Thursday, July 18, 2024

Independence Avenue CID ZONE 2: Retail & Shopping – Northeast News

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Michael Bushnell Contributor

The Independence Avenue CID’s Zone 2 is a six-tenths of a mile stretch of the Avenue that stretches from Benton Boulevard to Van Brunt Boulevard featuring an eclectic mix of locally owned, small businesses, a sprinkling of national chain retailers, all interspersed with aging, residential structures, mostly century old, multi-family buildings.

While this zone boasts some of the most established small businesses along the Avenue, it also presents some very unique development, crime prevention and infrastructure challenges that date back decades.

It is for these reasons, organizations such as Old Northeast Incorporated and Historic Northeast Restoration Corporation (HNRC) began work with the city of Kansas City in the late 1990’s on developing a comprehensive, development overlay plan that applies an additional layer of standards for development along the Independence Avenue corridor. The latest Avenue Overlay plan that directs development was adopted by the city council in July of 2016. The Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Independence Avenue Community Improvement District continue to work bringing positive development to the Avenue.  

In this area, the Avenue is bounded on the north by the Scarritt Renaissance neighborhood and on the south by the Lykins Neighborhood Association. Both share a common western border of Benton Boulevard and a common, north-south border of Independence Avenue. Both neighborhood associations are heavily engaged with a variety of community partners in improving the quality of life along an ever changing Avenue corridor.

The business entities in Zone 2 represent everything from multinational corporate entities such as Auto Zone, 7-11 and Sonic to immigrant owned small businesses such as Elvira’s Cakes and El Paso del Norte. This zone also features the community’s first, craft coffee shop. Opening in 2011, the non-profit Eleos Coffee shop continues to change lives for the better along the Avenue.

In the upcoming weeks, we’ll spotlight zones three and four that stretch from Van Brunt  to Hardesty Avenues and Hardesty to Ewing respectively.

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