Welcome to 2012. As the current board president of the Southtown Council, I am very pleased to serve in our 30thyear. I first became involved with Southtown via my role at Rockhurst University and our efforts to craft a new campus master plan. The Southtown Council was instrumental in connecting me with other businesses and associations and was a great help as we navigated the process. This network and interconnectedness remains the strength of Southtown. The organization continues to be a primary platform for information sharing, connecting businesses, customers and institutions and is a tremendous asset for the area.
If we take a moment to reflect on our past, Southtown has been instrumental in the continued evolution of our area both internally and as it relates to the city at large. Past successes are impressive: over $19 million in public improvements, participation and support in the tulips on Troost program, and a host of streetscape improvement programs. The Southtown Council has also been a strong guiding force in area planning and efforts like the Troost Corridor Action Plan.
As we evaluate our situation today and look to our future, I continue to expect great things. There are many projects currently underway and more on the horizon. The Rockhill Greens project will revitalize an under-used area of Troost into a thriving mixed-use community. The improvements at the Metro Plaza Shopping Center as well as the recently completed 63rd Street Capital Improvement Plan will benefit the entire corridor. The opening of the Troost Bridge, the Troost Max line, ongoing improvements at Rockhurst and UMKC, and the continued growth and vitality of Brookside and Waldo also bode well for a bright future. The recent acquisitions of the former Nazarene World Headquarters and Cleveland Chiropractic properties as well as the ongoing Troost CID project all point to upcoming success and vibrancy for our area.
Certainly, challenges still face us. The former Citadel project, issues with our infrastructure, and a nagging lack of awareness of all of the wonderful activities happening in our part of the city are hurdles we’ll continue to work to overcome. Through our strong network of businesses, institutions and neighborhoods, we will continue to make Southtown a great place to live and work. Thank you for the opportunity to serve and thank you for all you do for Southtown, Waldo, and Brookside.
Matt Heinrich, Rockhurst University
Southtown Council President