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I-35 Underpass Market

The Westside Neighborhood has gone through significant transformations over the last century in large part caused by urban renewal of 1950’s, 60’s, and 70’s.  Urban renewal has had a lasting impact on the survival of neighborhoods across the KCMO metro area.  The Westside, although adjacent to the Crossroads Art District, is isolated by structured and surface paved sections of the I-35 Highway.  This long section of highway has been a major contributor to population and housing loss in the Westside.  The greatest change coming from 1960 and 1970 in which the neighborhood density shrunk from 11,660 to 6,574 residents.  Since this dramatic shift of density, the population and housing options of the neighborhood between 1970 and 2010 has displayed continual decline. 
Now eight plus years after the latest census, the Westside has experienced a period of gentrification and is poised to increase in population over its next census period.  Population growth will put stress on an already pressing need of fresh food access for residents.  This essential amenity is non existent within central walking distance of the neighborhood.  Seeing this as a potential opportunity to heal wounds created by urban renewal, I developed a three phase self funding plan to reconnect the urban fabric of the Westside and Crossroads neighborhoods with community amenities.  By leveraging the volumes created under the I-35 Highway, this three phase plan aims to create solutions and connections with an original creator of division and deficiency. 

The three phases of the project are: 

1. Establish right of way space as fresh food vendor market.  This would provide a venue for a walkable source of fresh food for the neighborhood and also serve as a generator for income with a community initiating urban farm programs.

2. Use funds generated by vendor fees to construct weatherproof retail spaces which can support artists/entrepreneurs priced out of the Crossroads leasing market.

3. Utilizing the funds generated by leasing affordable retail spaces and vendor fees, site improvements to address rainwater, pollution, and planting can be completed. 

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Changing Urban Environment and Density

The Parks and Boulevards system highlighted soft lines between neighborhoods and throughout the metro area.  This typology still exists in parts of Kansas City today, but some of these soft separations of neighborhoods grew to hard divisions during the period of Urban Renewal.  Porous urban fabric was demolished and neighborhoods became isolated masses with communities of color feeling the largest effects of this transformation. 

Residential - Single Family

Residential - Multifamily

Residential - Mixed Use

Westside Neighborhood Population Trend

BNIM Reconnect Westside Quotation - Person 1
"If you don’t have a vehicle - it is difficult to lug groceries on a bus and it’s miserable lugging kids and groceries and then have to transfer buses or wait 30+ minutes for a bus and there’s no place to sit or be out of the weather."

BNIM Reconnect Westside Quotation - Person 2
"There already is a grocery store, an urban farmers market and the city market within 2 miles of my house, We’re good here." 


Cosentino's Grocery 1.4 miles


River Market 2.0 miles


Costco 2.3 miles

10 Minute Walk Radius

KC Chamber BIG 5 Initiatives

1. Building Kansas City’s Workforce of Tomorrow through Kindergarten-Readiness

2. Revitalizing Our Urban Neighborhoods through the Urban Neighborhood Initiative (UNI)

3. Making Kansas City America’s Most Entrepreneurial City

4. Growing Kansas City’s Medical Research, From Discovery to Cure

5. Moving UMKC’s World-Class Arts Programs to a New Downtown Location

Westside Neighborhood Housing Unit Trend













384 Multifamily housing units completed in 2017

114 units in Westside, 270 units in adjacent Crossroads

Westside Neighborhood Population Trend













Aerial displays Westside and Crossroads Neighborhoods

Gentrification to add to population in coming years

Westside Urban Fabric

Residential - Single Family


Residential - Multifamily


Residential - Mixed Use


Commercial Business



Street, Major Paving


Landscape Elements


I-35 Underpass Market Site


Pollinator Garden Site

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Phase 1 - Site Activation

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Vendor Total (40)

Day Rate Model
KCMO Market Cost Model: 
Single Date
$25(40) = $1,000
Half of Year Weekends
26($2,000) = $52,000 Annually

Portland Cost Model
Single Date
$47(40) = $1,880
Half of Year Weekends
26($3,760) = $97,760 Annually

Willamsburg, VA Cost Model

Sales Percentage Model
6% of gross sales minus sales tax
*52 Venders in 2011 = $48,969.84 in sales tax

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Phase 2 - Site Anchors

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Temporary Vendor Total (26)

Anchor Structures (16) 
-3rd generation 8’-0” x 8’-6” x 40’-0” shipping containers

-Storefront glazing on ends
-Waterproof steel shell acts as vapor barrier and insulated on interior side with closed cell spray-foam
-Corner pier footings
-Entrance steps to address site grade
-Electrical need potential served by PV panel array on outermost highway column 

Toilet Station (1)
-Necessary for anchor tenant viability
-Composting toilet units

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Phase 3 - Site Improvements

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Restore Residential Alley
-Planting buffer to address air and noise pollution

Repair Recreational Amenities
-Repair/replace lighting
-Pull new wiring through existing electrical paths
-Install new basketball hoops
-Paint basketball striping

Rainwater Harvesting
-Install collection system including irrigation
-Divert existing highway hardpiping to system

Child Play Space
-Construct soft play surface and install playground elements

Dog Friendly Amenities
-Strategic placement of treat and sanitary receptacles

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Kansas City, Missouri


Non-Profit, Professional



Self Employment


Working to create additional community partnerships in an effort to seek vendors and develop project.


Speculative, Westside Housing Organization

Related Project

December 2016 - Present

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