Urban Renewal
12:00 am
Tue February 21, 2012

Brad Pitt Project Boosts Green Zone

A mid-city school, abandoned for the last 12 years, will become the next most visible project in the urban-renewing Green Zone of Kansas City.

The project at 43rd and Tracy will mix government tax credits with private philanthropy.

Grates over windows may be rusted, interior paint peeling, but Bancroft school is described by developers as structurally sound, sufficient to convert into advanced technology known as LEED Platinum, techniques that focus on energy and environmental design.

The 103-year-old school will become 30 apartments, a community center, a satellite police station and a branch of Truman Medical Center. $2.3 million is being donated by the Make it Right Foundation, started by actor and Missouri native Brad Pitt, originally to rebuild New Orleans housing after Hurricane Katrina.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James alluded to Pitt, saying assistance will come from state and federal tax credits.

"Community organizations and a certain handsome celebrity and his gorgeous wife will join together, providing housing, medical services, security and a new life to this grand old building in a grand old neighborhood," James said.

Missouri Fifth District Congressman Emmanuel Cleaver said the project will create an unknown number of jobs and the hiring will be done locally, local applicants getting first choice. Architects and general contractor will be local, according to Cleaver.