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Is the Country Club Plaza dying? A new area council is working to make sure that doesn't happen

On April 30th, 1922 J.C. Nichols announced in the Kansas City Star his plans for the Country Club Plaza which has grown to become Kansas City’s signature destination.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
The Country Club Plaza will celebrate 100 years this year.

The Plaza Area Council is bringing together community stakeholders to revitalize Kansas City's historic shopping district and surrounding neighborhoods, and make it more "inclusive and diverse" for the future.

Kansas City's Country Club Plaza celebrated its centennial year last year. But the future of the historic shopping district has become a point of concern, due to a growing number ofvacant storefronts, aging infrastructure and violence.

A new group, the Plaza Area Council, is bringing together major stakeholders and community members to help revitalize the Plaza and surrounding neighborhoods.

"I think we are here not only with ideas, and not complaints, but ideas, as well as we're here with investment opportunities that we're going to pony up some money from this group, I'm sure, because people there have deep pockets and are prepared to make an investment in an organization and an organizing enterprise that's going to be beneficial to the whole community," says David Westbrook, a member of the Plaza Area Council steering committee.

Kate Marshall, the council's founder, says the group will hold listening sessions and focus groups to collect feedback on the concerns of community members and business owners.

"[T]his next century on the Plaza is going to be different," says Marshall. "Because it's going to be about being inclusive and diverse and creating opportunities and exciting reasons for folks from all sides of the community to come in and enjoy the Plaza."

Marshall and Westbrook joined Up To Date to share why the council was formed, how it will function and their vision for increasing interest in the Country Club Plaza.

  • Kate Marshall, founder, Plaza Area Council
  • David Westbrook, steering committee member, Plaza Area Council
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