Gladstone and Historic Downtown Liberty Inc. both received honors at the annual Missouri Main Street Connection conference in July.
The Liberty group took home two awards: Best Economic Restructuring Project, a tie with Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce; and Best Large Scale Project for the redevelopment of the Bedinger Furniture Store, a tie with Old Town Cape.
Gladstone received the Best Streetscape and Public Improvement Award for Linden Square at Gladstone Village Center.
Liberty was among four communities recognized by the Missouri Main Street Connection for reaching or surpassing $1 million milestones from private improvements in their historic downtown districts.
Cape Girardeau exceeded $6 million in private investments. Liberty, Lee’s Summit and Warrensburg each passed the $1 million mark.
Liberty’s Bedinger redevelopment involved redeveloping a 20,000-square-foot space which included selling parcels of the property and the creation of two new restaurants, The Bell and Rock & Run Brewery.
“The whole goal of the Main Street Association is to keep downtowns live, vibrant business districts. This was a great opportunity to recognize the efforts of Mike Bedinger and the owners of the Rock & Run Brewery and The Bell. I’m so thankful for everybody for investing in downtown,” said Vicki Vance, executive director of Historic Downtown Liberty.
Liberty’s Best Economic Restructuring Project encompassed a broader redevelopment effort and a collaboration with the city of Liberty to pass a bed tax for tourism, event promotions and improving infrastructure.
Gladstone’s Best Streetscape and Public Improvement Award recognized the development of a village center which included an amphitheater, a pavilion, a flexible open lawn space that converts to an ice rink in winter, a pedestrian plaza, and a parking lot planned for dual use as a farmers’ market.
“We were very excited to be nominated by Confluence architects and receive the award from the Missouri Main Street Association. It recognizes all the hard work that’s gone into creating a new economic engine for Gladstone and that’s exciting,” said Melinda J. Mehaffy, the city’s economic development administrator.