A catalyst for change within the neighborhoods surrounding Prospect Avenue, the Blue Hills incubator is expected to continue serving entrepreneurs after merging with a leading development group in the urban core.
The not-for-profit formed by combining the expertise of Blue Hills Community Services and Swope Community Builders aims to reclaim areas of Kansas City by developing quality housing and related services, said Edgar Palacios, Blue Hills executive director.
“Joining forces with Swope Community Builders honors and extends a 44-year-old commitment of revitalizing communities, improving neighborhoods, and enhancing the quality of life for Blue Hills and surrounding communities,” Palacios said. “[Blue Hills] looks forward to the sustained economic empowerment this union will create for our citizens on the East Side and the positive impact that will last for years to come.”
The new organization — Community Builders of Kansas City — absorbed Blue Hills’ staff May 31, he said. Palacios, who served as executive director since March 2017, is now in the process of transitioning to a consulting role with the restructured entity.
While the urban core developer will be headquartered at 4001 Blue Parkway, within the Brush Creek Corridor, the former Blue Hills Community Services building at 5008 Prospect is expected be retained for other uses, Palacios said.
The 14,000-square-foot space has housed the popular construction incubator program that sought to drive business creation and the economic cycle in one of Kansas City’s underserved areas.
“Merging with Blue Hills Community Services provides additional opportunities to collaborate with stakeholders, maximize synergies and ultimately increase investment in vital Kansas City communities,” said Art Chaudry, president and CEO of Community Builders of Kansas City. “Expanding CBKC’s presence along the Troost, Prospect and Brush Creek Corridors is an exciting proposition.”
Chaudry served as the top executive for the former Swope Community Builders 501(c)(3), which operated for nearly 30 years before the recent merger.
“This strategic investment demonstrates CBKC’s well documented passion for its mission paired with responsible business acumen resulting in projects that are fiscally prudent and serve the community,” Chaudry said.