Situated within fourteen blocks of the Missouri River, Quality Hill is one of the oldest residential neighborhoods in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Between its formal inception as a neighborhood in 1857 and a short time after the end of World War I, Quality Hill was the most fashionable and expensive neighborhood in Kansas City. When adjacent odors from the slaughterhouse stockyards drove away the families, the Quality Hill neighborhood collapsed. Almost a half century of disinvestment and decline followed. However, the high quality of the building stock remaining in the area and a premier location adjacent to downtown Kansas City made the area appealing to investors for revitalization.
Starting in the mid-1980s, McCormack Baron Salazar worked with the City of Kansas City and other groups to create a plan to provide quality, affordable housing downtown and set the stage for additional reinvestment. The three phases of the Quality Hill development cover more than six city blocks at a total cost of approximately $54.6 million.
The key to the success of the development was to match the community needs with the available resources. Through a joint effort of local businesses and foundations as well as government funding sources, the Quality Hill development revitalized a cornerstone of downtown Kansas City while bringing together an economically mixed residential population to an abandoned urban area. The complicated public/private partnership forged by McCormack Baron Salazar included, on the private side, local banks, businesses, the Hall Family Foundation and a New York brokerage house (with private limited partners). On the public side, Quality Hill includes federal and state funds along with city public improvements and tax abatement.
Today, Quality Hill is a thriving neighborhood and has helped to stabilize downtown Kansas City for significant further revitalization, including over $5.9 billion in new investments since 2000 (Source: Downtown Council Development Report). In fact, in 2011, Forbes Magazine rated Downtown Kansas City among its top 10 downtowns in the United States. Forbes recognized this city for the new Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, along with being a walkable and livable downtown.