Government
5:25 pm
Fri August 16, 2013

KC Streetcar 2 Is Planned As First Phase Lumbers Along

It’s not clear by how much expanded Kansas City streetcar lines would  boost property values. A team of city planners and private analysts expects to know by late October. 

The panel is trying to narrow potential streetcar corridors from 7 to 3.

Credit MARC

A committee of the City Council heard how blighted areas of Seattle sprung up new growth when a streetcar went in. 

The second phase of Kansas City’s planned streetcar system is being generated, even as phase one is in infancy.  

The idea is to look at seven corridors where future lines might be installed and decide which are most viable, then cut the number by more than half.

Expansion of streetcars into the Northland is being considered separately.

Councilman Scott Wagner wanted to know how an expanded streetcar system would affect value of properties along it. He directed it to Vince Gauthier who is leading the private consultants— “so you can actually, at some degree, estimate the value of that property before fixed rail, (and then) value of that property after fixed rail?”

Gauthier, from the firm BNIM, replied, “ a lot of this is based on case studies, and what valuations have gone up in other cities, every city is unique. We will at least have ranges.”

Council members want to know what expanded rail will mean for jobs, boosting the economy, helping people get to work or school, and how to fund it. 

Work on the plan is expected to be done by early spring, 2014.