KCUR News
11:41 pm
Tue October 28, 2008

Proponents Say Light Rail Would Bring Jobs, New Shopping Center

Kansas City, MO – Mayor Mark Funkhouser and light rail proponents gathered at 63rd and Prospect yesterday to promote the plan's economic benefits.

Two of the four corners at the southern terminus of the proposed light rail route are vacant lots. There is a nice new drugstore on the third. The fourth holds an aging gas station with not much traffic. Mayor Mark Funkhouser said that would change - that light rail will bring a new 55-acre village-style retail development to one of those now vacant properties.

Funkhouser said the new shopping area, "Citadel Square" will have more than 200,000 square feet of retail space, and will include a grocery store. The mayor said city leaders have been working to get the deal for about five years.

The light rail boosters said in addition to the Citadel Square shopping center, light rail will bring 30,000 jobs to Kansas City, a number equal to 12% of the current total... and increase property values by up to 54 % along the route. The sales tax to support the starter route is on Tuesday's ballot.