January 27, 2011, Kansas City, Mo

In reference to the January 26, 2011, Fox 4 news report titled “Church Forcing Some Westport Businesses to Move”:

Redeemer Fellowship is passionate about being good neighbors. We want to work with our neighborhood and our city to see our community become a better place to live. We are committed to this neighborhood for the long-haul and know that community change does not happen overnight. The ways our members are involved in the city are diverse, but as a church we have hosted the Westport Neighborhood Association in our building for over a year, and maintain a very close relationship with MainCor, the Kansas City Missouri School District, as well as many other community development organizations.

In 2008 Redeemer Fellowship acquired the property at 3921 Baltimore, Kansas City, Mo. Included with this acquisition were several rental properties: three spaces on Main St. and eight spaces on Westport Rd. Over the last several decades, the building containing the addresses 2, 6, 8, and 10 on Westport Rd. has fallen into disrepair. This building was a later addition, and stands in contrast to the historical buildings that surround it. It is in need of such significant repairs that we could not hope to recover the costs in any reasonable amount of time.

In light of this, our property management company sent the tenants of 2, 6, 8 and 10 Westport Rd. non-renewal notices for their leases to prepare for the demolition of the property, which we expect will take place late this Spring. The Main St. spaces and 14, 16, and 18 Westport Rd. will not be affected, and we do not own the building of the dry cleaning business on the Northeast corner of Westport Rd. and Baltimore Ave.

We have offered several of the tenants assistance as they seek to relocate within the neighborhood.

This Spring, we plan to host a group of graduate students from KU’s Urban Planning program who will research and propose potential uses of the space. As we consider possible uses, we will consider what would be best for our neighborhood and our city. We can say that no significant parking will be added, and that parking was not a consideration in making this decision.

In line with our mission statement as a church, we remain resolutely committed to God’s glory and the good of Kansas City. We trust that this decision, though difficult, will have a lasting and positive impact in our neighborhood.

With you for Midtown,

– Redeemer Fellowship