Legislature Approves $40M for Latest UMKC Hospital Hill Project


By Kevin Collison

UMKC is pursuing an $100 million healthcare education building at Hospital Hill, the latest proposed investment in an area of greater downtown that’s attracted more than a half billion dollars in new construction in recent years.

Last week, the Missouri General Assembly authorized $40 million for a proposed building that would house “state-of-the-art” dental teaching clinics and expanded medical school teaching facilities, according to UMKC.

If Gov. Mike Parson signs the bill, officials at what’s called the University of Missouri-Kansas City Health Sciences District would have to raise $60 million in private matching donations to move forward with the project.

“This project would meet significant health care needs for Kansas City and the state of Missouri,” John Martellaro, a UMKC spokesman, said in a statement.

“The new building would be a spark for an expansion of the entire UMKC Health Sciences District that could dramatically expand health care in Kansas City, attract top faculty and researchers and new private investment that could create new jobs and eventually contribute billions to the Kansas City economy.”

University Health opened the $70 million University Health 2 building in late 2020, part of the major healthcare investments in what’s called the UMKC Health Sciences District.

Details about the size and design of the healthcare education building were unavailable. UMKC released a master plan for the proposed future improvements at its Volker and Health Sciences campuses a year ago.

It’s being proposed a little over a year after Children’s Mercy hospital opened its $200 million, 370,000 square-foot Research Institute tower.

The nine-story Children’s Mercy facility joined other recent investments by UMKC and Truman Medical Center at the Health Sciences District including the $70 million University Health 2 medical office building and the $45 million University Health 1 building.

As of a year ago, more than 16,000 people now work or study in the Hospital Hill area, and its triggered more than $550 million in new construction.

That figure includes more than $234 million invested by private developers building new apartments and commercial projects on the surrounding blocks along Troost, the East Crossroads and near Crown Center.

Many of the residents and customers for those hundreds of new apartments and new businesses work or study at Hospital Hill.

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  1. Thanks for covering this exciting potential economic development activity in the Health Sciences District. One clarification: University Health (not UMKC) opened the $70 million University Health 2 building in late 2020. University Health is the primary teaching hospital for UMKC School of Medicine.

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