Downtown population soars + Planet Comicon + North Loop closure

The introduction of the KC Streetcar is one reason why more people are enjoying life in  Downtown. The new City Club Apartments, 1989 Main, is right on the streetcar line.

Greater Downtown population up 29% in new Census results

CitySceneKC.com – Greater Downtown Kansas City’s population jumped 29.4 percent over the last decade to 27,831 residents, according to the 2020 Census, thanks in part to people like Jessica Best.

“We’ve lived in the Western Auto building for eight years and we’ve loved how the Crossroads has grown up around us” said Best, a 39 year-old employee at Barkley advertising. “I live, work, play, eat, walk–everything downtown. I can walk to work, walk to a restaurant with a James Beard Award-winning chef and walk to 17 coffee shops. Everything we need is here.”

All Jessica Best Stewart, one of downtown’s newer residents, and her husband Brian Stewart had to do to celebrate the Chiefs Super Bowl win was walk out the door of their home at Western Auto Lofts.

The new Census results showed significantly faster growth Downtown vs Kansas City as a whole, which increased 10.4 percent to 508,000 residents, and gives advocates reason to believe downtown is on the cusp of attracting new retailers, including a much-desired urban Target.

“We absolutely have the population they’re interested in,” said Tommy Wilson, who handles business recruitment for the Downtown Council.

“I think Target is looking at Downtown because we have 28,000-30,000 residents plus visitors and office workers.”

The Census results released last week were about 10 percent off the estimate the Downtown Council projected for last year, 31,000, and the population has likely grown significantly since the Census was taken more than a year ago.

Since April 2020, several new apartment projects have opened Downtown including Artistry KC, City Club and REVERB, and more projects are under construction or in the pipeline such as the 321-unit Three Light tower which broke ground last month

Greater Downtown is defined by the Downtown Council as including the River Market, West Bottoms, Columbus Park, the Central Business District (CBD), Crossroads, Westside, Crown Center, Union Hill and Hospital Hill neighborhoods.

The CBD counted 9,743 residents alone in 2020, thanks in part to new apartment projects like Two Light developed in the Power & Light District by the Cordish Co., and the renovation of older office buildings into residential projects.

“We have believed in Downtown a long time, and we continue to make large scale investments in creating more opportunities for people to have a Downtown living experience,” said John Moncke, the new president of the Power & Light District. “We are seeing tremendous demand for the downtown lifestyle at One Light and Two Light, and we expect this to continue.

“That’s why we are working hard on continuing to improve the overall Downtown experience, and we have just broken ground on Three Light. There is a lot more to come.”

Bill Dietrich, president and CEO of the Downtown Council, was pleased with the Census results. His organization’s goal is to push the greater downtown population to 40,000.

“Having that residential population enabled us to weather the COVID pandemic better,” Dietrich said. “What we’re hearing from residents is they feel good and like where they are. People are feeling comfortable. When you come Downtown, it gives you more comfort seeing people are living here and frequenting businesses.”

To read more, visit CitySceneKC.com or click here.

The legendary Charlie Parker will be honored all month at the American Jazz Museum and this Saturday at the Folly Theater.

5 to see: Downtown news & events

AJM celebrates Charlie Parker’s 101st birthday

Bird Boot Camp set for Saturday at the Folly

Billy Bob Thornton is back at Knuckleheads

Hair – final performances this weekend

Planet Comicon returns to Downtown this weekend

Coming to Bartle Hall now thru Sunday.

North Loop to close this weekend for highway repairs

The northern portion of Kansas City’s Downtown Loop will close this weekend while crews make pavement repairs, according to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Interstate 70 from the Missouri/Kansas state line on the west to Interstate 35 on the east will close about 8 p.m. Friday and reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, said Lairyn McGregor, a spokeswoman for MoDOT’s Kansas City District.

The work will affect the northern part of the highways that circle Downtown Kansas City. That section will be closed in both directions. An average of nearly 31,000 vehicles travel in both directions through that area each day, which separates downtown Kansas City from the River Market, according to MoDOT Traffic counts.

Drivers should plan for congested highways around Downtown Kansas City as that traffic finds alternate routes.

During the work, drivers will also find these closures:

  • The ramp from southbound Missouri 9 highway to northbound I-35;
  • The ramp from southbound Broadway Extension/U.S. 169 highway to northbound I-35;
  • The ramp from Sixth Street to northbound I-35;
  • The ramp from Independence Avenue to southbound I-35;
  • The ramp from southbound Missouri 9 highway to southbound I-35;
  • The ramp from Delaware Street to southbound I-35;
  • The ramp from northbound Broadway Extension/U.S. 169 highway to southbound I-35;
  • The ramp from northbound I-35 to eastbound I-70;
  • The ramps from Broadway to eastbound and westbound I-70;
  • The ramp from Beardsley Road to westbound I-70; and
  • The ramp from Fifth Street to westbound I-70.