Kansas City: 'Silicon Prairie?'

The city's growth and the arrival of tech giants like Meta could signal a tech-based renaissance.

2 minute read

March 30, 2022, 12:00 PM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Downtown Kansas City Missouri

Stuseeger / Flickr

"Some 50 years after the opening of its airport, as well as a sparkling football stadium-baseball park sports complex named after native son and former President Harry S. Truman, the city is ready for a long overdue makeover," writes Jon Swartz about Kansas City. Now, the city plans to open a $1.5 billion international airport next year, among other major projects that boosters hope will encourage tech companies and other employers to move to the city.

On Thursday, Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. FB, +2.92% announced plans for an $800 million data center at Golden Plains Technology Park, a 1 million-square-foot facility near the airport. A $351 million extension of the city’s street car line should be complete by 2025. An 11,000-seat, soccer-only stadium for the KC Current – the first in North America for a professional women’s team – is scheduled to open in 2024 for $70 million.

"'I prefer to think of this area as Silicon Prairie,' Tom Herzog, chief operating officer of Netsmart Technologies Inc., which develops and sells health-information technology such as electronic health records. 'The health tech ecosystem sits in the middle of the heartland.'"

As Swartz writes, "Cybersecurity, architecture and engineering tech and animal agricultural tech also highlight a region of 2.65 million people that LinkedIn ranks as No. 8 in net in-migration since the pandemic, as well as among the top-15 metropolitan areas for tech jobs per capita."

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