Wednesday, September 10, 2014

LINK: Hilton Garden Inn received most dollars from federal government grant

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- The Pitch released an interesting article today on downtown development in Kansas City, Kan., and how one building received the bulk of funds made available by the federal government.

It's a lengthy read, but check it out here.

A small portion:
In 1994, KCK received several million dollars from a federal program aimed at reversing decline in distressed communities. And downtown KCK was nothing if not distressed, after decades of out-migration and neglect. With Kansas City, Kansas, and Wyandotte County governments consolidating to form the Unified Government, political leaders were trying to get their act together to foster the core's revival.

Unlike the breakneck speed with which western Wyandotte County would soon develop, progress downtown in the 1990s was — and remains — intractably slow. Just demolishing the old Huron Building and the Civic Centre Hotel seemed to take a long time. Funding from Uncle Sam, UG leaders thought, might accelerate the pace of downtown's renewal.

The money, from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, was earmarked for the broad mandate of economic development in the urban core. Small businesses applied for loans and grants under the program, but the bulk of the funds would end up in the downtown Hilton Garden Inn, a hotel half-owned by the UG. The hotel has operated at a loss from its opening day.