“Construction saved my life” was the message that resonated from Rondale Bradford, owner of Bradford Interior Group during a recent presentation on the status of the Linwood Shopping Center project. In attendance were eight sharply-dressed teens, all members of the Kansas City Urban Rangers Program. The Urban Rangers are a group of high school males all working to better themselves by serving the community and planning for their post-high school futures. The goal of the presentation was to expose the youth to career opportunities in construction.

The presentation was led by attorney and development representative, Donald E. Maxwell, along with construction partners Rondale Bradford, and Lynn Lang, president of 4Sight Construction Group. The presentation highlighted the redevelopment process of the Linwood Shopping Center located on Prospect Avenue, between 31st Street and Linwood Boulevard, in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri. The site demonstrates the “Ghetto to Goldmine” mentality says Maxwell. What was once the site of urban blight and a reminder of economic failure, is on its way to being an important resource to the neighborhood and a means to make the community better.

Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) participation on the project is currently at 58% exceeding the goals set forth by the City of Kansas City Missouri of 18%. Women Business Enterprise (WBE) participation is currently 5.5% which is also exceeding City goals of 3%. This is significant to Lang as it aligns with 4Sight’s corporate mission and vision of “Construction with Purpose.” “Construction is our vehicle to better people’s lives and improve the condition of the communities we serve.” says Lang. “We strive to exceed MBE/WBE goals established for our projects and provide skilled MBE/WBE tradespersons the opportunity to participate in and support our projects.”

Rondale Bradford explained when headed for trouble as a youngster he was exposed to the construction industry by his father Al Bradford. As a small business owner for over 25 years, Al Bradford contracted with various firms to manage the installation and implementation of HVAC systems. Now a site superintendent at 4Sight Construction Group, Al knows the value of learning a trade and supporting projects that have a positive impact on the community. “Construction salaries are rising”, says Al Bradford. The architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) industry provides a lucrative future with high paying jobs, no matter what your interests are. When asked about their career and professional interests, the Urban Rangers’ response included; mechanical and electrical engineers, graphic designer, architect, and drawing. Lynn Lang of 4Sight Construction Group responded; “Your interests are all reflected in the construction industry.”

4Sight Construction Group and Bradford Interiors have teamed together to complete the interior renovations at the site. New tenants include Pizza Hut, while Liberty Tax, Gen X and Rainbow will remain. The City of Kansas City has pledged $13 million in public support for the makeover of the Linwood Shopping Center, which will be anchored by a new Sun Fresh Market. Access to this full-service grocery store will eliminate the food desert in the neighborhood and provide access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food.

More information on the Urban Rangers can be found here: http://urckc.org/about/

More information on the renovation of the Linwood Shopping Center can be found here: http://www.kshb.com/news/local-news/city-leaders-break-ground-on-13-million-redevelopment-of-linwood-shopping-center