Downtown Council: KC is back in the game

Jon Copaken of Copaken Brooks addresses the audience at the Downtown Council's annual luncheon last year. Read the full article here.

It’s true -- Kansas City is back in the game.

That’s the perspective of the Downtown Council, who will present that message to more than a thousand stakeholders at the annual Downtown Council Annual Luncheon this Friday.

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

But the group also wants local members and leaders to know that the renaissance is far from complete. Dietrich said the event will provide updates on exciting new downtown projects, including the UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, the extension of the streetcar toward UMKC and the Country Club Plaza as well as the plan for a new downtown Kansas City high school.

Other highlights planned for Friday’s luncheon include:

A keynote address by Christopher Leinberger, a Charles Bendit Distinguished Scholar at of George Washington University School of Business and a non-resident Senior Fellow at The Brookings Institution. Leinberger will address how to create a vital Downtown by improving relationships with adjacent communities, and discuss the impact of regional issues on Downtown and improving pedestrian mobility.

Remarks by Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

A LaunchKC announcement from Rachel Merlo, community impact manager for Google Fiber and the chair of the LaunchKC Steering Committee.

Annual awards for urban accomplishments. Albert P. Mauro will take home the Phillip Kirk Jr. award in recognition of his community vision and downtown stewardship during his time as chairman of the DTC Board of Directors from 1992 to 1998, a pivotal time in the turnaround of a declining urban core. Five individuals will also receive the Urban Hero Awards for their contributions to making downtown a better place to live, work and play: Andrew Bracker, City of Kansas City; Vince Bryant, 3D Development; Deb Churchill, City Market; Julie Nelson Meers, mobank; and Matt Staub, streetcar advocate.

For more information on the luncheon or Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit, click here.