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KC downtown development in spotlight at Chicago conference

Kansas City’s downtown development boom took center stage at The Bond Buyer’s 11th Midwest Public Finance Conference in Chicago Tuesday. City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen participated in a panel discussion on downtown development strategies during the conference.

Cauthen explained how the City is counting on new housing, its bond-financed entertainment district, and new arena to makeover its downtown into an exciting regional draw for the metro area’s 8 million residents.

“It’s been challenging to deal with the magnitude of this work at one time,” Cauthen said discussing a series of major bond-financed projects that includes the renovation and expansion of the City’s H. Roe Bartle Convention Center, a new seven-block entertainment district, and nearby arena to be built with the potential of luring in a new National Hockey League or National Basketball Association team. “These projects and others like the performing arts center, H&R Block’s new headquarters, the Federal Reserve Center, and the IRS Complex will be a catalyst for a downtown development renaissance like none other,” Cauthen said.

Cauthen told the group that since 2000, more than $500 million has been invested in new downtown residences that will attract buyers of various income levels. Today, there are more than 7,000 residential units located in downtown Kansas City, with 1,600 planned or under construction.

Cauthen, who joined the City in 2003, said that the City was able to take on a number of projects at one time through coordinating planning and forming partnerships with private companies such as the Cordish Co., which is developing the entertainment district; and with AEG Corp., which is partnering with the City on the arena project and will manage the facility.

For more information on Cauthen’s presentation at The Bond Buyer’s 11th Midwest Public Finance Conference, visit

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