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Proposed city resolution would give $900K to new innovation district

Published in Kansas City Business Journal October 15, 2018

Kansas City Councilman Jermaine Reed wants the city to support the proposed innovation district inside the 18th Street corridor in a big way.

Reed sponsored a resolution that asks the city manager to negotiate a three-year agreement with Keystone Community Corp. and identify $900,000 in funding to support planning, designing, managing and consulting services for the district. 

Kevin McGinnis, who's spearheading the innovation district efforts, formed nonprofit organization Keystone Community Corp. to manage the district, which aims to bring density and scale to innovation and entrepreneurship. An exact location hasn't yet been announced, but the district spans portions of the 3rd and 4th Council Districts and will connect the 18th & Vine Jazz District to the Crossroads Arts District.

The resolution, which goes before the city's Finance and Governance Committee Wednesday, argues that one of the district's benefits is the ability to help fill gaps that KC Rising identified in its reports when comparing Kansas City to peer cities. Keystone would create a centralized innovation hub for education, research and partnerships and also would foster opportunities for "entrepreneurial acceleration" through aspects such as coworking and targeted educational programming, according to the resolution.

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