Downtown KCK Officially Designated as Historic Commercial District

Published on February 05, 2024

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The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas (UG) is proud to announce that on Saturday, February 3, 2024, the Kansas State Historic Sites Board of Review (HSBR) unanimously approved the nomination of Downtown Kansas City, Kansas commercial district for the Register of Historic Kansas Places. This designation will allow property owners in downtown Kansas City, Kansas (KCK) to apply for state historic tax credits when rehabilitating downtown KCK commercial buildings, if desired.  

“This designation by the State of Kansas acknowledges and celebrates the important role Downtown Kansas City, Kansas has played in our local, regional, and statewide history,” said Director of Planning + Urban Design Gunnar Hand. “With it comes new economic tools to rehabilitate many of our cherished cultural landmarks thereby supporting the revitalization of our urban core.” 

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Also, during review, the HSBR recommended the KCK commercial district be sent to the federal level (National Parks Service or NPS) for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. After the complete review and potential approval by the NPS, commercial properties within the district will be eligible for federal historic tax credits. The National Park Service is expected to have its decision later this spring.  

"Downtown Shareholders is excited to collaborate with individual property owners within the district. We are eager to share the advantages this historic designation brings to them and their properties,” said Downtown Shareholders Executive Director Tomi Francis-Ramirez. “This achievement marks a significant milestone in our ongoing commitment to preserving and celebrating the unique character of Downtown Kansas City, Kansas. We extend our heartfelt appreciation to the UG and KCK Landmarks Commission, which have played a pivotal role in making the Historic District Downtown a reality." 

In 2022, the UG convened community conversations with the KCK Chamber of Commerce and downtown KCK business owners on the value and potential of creating a commercial historic district and hired historic preservationist Randy Greeves to document existing assets, processes, and available resources. In 2023, the UG began extensive engagement on the update of the comprehensive citywide plan, PlanKCK, which incorporates a citywide historic preservation plan as complementary to strategies for economic development, housing, arts and culture. 

For more information about Historic Preservation and Districts, please visit our webpage on historic preservation.