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World’s First Explor-A-Storium Headed to NKC

World’s First Explor-A-Storium Headed to NKC
Posted on 12/22/2017
World’s First Explor-A-Storium Gets a Big Boost from the Missouri Department Finance Board

$2 Million in Contribution Tax Credits Approved for City of North Kansas City, Rabbit hOle Project

North Kansas City, Missouri – The City of North Kansas City, Missouri’s application for $2 million in state tax credits for the development of The Rabbit hOle was approved by the Missouri Development Finance Board on December 19th. The development of the Rabbit hOle - the first major cultural attraction north of the river - represents a unique opportunity to spur continued development in North Kansas City while expanding the Greater Metro’s creative and cultural footprint to better serve children and families.

The Board (MDFB) gave unanimous approval at its December 19 meeting to issue the credits – which will generate $4 million in contributions – for The Rabbit hOle Project.  The Rabbit hOle is a Kansas City-based Missouri 501(c)(3) that intends to develop more than 100,000 square feet of warehouse space at 14th Ave and Knox in North Kansas City for adaptive reuse as a museum and cultural attraction dedicated to children’s literature and the art of the children’s book.  The attraction will open with approximately 60,000 square feet of program, exhibit, and visitor space complementing a general uptick in development in North Kansas City.

The move means that eligible taxpayers can claim 50 percent tax credits for financial donations and other contributions to The Rabbit hOle project, beginning now for the 2017 tax year.

The Rabbit hOle will deliver a wide array of programming to schools, educators, parents and children of all ages. There will be writing and story labs, maker workshops, book-making classes, performances, national author events, professional development opportunities, and author/illustrator residencies. With a visitor experience patterned after St. Louis’ City Museum  and backed by some of the country’s top children’s book authors, illustrators and publishers, The Rabbit hOle will be a tourist destination, drawing visitors from across the Kansas City Metro, as well as from regional and national markets.

“We’re grateful that MDFB recognizes the potential of this project for North Kansas City – and for the entire metro,” said Eric Berlin, City Administrator for North Kansas City.  “North Kansas City is experiencing a boom in development where businesses, entertainment and shopping venues, and residential developers are investing in the quality of life and the schools we have here.  This project helps extend the development that has taken place in the arts corridor south of the River and will introduce visitors to what North Kansas City has to offer.”

“Today marks an important milestone in the realization of The Rabbit hOle in North Kansas City,” said Rabbit hOle Campaign Co-Chair Steve McDowell.  “It’s a great opportunity for our supporters and others with Missouri tax liability to invest in an innovative project that will offer returns for years to come.” 

The MDFB tax credits will add to the $2.4 million the project has already raised in private contributions toward a total $12.2 million project goal in a campaign designed to attract charitable investment from both within and outside the Kansas City area.  Rabbit hOle organizers Deb Pettid and Pete Cowdin have garnered support from nationally-known authors and illustrators and major children’s book publishers who will partner in the project.  In addition, organizers intend to seek challenge grants from regional and national foundations to help raise the $12.2 million. 

“We’re thankful to the City of North Kansas City, the dozens of organizations that have endorsed us and this project, and the Missouri Development Finance Board for their confidence in this project’s ability to transform a community,” said Rabbit hOle Co-founder and Director, Pete Cowdin.  “Some 20 years ago, MDFB made an early investment in what was then a novel idea for a children’s museum. Today, that idea – in the form of the City Museum – is one of St. Louis’ top attractions drawing more than 700,000 visitors a year, and has been a driver of redevelopment along the Washington Street corridor.  It is our hope and belief that The Rabbit hOle has that same potential right here in Kansas City.” 

City Hall
2010 Howell St
North Kansas City, MO 64116

Phone 816-274-6000

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