Green Impact Zone to close…or change

Among other accomplishments, the Green Impact ZOne helped get Bancroft School renovated.

Among other accomplishments, the Green Impact Zone helped get Bancroft School renovated.

After more than four years, the Green Impact Zone is shutting down next month, unless it is not.

Whichever, Zone Director Anita Maltbia said Monday, it has  finished its original mission to stimulate improvements and investment in 150 square blocks of the inner city.

“We will probably shut down sometime next month,” she said of the current operation with three staff members at 4600 Paseo.

She is putting together a possible plan to continue zone work in some new form if she can find funding, she said.

But the $4.2 million the city spent on the project and the $166 million in federal grants have run their course.

A documentary of the Green Impact Zone and its mission and work will be up soon on its website, she said.

“We are connectors and collaborators,” she said. “We look for resources to fulfill the vision of the people in the five neighborhoods we serve.”

One accomplishment was helping persuade Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation to get involved in the Bancroft School apartments project.

It was the first Make It Right project done outside New Orleans, where the group replaces homes lost to flooding after Hurricane Katrina.

The $14 million project turned an abandoned east side school into 29 apartments, with 21 more housing units on the school grounds.

The roof of the apartments at 43rd Street and Tracy Avenue has more than 400 solar panels on it, part of a massive KCP&L project.

The utility company put up $24 million and got a federal grant for $24 million more for that and such things as smart meters on homes to help residents monitor utility use.

It also installed a innovation park that stores energy from solar panels and an electric-car charging station.

Among other accomplishments was the Troost Max bus line and a new Troost Avenue Bridge and pedestrian walkway.

There are also about 11 miles of new sidewalks, 23 miles of street resurfacing and 329 homes weather proofed.

They also operated a job training program and helped with business plans and creation of a business incubator at 5008 Prospect.

The hope is the concentrated effort in a defined area will be a catalyst for development.

Maltbia said that is already happening. Other groups and more aware neighborhoods are also stepping in to carry on the work of the impact zone, she said.

The zone website is at


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