Kansas City Neighborhoods - A Breakdown
Kansas City is probably one of the most tricky cities regarding good and bad neighborhoods. If you don't know any better, you might end up with some serious buyer's remorse.
If you're planning on moving to Kansas City, you'd better understand the different neighborhoods before buying that dream... - or nightmare home.
In order to understand this blog, you might want to pull up this Map of Kansas City for reference. Kansas City is flat with no bodies of water so the streets here run in a perfect "grid" with the numbered streets running East to West, and the named streets running North and South. Isn't that handy :)
Let's start by defining Central Kansas City:
We're not going to discuss downtown Kansas City or any suburbs of Kansas City in this article - we'll do those in another piece. We're just going to focus on the area between 39th and 103rd and between Holmes Road and State Line (look at your map - or picture a square area). This is Central Kansas City.
The first rule of real estate in Central Kansas City is easy - Anything East of Holmes Road is the ghetto. This is true all the way from 5th Street (downtown) clear up to 135th street (Kansas City's most Southern point). Don't move there, enough said.
Now that we've ruled out everything East of Holmes Road, let's start with the area between 39th Street and 47th Street - East of State Line and West of Holmes. This area is pretty much considered the Westport area. Westport has gotten pretty bad lately. There is a shooting in westport almost every week. The shootings happen late at night when the ghetto folks start "cruising" the Westport bar areas - they're not there to buy anything or go into any of the nightclubs - but just to cruise around with their boom-boom music playing and sporting their tricked out cars (who's cost probably kept them from paying that month's mortgage). They are extremely rude (especially to whites) and they will shoot you. So that's nighttime in Westport - as far as the daytime goes, Westport is pretty much full of lower class "hippie" type folks who enjoy the coffee shops and the Pitch magazine. There used to be a lot of gays in Westport but most of them are making their way downtown towards the Power and Light District condos.
South of 47th Street - North of 63rd - West of Holmes - East of State Line. This area contains the Plaza, which has made Kansas City famous for it's lush fountains and top shelf shopping and dining. The plaza is a great little area and contains everything from expensive condos to affordable apartments. Plaza living is very nice - the only drawback is that there is only one grocery store within miles and it is a MAD HOUSE. South of the plaza to Gregory Boulevard is a fairly upscale neighborhood that contains a popular dog walking / picnic area called Loose Park. This area is usually defined as Brookside and it is filled with great little shops, restaurants and neighborhood bars. Brookside is getting older, however, so the upkeep on a house would probably be a huge factor - most of the houses in Brookside are well over 60 years old. The other downside to living in Brookside is that it has ZERO access to any highway.
South of Gregory - North of 85th - West of Holmes - East of State Line. This area, more commonly known as "Waldo" is a lower class area that is deteriorating fast. Abandoned buildings are everywhere, and we're starting to see more PayDay Loan shops and Fried Chicken chains opening up - oh, and pawn shops too. Always a bad sign. For some reason everyone who lives in this part of town has a dog, and all of the men wear sandals. I would stay clear of Waldo.
South of 85th - North of 103rd - West of Holmes - East of State Line. This area includes Santa Fe Hills and the Ward Parkway "mall" - if you can call it a mall. This used to be a great area but it has gone to the dogs. The lower class folk have moved in and it is NOT a good place to live.
South of 103rd - North of 135th - West of Holmes - East of State Line. This area is still fairly nice and includes Red Bridge, Bridlespur and Verona Hills. Those who live there are looking over their shoulder, however, because they know that this will be the next Kansas City neighborhood to fall. Let me just stop and explain something here: The lower class are moving their way south and west - basically to get out of the ghetto that they live in and to get away from their own kind. In reaction to this, the wealthy people are moving South and if they can afford it, WEST into beautiful and expensive Leawood, Kansas to avoid the oncoming ghetto folk. For a good example of this movement, take a look at how far south they have built up on Metcalf - wealthy people are running SOUTH. Back to this neighborhood...The best thing about this neighborhood is 435 highway. It's just blocks away. This neighborhood will be safe for about another 5-10 years before turning lower-middle class.
To be continued...stay tuned for North Kansas City, Grandview, Independence, Lee's Summit, Blue Springs and downtown kc.