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Harris Park Midtown Sports & Activity Center

Kansas City, MO

Overview

Chris Harris had a vision for a development project—a sports-themed park anchored by a golf course in the middle of Kansas City’s urban core—that could be transformative in spurring economic development and bolstering community pride. But, to get to the first tee, there was a lot of planning, fundraising and coordination among private and public sectors. Husch Blackwell helped Chris troubleshoot problem areas and keep the project on track.

Challenges

The ambitious project required several separately owned parcels of land in a mature urban neighborhood to be under common ownership. Additionally, Chris needed a vehicle to help organize community outreach, raise funds, manage ongoing operations and maintenance, and interact with local authorities. Chris had been acquiring land for several years and had conducted various fundraising activities, but there were still some legal hurdles to overcome to bring his vision to reality.

Solution

Our team worked with Chris and Harris Park board of directors to accomplish the transfer of real estate to the Missouri nonprofit corporation and helped Chris guide the project through various permitting requirements. Our team has also helped Chris establish relationships for future construction and continued operations and maintenance.

Result

Chris’s vision has become a reality. Harris Park Midtown Sports & Activity Center now features a range of outdoor activities for the neighborhood children and adults to enjoy free of charge, including a golf course. Despite the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic, Phase 3 construction has begun, which will add a clubhouse and restrooms to support the array of programming available to the public. The park has become a hidden gem in the Kansas City metro area and has already led to a revitalization of the area with new investment and construction along the periphery of the park.

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