From Vacant To Vibrant

Transforming Vacant Places into Vibrant Spaces (V2V)

The common narrative of our neighborhood histories has been one of declining populations, disinvestment and decay beginning in the 1950s. As you can see today, abandoned homes and vacant lots pockmark the landscape. V2V’s goal has been to accelerate the rate at which these vacant properties can be moved back into productive use. 

The Phillips Collective

A Purpose Built Community

A cradle-to-college education pipeline + mixed income housing + new resources and services + community quarterback = a transformed neighborhood. That’s the successful formula used by Atlanta-based Purpose Built Communities to revitalize a blighted Atlanta neighborhood, and it’s the model adopted by the Urban Neighborhood Initiative, the community quarterback for the Phillips Collective (formally called the Wendell Phillips Neighborhood Initiative).

Kansas City Neighborhood Academy


KCNA is the cornerstone of our education continuum for the Purpose Built Community, having opened in the fall of 2016 enrolling Pre K through 3rd grade students. It is modeled after the very successful Drew School in Atlanta which over time has erased racial and socio-economic achievement gaps. With KCNA open, our focus is now building mixed income housing. UNI has options on properties near the school and is engaging Wendell Phillips residents to guide the types and aesthetics of the housing to build. We hope to break ground this year.

Kansas City Catalytic Urban Redevelopment


UNI is partnering with the City of Kansas City, LISC and the Mid America Regional Council in this effort that focuses on commercial development within the UNI. Through a systematic analysis, 13 areas were winnowed to three priority areas: Troost at 31st, Prospect at 31st and Ivanhoe on 39th Street. UNI is the implementing agency that is charged with pushing development to these areas. Importantly, KCUR partners are seeking investors to create a patient capital pool of $25 to $40 million.