In an unusual approach, a city council committee on Wednesday advanced the effort with a measure to spend $1 million on it before there is a plan.
The money from the Midtown Business Interruption Fund would go toward buying three parcels of property, relocation of businesses and environmental work.
MAC Properties, which has redeveloped 30 mostly historic buildings along Armour west of Troost, would pick up the cost if it takes more money to get all that done.
The company already owns one corner there and has long been working with the Troost Coalition group and City Planner Claude Page on what some call the “bridging project.”
Cathryn Simmons of the Troost Coalition told the committee, “This project …is absolutely transformative for the neighborhoods along Troost.”
She added, “It would have been a dream –when they came to us and said they were willing to do it, it was past a dream.”
Page said the approach was unique for a concept that was not a designed project.
It also is different in trying to develop all four corners at the same time, he said.
Peter Cassel, MAC Properties director, said the concept was for a mixed-use hub combining residential and much retail.
Where one restaurant will not succeed, he said, four combined with everything else will.
The concept came together as the Troost Coalition put together a zoning overlay to develop commercial along Troost, he said.
Scott Taylor, chair of the committee, praised MAC for its past work and said, “This looks like another great project with a lot of public input.”
The coalition and city will be involved as the final plan is shaped.
If approved by the full city council, the $1 million will go to Kansas City’s Planned Industrial Expansion Authority to acquire the properties and do the other upgrades in the blighted area.
The Midtown Business Interruption Fund was created to help with debt shortfalls associated with a Super TIF for the Costco, Home Depot and SunFresh, but those projects made so much money it was not needed.
The fund can then be used for projects within what is mostly the Midtown area.