Cowork community in downtown Kansas City & Chicago


Downtown KC Seeks Gen Y Cachet, Says Jason Ryan Dorsey


Jason Ryan Dorsey has got a great gig going as the “Gen Y Guy.” Between the one-liners and wry observations about how baby boomers differ from their offspring, he gave the crowd at last week’s annual Downtown Council luncheon something fun to digest.

“I’m Gen Y. We make $30,000 a year and spend $50,000,” the speaker quipped and then quickly rolled with a montage of stereotypes.

“Imagine Gen Y: It’s our first real job, so we’re probably 27. We’re excited, we’re nervous — we’re late.”

The theme of the downtown business and property owners event was “A Millennial Makeover,” and the focus was on making downtown Kansas City a hipper place to live and work for Gen Y, aka the Millennial Generation.

And it was timely.

Last week a plan to renovate the historic Hanna Rubber building to house a new sports-oriented software firm was approved, its backers saying its Crossroads Arts District location was a plus in recruiting tech-savvy younger workers. And a month ago, DSI, an Overland Park-based software firm, announced it was relocating downtown for the same reason.

• The 2011 Urban Hero Awards went to Christopher Elbow of artisanal chocolate fame; Danny Gosserand of Danny’s Big Easy; August Grasis III of Handmark; Shaul Jolles of OfficePort; Sam Meers, an ad agency owner; Keith Novorr of Michael’s Fine Clothing; Danny O’Neill of The Roasterie; Teri Rogers of T2; Ryan Sciara of Cellar Rat Wine; and Emily Voth of Indigo Wild.

Read more: