St Joseph is a Community of Expansion and Entrepreneurism
St Joseph began its history as a trading post in 1843 and has continued to grow as a commercial center ever since. Historically, the city is the home of the famous Pony Express and of western legends like Jesse James – but today, gains its national recognition and awards as a center of research and technology in the Midwest. The bustling westward expansion of the mid 19th century has been succeeded by multi-million dollar business complexes, major interstate highways and airports, keeping transportation and commerce the pulse of the city’s life.
Remnants of the past are celebrated with more than 50 National Historic Register listings, mansions, estates and historic commercial structures. Celebration of the past merges with excitement for the future in vibrant downtown revitalization. Trendy loft apartments, such as the recently renovated Mitchell Park Plaza, savor the beauty of the past while offering amenities for today.
The spirit of westward expansion that inspired an entrepreneurial attitude in the early 19th century is still evident today. Known for its pivotal role in the KC Animal Health Corridor, St. Joseph and the surrounding area is buzzing with research, development and production in industries relating to animal health and nutrition. In the midst of technological progress, St. Joseph is continually set apart for its “small town” feel and strong Midwestern work ethic, drawing many employees from the surrounding farming communities.
Homes and Neighborhoods
Come Home to St. Joseph
St Joseph is a community of charming neighborhoods interlaced by a richly wooded parkway system. Whatever your style, St Joseph has a home to suit you. Grand tree-lined avenues graced by traditional brick homes are popular spots with joggers and dog-walkers. A little apart from the business bustle are family friendly neighborhoods of new construction. The young, the single and the empty-nesters find the vibrancy of downtown loft-living the ideal blend of comfort and convenience. For those with the vision to build, creating a custom home in the nearby country and scenic rural areas is an affordable dream.
Those seeking the convenience of renting also enjoy a variety of options with complexes, duplexes and condominiums available across all neighborhoods within the city.
Convenient Shopping, Dining and Entertainment
St Joseph Resonates with Cultural Life
Though sandwiched between the larger metropolitan areas of Kansas City and Omaha, St Joseph residents never need to leave home to enjoy the arts. Music lovers enjoy St Joseph’s very own professional symphony orchestra, with performances from October through May. Audiences attend performances in the richly ornamented surroundings of the historic Missouri Theatre, St Joseph’s art deco treasure, and one of the nation’s only suspended ceiling theater houses. St. Joseph’s award-winning Robidoux Resident Theatre showcases rich local talent with stage performances at a variety of venues, including the historic Robidoux Landing Playhouse, a dinner theater set alongside St. Joseph’s scenic riverfront. The Robidoux Resident Theater has repeatedly earned national recognition including first place awards for design and costuming at American Association of Community Theatre Festivals.
The city celebrates the visual arts year-round at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, and seasonally with events such as Art in the Park and the annual Trails West!® festival. Festivals such as St. Patrick’s Mexican Fiesta and the Coleman Hawkins Jazz festival celebrate the city’s cultural diversity and continue to draw crowds from the Kansas City metropolitan area to St. Joseph.
Shopping and Dining for Every Taste in St. Joseph
Shoppers can delight to the charms of downtown boutiques for unique finds, while finding major name stores to meet more everyday needs. Dining experiences abound, from the culturally diverse offerings in the downtown (Bad Art Bistro, Boudreaux’s Louisiana Seafood and Steaks) to restaurants with universal name recognition (Chipotle, Chili’s, Olive Garden) conveniently located to major shopping areas.
Excellent Schools and Universities
St Joseph is Committed to Quality Education at All Levels
Education is integral to St Joseph living. Families choose from a variety of excellent public, private and parochial schools. The St Joseph public schools have a Blue Ribbon elementary school (Eugene Field) and a nationally recognized high schools.
The Missouri Western State University (MWSU) main campus occupies 744 acres in the midst of quiet neighborhoods, offering more than 100 degree programs – including several graduate-level programs, as well as research opportunities in the $2.5 million Kit Bond Science and Technology Incubator.
St. Joseph’s unique location puts the city within an hour’s drive of several additional top-quality universities, and residents enjoy the convenience of new collaborative university centers in the city’s downtown. An easy 45 highway miles north of St Joseph is the campus of Northwest Missouri State University (NWMSU). Both MWSU and NWMSU universities maintain extension offices in downtown St Joseph, offering graduate classes that contribute to the skilled work force and bring energy to the downtown area. The synergy of university, business district, unique shopping, dining and loft living creates an exciting living/working space in the downtown. Just 40 minutes in another direction Benedictine College, can be found in Atchison, Kan., and an hour to the north are several Kansas City educational institutions, such as University of Missouri-Kansas City and Park University.
St. Joseph also hosts two technical schools. Hillyard Technical Center offers secondary students and adults subject-specific training to prepare them for entry-level positions or the technical training necessary for advancement. Vatterott Educational Centers offers diplomas for cosmetology, massage therapy and information systems security, along with a variety of associate of occupational studies programs.
From hands-on, family-centered community arts classes to business and professional courses offered on-campus and through distance education, community innovation is at the heart of St. Joseph’s educational systems. Public participation in local education is welcomed at monthly Planning A Course Together (PACT) meetings, and the city’s Success By Six initiative targets tomorrow’s workforce today through innovative early-learning programs in partnership with local businesses.
As a demonstration of St. Joseph’s commitment to educational success, the Profit in Education, or P.I.E. initiative, brings together community leaders and schools to focus on high school graduation rates. The results are striking — St. Joseph’s high school graduation rate is 88.6 percent, a figure higher than the state graduation rate.
Parks, Bike and Walkways and Public Transportation
St Joseph Provides Year-Round Recreational Opportunities
Sprinkled throughout the city are plenty of ways to enjoy off-time. You can enjoy the quiet of one of five area golf courses, thrill to the speed of hockey or ice skating at the ice arena, catch a Mustangs wooden-league baseball game or take the family to the city’s large aquatic park. St. Joseph’s “The Ride” city bus system makes numerous daily routes and custom stops, connecting the four corners of our city with ease and convenience.
St Joseph Stays Green with an Extensive Parkway System
There’s something soothing about stretches of verdant landscape and in St. Joseph it’s always just around the corner thanks to a remarkable 26-mile Parkway threaded throughout the city from north to south sides. The Parkway links 48 individual parks and sports complexes, including the Bode Indoor Ice Arena, with biking and walking trails along the way. The Parkway provides wonderfully hushed passages for walking on a snowy winter day, and comes alive in the summer-to- fall community Parties on the Parkway series, complete with local music, food and drinks. The city has active bike and running clubs that take advantage of the lovely parkway system and the beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Amateur and Professional Sports
Sports fans here love summer because that is when the Kansas City Chiefs come to St Joseph for Summer Training Camp. The three week camp draws 60,000 attendees, 30,000 of which are visitors to the city who come to enjoy watching professional football training on the campus of MWSU. St Joseph was chosen as the summer training site over a number of other cities across the Midwest. The university partnered with the Kansas City Chiefs in constructing the new Indoor Sports Complex, which houses a full-size indoor football field, weight room, offices, locker and meeting rooms. The Training Camp is free to the public and provides concessions and a Kid Zone for smaller children.
Throughout the year, residents and visitors enjoy a variety of amateur sports opportunities, from ice hockey leagues at the Bode Ice Arena to classic summer fun at the Mustangs games, held in the city’s recently remodeled Phil Welch Stadium along the scenic parkway. The city’s youth soccer association offers a multi-field complex with both fall and spring seasons. Tennis and swim clubs, an aquatic park, several indoor pools and exercise facilities are also highlights of St. Joseph’s sports scene. Many families enjoy Griffons’ football and basketball games at the campus of Missouri Western State University, with remodeled athletic facilities used by the Kansas City Chiefs. Five area golf courses, including private golf at the St. Joseph Country Club and Moila Club are also local favorites.
St Joseph Residents Enjoy a Full Range of Health Services
Nationally-Recognized Health System
Mosaic Life Care offers multiple physician practices, a medical center, health plan and a community foundation. This integrated, regional health delivery system employs more than 3,100 people in St. Joseph. In 2010, the former Heartland Health was awarded the prestigious and world-renowned Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Award, accepted in Washington, D.C.
Northwest Health Services – With 16 locations across Northwest Missouri and Northeast Kansas, Northwest Health Services delivers quality care through general practitioners, dental care and behavioral health and serves as a community health center.