District Manager Encourages More Businesses to Get Involved
Despite pandemic ups and downs and a rollercoaster economy, Martin City is moving forward with momentum. 2021 was a year of steady progress in the Community Improvement District (MCCID), and MCCID District Manager Vickie Wolgast is determined to continue drawing more businesses off the sidelines to help pursue our potential.
“Many businesses have worked hard to make our neighborhood what it is today,” says Wolgast, talking with us on the sidewalk near the Martin City Community Tree on 135th Street. “We could do more, and get it done faster if all businesses joined the effort, They don’t need to invest much time and we really need their participation. You’d be surprised at the difference one voice can make.”
The difference MCCID businesses made by working together in 2021 is visible throughout the District. Stylish new bike racks that were carefully planned, designed, purchased, and installed across the area, are attracting new visitors and reinforcing our community’s reputation for easy accessibility. Exploring and experiencing Martin City has never been more convenient.
Multiple apartment developments introduced in 2021 are moving from drawing boards toward construction in 2022. More residential opportunities will help us complete the picture of a community already thriving with work, play, and dining amenities.
Businesses across the District have traveled a rocky road during the pandemic, but several have found good fortune despite challenging circumstances. Lockdowns created a hunger for outdoor activities, filling Volleyball Beach’s sandy courts, breaking summer camp records at Eagles Gymnastics, and speeding the stream of jet skis, ATVs, and motorcycles from Reno’s Powersports KC.
The surge into the outdoors has also reframed backyards as precious sanctuaries, sending homeowners flocking to Martin City for landscaping supplies and advice. Suburban Lawn & Garden, Rosehill Gardens, and The Sharper Edge are among businesses reinvigorated by blossoming sales.
The MCCID’s portion of sales tax and other revenue within District boundaries has remained strong. MCCID’s first-ever audit delivered proof of smart budget stewardship and underscored our profile as a CID that makes fiscal responsibility the highest priority. The next audit, covering the fiscal year 2021, is already underway.
“The MCCID Board is extremely careful with how money is spent,” says Wolgast. “The result is a healthy budget that can help pave the way for future growth and development. It’s a key advantage as we look ahead at the possibilities.”
Growing Events Will Strengthen Destination Appeal.
All of us in Martin City are excited to get our legendary Martin City St. Patrick’s Parade back on track in 2022. Around 20,000 fans from across the Kansas City region can reunite on March 13, 2022, at 2:00 PM, for our biggest little community event of the year!
Enter your organization in the Martin City St. Patrick’s Parade!
There are NO entry fees to participate!
The annual Martin City St. Patrick’s Parade is a wonderful opportunity to showcase your business, school club, non-profit organization, or association in front of thousands of Kansas City supporters.
Parade Sponsorships are also available, and worth their weight in gold for those wanting to raise their business profile for all South Kansas City supporters to see.
The Whiskey Run 5k is back on the calendar in 2022 too! There’s nothing else quite like it and that’s why it’s helped our community become a popular destination. Hundreds of walkers and runners are expected to fill the streets of Martin City on April 2, beginning with a Kid’s Fun Run immediately followed by the main event.
The Whiskey Run 5k is organized by the Martin City Business & Community Association (MCBCA), professionally managed by KC Running Company, and complete with whiskey shots from Lukas Wine & Spirits Superstore. Every registered participant will receive a Finisher’s Medal and a free breakfast at a Martin City restaurant. This year there’s even a live concert too! Learn more and get involved!
If this year’s Martin City Holiday Lighting turnout on December 1 is anything like last year, it will be the hit of the holiday season! You can expect carolers, Santa, and an exciting countdown to switching on lights at the Martin City Community Tree.
“The Holiday Lighting drew a lot of attention in 2021 and there’s a push to make it even better this year,” says Wolgast.
“All events in Martin City, from the lighting to Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, are the result of input from businesses that make up the District. We need more help developing events like these. They bring the community together and strengthen its destination appeal. Don’t be shy! Sharing your thoughts could trigger a big idea or spark conversation that leads to a new opportunity.”
Developing Infrastructure and Maintaining Services.
The MCCID was founded more than a decade ago with a core focus on developing 135th Street. Now the street is smooth, wide, and lined with sidewalks for blocks. Next up: Holmes Road, the main north-south route through Martin City on our community’s east side.
“2022 looks to be the year the City of Kansas City, Missouri finalizes details and gets ready to build,” says Wolgast, reviewing her notes from a recent MCCID meeting with 6th District At-Large Councilwoman Andrea Bough. “The City says the design of the new Holmes Road through Martin City is complete, and all related land acquisition is being finalized. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 and finish in 2024.”
Who knows if the pandemic will surprise us with more delays ahead, but we remain hopeful that long-awaited progress on Holmes will begin soon. Just imagine three lanes instead of two, including a center turning lane, plus a five foot wide sidewalk, a ten foot wide trail, new curbs, gutters and street lighting.
“Martin City is not just about 135th Street,” says Wolgast. “The MCCID realizes we need to move the entire community forward, including Holmes Road, Oak Street, Wyandotte and others. We’re not going to stop at 135th Street’s improvements, but it was the right place to start.”
Signage that clearly marks Martin City’s boundaries and greets visitors is a hot topic, according to Wolgast. She’s considering the formation of a committee of MCCID board members and representatives from other local businesses to help decide where to put signage and define a process for developing it.
“We’ll likely want to develop signage in phases to optimize funding in smaller amounts and ensure consistency. For example, we’ll probably want to see how the Holmes Road project turns out before we make final decisions on signage along Holmes Road. It’s extremely important for local businesses to have a voice in how we go about adding signage. Now is the time to step up and make your voice heard.”
Wolgast says routine street sweeping service across the District will continue in 2022 thanks to the help of American Companies, a local Martin City business. Please remember, if you own a business or property in the CID, you are legally responsible for removing snow and ice from sidewalks, walkways, and parking areas located in front of, or attached to your property.
Rosehill Gardens will continue to maintain our colorful hanging flower baskets as well as various trees and landscaping features they’ve planted around the District. The fresh, colorful appeal of a vibrant, thriving neighborhood remains a top priority for us to attract more visitors, businesses, and tenants.
And Kansas City police officers remain on duty patrolling our streets during the daytime with the help of Orion Security overnight. The MCCID covers costs of Orion’s services aimed at keeping an eye on properties and checking for things like open doors, open gates, and suspicious activity. Business owners must complete a basic form to ensure quick contact if Orion needs to get ahold of you immediately.
Plenty of Opportunities to Get Involved.
There’s no doubt that we get more done as a community if we all contribute. Pulling together feeds the momentum of Martin City’s ongoing revitalization effort. Here are at three easy ways your business can pitch in:
1. Attend MCCID Board Meetings. Board meetings are held on the second Thursday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at Jess and Jim’s Steakhouse. Meetings are open to the public and you do not need to RSVP if you would like to attend. Meeting minutes are posted on our website as soon as they are available.
2. Mix and mingle at MCCID Happy Hours. These events have become very popular as welcome opportunities for local businesses to get to know each other, compare notes, and have fun. Attendance keeps growing. Join us!
3. Join a MCCID Committee to contribute neighborhood improvement ideas. Participation doesn’t require much time and your input will help shape our community’s future. Contact Vickie Wolgast to find out how to sign up at (816) 308-1023 or email her at [email protected]
“Martin City is on track and headed in the right direction,” says Wolgast, reflecting on four years as our District Manager. “But we really need all the help we can get as we tackle infrastructure projects, develop community services, and forge marketing strategies. Everyone’s recommitting to their families and their communities as the pandemic recedes. Now is the perfect time to take ownership and embrace your role in Martin City.”