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Kansas City, MO — Health Forward Foundation proudly announced today that it will establish its new headquarters at the Offices at Overlook on the East Side of Kansas City, Missouri.
Health Forward is partnering with Community Builders of Kansas City (CBKC), a Missouri nonprofit corporation and largest community development corporation in the region. CBKC is the master developer of The Overlook, an 11-acre site acquired by CBKC.
CBKC’s commitment to invest nearly $85 million will transform this long-overlooked stretch of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard into a modern, mixed-use site with office space and multi-family units. Once fully completed, The Overlook will catalyze its corridor with additional offices, four mixed-use buildings, apartments, a health fitness trail, and a public plaza. Health Forward, the first anchor in this transformational economic development undertaking, will own and occupy 20,000 square feet of the Offices at Overlook — a $30 million, 60,000 square foot, Class A commercial building being constructed as the first phase of The Overlook.
Located on the corner of MLK Boulevard and Chestnut Avenue, Health Forward will acquire ownership of the top floor of the commercial building in a strategic condominium ownership agreement with CBKC. The site was classified as blighted by the Tax Increment Financing Commission and the Kansas City Planned Industrial Expansion Authority and falls within the Swope Parkway Opportunity Zone.
“It was important to Health Forward, as we determined a permanent location for the foundation, that we invest in the economic vibrancy that exists among our prioritized communities of focus. We are proud to partner with Community Builders of Kansas City, who has long anchored development on Kansas City’s East Side, to help contribute to the resurgence and redevelopment of the 64130 ZIP code,” said Qiana Thomason, Health Forward President/CEO.
“For many years, there has been disinvestment in 64130 and while the area is classified as blighted, the blight does not reflect the power, the cultural wealth, the legacy, the resiliency, and the resourcefulness of the people who live there and in the surrounding ZIP codes. We want to help restore, revitalize, and rejuvenate this community by being an economic anchor and investor with Community Builders.”
This redevelopment and investment furthers the transformation of the Brush Creek corridor and extends “Foundation Row” east of Troost and Prospect avenues, with both the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research located just west of Troost.
“We are excited to extend the esteem of this area that connects all parts of Kansas City from east to west and the suburbs to inner city,” said Thomason. “We hope this catalyzes other public and private development and philanthropic investment in the area.” Demolition and site clearing began in Spring of 2022. Construction on the Offices at Overlook is slated to begin by the end of the year with an anticipated 2025 completion date.
“The Offices at Overlook represents a premiere opportunity for CBKC to lead another community-centered economic development east of Prospect Avenue,” said Emmet Pierson, Jr., CBKC President/CEO. “Our investment in a Class A office with community amenities and new housing will help dissolve historic ZIP code disparities and create new business and residential options on MLK Boulevard for the next generation of those committed to Kansas City’s East Side.”
Establishing a permanent home for Health Forward has been a thoughtful process led by the foundation’s board of directors over the past five years, with significant partnership from VanTrust Real Estate who served as Health Forward’s representative through the entire process.
Health Forward moved from its initial office in the Pioneer Campus of the Penn Valley Community College on 18th and Prospect Avenue after the KIPP KC charter school expanded into the top floor of the shared building. Since then, Health Forward has been temporarily leasing space at 2300 Main.
“As Health Forward continues to demonstrate our purpose, it is important to the board to be proximate to the communities we so proudly serve,” said Stephenie Smith, Health Forward Immediate Past Board Chair and Co-Chair of the board’s Permanent Home Committee.
“This location provides Health Forward the opportunity to further serve the community with our assets while also allowing for growth for the foundation,” said Irene Caudillo, Health Forward Board Chair.
The Offices at Overlook project team includes Turner Construction as general contractor; Hufft as architect; Taliaferro & Browne Inc. as civil engineer; and Land3 Studio LLC as landscape architect.
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