month-old KC Streetcar - at its Annual Luncheon in January.

The Downtown Council will celebrate Downtown champions and milestones – including the 7-month-old KC Streetcar – at its Annual Luncheon in January.

The Downtown Council will honor six champions at its annual meeting in January for their contributions to the renaissance of Downtown.

The awards will be presented at the DTC’s Annual Luncheon on Friday, Jan. 27 in the Grand Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center. This year’s luncheon will carry the theme of Downtown KC: Back in the Game and celebrate the remarkable revitalization of Downtown over the last 15 years.

The luncheon serves as a beacon to more than 1,000 guests each year to celebrate accomplishments in Downtown, as well as to set the course for new and ongoing initiatives for the coming years. The annual awards are one of the highlights of this showcase for urban accomplishments.

This year’s luncheon will honor six individuals for their outstanding contributions to the advancement of Downtown, including:

  • The DTC’s highest honor, the  Philip Kirk, Jr.Award, in Recognition of Community Vision and Downtown Stewardship to Albert P. Mauro. Mauro served as chairman of the DTC Board of Directors from 1992-1998, a pivotal time in the turnaround of a declining urban core.
  • Five individuals will be recognized with Urban Hero Awards for their contributions toward making Downtown a better and more vibrant place to live, work and play, including:
    • Andy Bracker, Brownfields Coordinator, City of Kansas City, Missouri
    • Vince Bryant, 3D Development
    • Deb Churchill, City Market
    • Julie Nelson Meers, Missouri Bank
    • Matt Staub, Streetcar Advocate

“This was a banner year for Downtown Kansas City,” said Bill Dietrich, president & CEO of the Downtown Council. “The KC Streetcar began operations and topped its first one million rides in just five months of operations; five new hotels have opened or are under construction; the first new construction, luxury, residential high-rise building opened, along with a new elementary school bringing 576 students and their families Downtown.”

In addition to the awards, the Annual Luncheon will illuminate the recent accomplishments of Downtown, and set a course for the future of Kansas City’s urban heart.

“We will tell the story of Downtown’s recent economic and social revitalization and reflect on the impact of these and other changes,” Dietrich explained. “We will also provide updates on the exciting new projects that are coming closer to fruition including moving the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance to Downtown; extending the streetcar south toward UMKC and the Plaza; and planning for a new Downtown KC high school.”

The keynote speaker will be Christopher Leinberger, the nationally regarded land use strategist, teacher, professor, developer and author. Leinberger will speak to the Kansas City audience about creating a vital Downtown by improving relationships with adjacent communities, discussing the impact of regional issues on Downtown and improving pedestrian mobility.

Leinberger, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C., is an op-ed contributor to The New York Times, writes regularly for The Atlantic Monthly and numerous other magazines. His most recent book is The Option of Urbanism, Investing in a New American Dream.

 For more information or to purchase tickets to the Downtown Council luncheon, go to http://www.downtownkc.org/annual-luncheon/

 

 

 

KCFAA to present Symposium on Race, Place, Diversity

diversity-programKansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey (KCFAA) is preparing its third annual Symposium on Race, Place and Diversity – designed to direct attention to the importance of race and diversity locally, regionally and nationally – on Thursday, Nov. 10 in the historic 18th & Vine District.

“Our goal is to deliver information and experiences that will challenge, impact, inspire and influence one’s outlook on race, place and diversity,” said KCFAA Chief Artistic Officer and Symposium coordinator Tyrone Aiken.

“Examining our social constructs, how they impact our reality and influence our beliefs on diversity is ongoing and changes with time,” Aiken added.

“Three years ago Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey committed to adding a five-year diversity Symposium series as a way to further illustrate our mission of teaching young people critical life skills and modeling interracial and multi-cultural community partnerships… it all starts with an open mind and a discussion,” Aiken explained.

KCFAA’s Symposium: Our Country. Our Past. One Future. will consist of lunch and afternoon breakout sessions lead by industry leaders in diversity.

An evening Post-Election Town Hall Meeting will cover the outcome of the 2017 local and national elections and current state and future of Kansas City.

“You’re going to hear some things that you may disagree with…some things that might make you uncomfortable. But that’s what this program is all about.

“Our goal is to deliver information and experiences that will impact, inspire and influence one’s outlook on race, place and diversity,” Aiken said.

The Symposium – featuring a lunch and opening remarks, followed by two breakout sessions – will run from 12 to 4:15 p.m. The afternoon-long program will cost $60, and includes the meal, both Breakout Sessions, the Town Hall Meeting and a Symposium t-shirt.

The Town Hall Meeting will run from 7:30-9 p.m. at the Gem Theater. This session is free, although a donation of $15 is recommended.

For more information or to register, visit kcfaa.org.