Here's How Kansas City Spent $100 Million At 18th And Vine Since 1990

Feb 11, 2016

The Kansas City, Missouri, City Council recently tasked the city manager's office with reviewing a proposed $18 million in additional spending for projects in the 18th and Vine Historic District. It's been more than 25 years since the council committed $20 million in sales taxes to begin redevelopment of an iconic Kansas City neighborhood that had crumbled.

In 1989, Mayor Emanuel Cleaver and other redevelopment supporters envisioned a tourist attraction anchored by a national jazz hall of fame in addition to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and other amenities (the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum both opened in 1997).

But by the mid-'90s it was clear $20 million wasn't nearly enough money to fully revitalize the area.

Public spending on the district since 1990 now totals more than $100 million, according to city records. The total includes more than $2 million announced last year for an Urban Youth Baseball Academy.

Credit Neil Nakahodo for KCUR

  Here's a timeline with totals spent, and major notable expenditures, each fiscal year:

1990: $435,000
Includes:
• $250,000 for the Jazz Hall of Fame
• infrastructure work on 18th and 19th Streets

1991: $473,150
Includes:
• $290,000 for the Jazz Hall of Fame
• $54,950 from the city's Neighborhood Tourism and Development Fund for a Jazz Commission

1992: $218,306
Includes:
• more infrastructure work
• $49,500 on a Juneteenth celebration, a Jazz Festival and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum events

Since 1990, the City of Kansas City, Missouri, has invested $4.5 million in the Gem Theater (left), and $1.3 million in the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and $11.7 million in the American Jazz Museum (right).
Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

1993: $1.9 million
Includes:
• more festivals and more infrastructure
• $200,000 on Negro Leagues Baseball Museum exhibits
• $1.6 million for the American Jazz Museum and Parade Park

1994: $1.9 million
Includes:
• festivals paid for by Neighborhood Tourism and Development Funds
• more infrastructure investments
• $1.7 million for the American Jazz Museum
• $50,000 for the Black Economic Union
• $50,000 for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
• $60,000 for land acquisition

1995: $35,000
Includes:
• $25,000 for the Black Archives
• $10,000 for the Juneteenth Festival

1996: $3.1 million
Includes:
• $2 million HUD loan for the Gem Theater
• nearly $1 million in what the city calls "general" 18th and Vine spending

The Gem Theater.
Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

1997: $775,000
Includes:
• more infrastructure improvements
• $500,000 on “general” 18th and Vine spending

1998: $16.7 million
Includes:
• $14.2 million HUD loan
• $920,000 for management of the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
• $300,000 to something called the 18th & Vine reserve fund

1999: $402,000
• the entire sum went to the Gem Theater

2000: $745,000
Includes:
• $387,000 on the Gem Theater
• $238,000 on the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• more festivals

A marker and park bench in the district.
Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

2001: $1.1 million
Includes:
• $366,584 on the Gem Theater
• $268,574 for the Black Archives
• $200,000 goes to the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• more events supported by Neighborhood Tourism and Development Funds

2002: $1.4 million
Includes:
• $941,000 for the Black Archives
• $239,000 “general” 18th and Vine expenditures
• $115,000 for Parade Park

2003: $1.4 million
Includes:
• $1.3 million for the Black Archives and the Black Economic Union

An Urban Youth Baseball Academy is planned for Parade Park, to the north of 18th Street.
Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

2004: $642,862
Includes:
• Nearly $170,000 for the American Jazz Museum
• $112,000 for the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• $130,000 as rehab begins on the old YMCA building at 18th and Paseo

2005: $1.2 million
Includes:
• $1 million loan to the Black Economic Union for the "Heritage Business Park"

2006: $2.7 million
Includes:
• $909,816 for infrastructure
• $624,000 for the American Jazz Museum
• $585,464 for the Gregg/Klice Community Center

2007: $3.4 million
Includes:
• $800,000 for the Black Archives
• $715,417 in “general” spending
• $625,000 at the American Jazz Museum
• nearly $685,000 for the Gregg/Klice Community Center

The view looking south from the corner of 18th and Vine.
Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

2008: $3.3 million
Includes:
• nearly $800,000 at the American Jazz Museum
• more than $700,000 each for the Black Archives and the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• several Neighborhood Tourism and Development
• fund events such as the Juneteenth and Rhythm and Ribs festivals

2009: $3.9 million
Includes:
• more than $2 million at the Black Archives
• more than half a million at Gregg/Klice Community Center
• more than $441,000 in “general” expenditures

2010: $2.3 million
Includes:
• $617,350 at Gregg/Klice Community Center
• $585,881 at the Black Archives
• $565,758 at the American Jazz Museum
• $500,072 in “general” spending

2011: $1.8 million
Includes:
• $615,763 for the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• $525,000 for the American Jazz Museum

Fake storefronts along 18th Street are signs that more work remains to be done in the district.
Credit Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

2012: $2.2 million
Includes:
• nearly $800,000 in “general” spending
• $593,636 for the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• $525,000 for the American Jazz Museum

2013: $2.8 million
Includes:
• more than $818,000 for the American Jazz Museum
• $667,000 in “general” spending that includes $140,000 for purchase of the Boone Theater
• $631,000 for the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• $500,000 for the Paseo YMCA, now a planned Buck O’Neil Research Center

2014: $1.9 million
Includes:
• $729,811 for the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• $609,813 for the American Jazz Museum
• $602,820 in “general” spending

2015: $1.9 million
Includes:
• $664,000 at the Gregg/Klice Community Center
• $445,000 at the American Jazz Museum
• $458,957 in “general” expenditures
• $226,056 for the Full Employment Council

As of this year, Kansas City, Missouri's estimated debt service on 18th and Vine projects is $26 million.

C.J. Janovy is an arts reporter for KCUR 89.3. You can find her on Twitter, @cjjanovy.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that the City Council approved directing the city manager to review the proposal for new funding in the district.