Central Industrial District Association (CIDA)
The area that is now known as the Central Industrial District (CID) was one of the first areas platted for housing in the Town of Kansas and was the original location for worker housing. It was only natural to locate business and industry near the river and the workers. Thus, the CID began to emerge as a center of industry and commerce.
In 1869, Mr. Coates, a CID real estate investor, and a group of investors convinced the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Company to build a railroad bridge over the Missouri River at Kansas City. This cemented Kansas City as a transportation hub. 12 railroad lines soon shot out of the new Union Depot in the CID. Five-story and six-story buildings began to spring up everywhere. Grain companies, lumberyards, and foundries quickly emerged. Within a few years, a thriving livestock and meat processing industry became a core part of the city’s economy. By 1900, over 90% of the value of Kansas City was located in the CID. An elevated electric mass transit system carried workers to the CID and connected Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri. The city grew so fast that the real estate transactions in 1887 were not matched again until after World War II.
A devastating flood in 1903 changed the nature of the CID. The Union Depot was closed, as were many hotels. As the housing moved out of the area, the area was rebuilt with an emphasis on industrial use. The CID became a major rail, agriculture, baking, trade, and livestock hub. The CID played a major role in the economic life of the city until another major flood in 1951. The loss of jobs following WWII and the closing of the stockyards after the 1951 flood significantly eroded the tax base. Rather rapidly, maintenance began to be deferred and companies began to move out of the area. New investment from the public sector did not take place due to the belief that the area had been abandoned by the city.
During the last three years, the CID has witnessed a major growth spurt as a result of an effective public-private partnership that has planned investments of over $200 Million to resolve the numerous infrastructure issues. Hope stimulated by this new investment has stimulated the investment of numerous new companies and has slowed the tendency of companies to leave the area. The Central Industrial District Association (CIDA) is integrally involved in working with city authorities to study the district’s potential and map its future development. The CIDA has been particularly effective in gaining funds for infrastructure development.