UMKC Alum “Building Communities of Opportunities”

UMKC Alum Tony Salazar, president of west coast operations at McCormack Baron Salazar, gave a lecture on “Rebuilding Urban Neighborhoods: Mixed-income housing changing communities and cities” Thursday night as part of National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Salazar, who specializes on historic preservation and accessibility to impoverished communities, focused his address on architecture, development and affordable housing in urban neighborhoods.

“Building matters, you are helping someone’s future,” said Salazar, as he explained why urban redevelopment is important in impoverished communities

Salazar believes building a neighborhood doesn’t just mean building houses. Neighborhoods need accessibility such as grocery stores, schools, hospitals and transportation for people to be successful.

Tony Salazar

While developing neighborhoods in obsolete communities, Salazar builds relationships with school districts, community centers, grocery developers and transportation administration to bring the necessary needs to his development projects.

“It was a great presentation because it involves architecture having an impact on the community,” said Katya Diaz, an architecture student. “I thought it was important because he is reinforcing the unity of what spaces can mean for a community.”

President of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), Maribel Aguilar, said “Him being a Latino and UMKC alumni exemplified the holistic education UMKC and Kansas City has to offer.”

Salazar’s focus on redevelopment in urban neighborhoods has improved lives for many due to the accessibility he has tagged along to the projects.

Salazar said his job is “building communities of opportunities.”

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