Kansas City Projects and Updates

Discuss new retail, dining, business, residential projects, or urban affairs in the areas of Missouri outside Metro St. Louis.
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I've been catching up with my KC Business Journal e-mails and there are some pretty interesting things going on there including,

- a new 245 bed student housing project for UMKC's hilltop campus
- another planned hotel not seeking public incentives... this one for near Country Club Plaza
- a planned redevelopment of the Commerce Tower into market-rate apartments
- a planned redevelopment of the planned historic Pickwick hotel as part of a larger downtown redevelopment
- in the eco devo border war, KCMO poached a software firm that might bring as many as 400 jobs to Crown Center but will cost %4.5 million in incentives
- and perhaps of most long-term impact, Stowers Institute is seeking rezoning to allow for a huge 350 acre biotech mixed-use campus development that looks to be like part Danforth Center/part Cortex to be located in south KC.


All these announced in the past week. Also of interest, IKEA is building a massive geothermal project for its new location and the new Plaza Vista building that will house Polsinelli's new digs and a new hotel is nearing an opening.

Oh, and Obama was in Liberty highlighting the new Ford Plant that will bring 2,000 automotive jobs to the metro.

Not bad!
Question: Why isn't this in the Outstate Missouri forum?

^Also, not all of those were announced over the last week.

The biotech park was announced and proposed last year. The student housing was planned a long time ago as well. Construction finally commenced on the units.

Although Polsinelli's building is new (actually rebuilt on the site of a previously unfinished tower), the Plaza Vista development had been a zombie project like the Roberts Tower. Plaza Vista was previously called West Edge. West Edge ran into trouble because of differences between partner developers.

Nonetheless, it is good to see job expansions as well as projects moving forward in both cities.
To give a little competitive come back you have to like the Foxnews story that Alex posted on his latest write up

http://fox2now.com/2013/09/18/several-n ... n-the-cwe/

Throw in another CORTEX developement phase and an IKEA announcement!!! Things are not to shabby for the east side of state. Of course, finding a tenant for One ATT Center and a new downtown residential tower would help.
dredger wrote:
To give a little competitive come back you have to like the Foxnews story that Alex posted on his latest write up

http://fox2now.com/2013/09/18/several-n ... n-the-cwe/

Throw in another CORTEX developement phase and an IKEA announcement!!! Things are not to shabby for the east side of state. Of course, finding a tenant for One ATT Center and a new downtown residential tower would help.

The AT&T Tower will find tenants once the last workers move out - IF they do at all.

A lot could change between now and the end of 2014.

Also, not to hate, but at 30-stories, the Commerce Bank Tower in KC had been the tallest almost empty building in the State of Missouri. The AT&T Tower is still at least half full for now.

However, like the soon-to-be converted Millennium Center, I think the Commerce Bank Tower is going to make a great condo conversion.
I think Roger is in KC - so he is definitely a cheerleader. I am assuming this just by all his posts on UrbanSTL - most have something to naysay about STL or about activity in KC. His history is in black and white in reading all his posts. That's fine, but it does get old after awhile. It also gets frustrating to see when a thread shows up (like this) in STL Urban Living. It should have been placed in Outstate MO.
matguy70 wrote:
I think Roger is in KC - so he is definitely a cheerleader. I am assuming this just by all his posts on UrbanSTL - most have something to naysay about STL or about activity in KC. His history is in black and white in reading all his posts. That's fine, but it does get old after awhile. It also gets frustrating to see when a thread shows up (like this) in STL Urban Living. It should have been placed in Outstate MO.

It's been moved, but is the drama really necessary? He was just talking about some of KC's successes for cripes sakes.
innov8ion wrote:
matguy70 wrote:
I think Roger is in KC - so he is definitely a cheerleader. I am assuming this just by all his posts on UrbanSTL - most have something to naysay about STL or about activity in KC. His history is in black and white in reading all his posts. That's fine, but it does get old after awhile. It also gets frustrating to see when a thread shows up (like this) in STL Urban Living. It should have been placed in Outstate MO.

It's been moved, but is the drama really necessary? He was just talking about some of KC's successes for cripes sakes.


^ Thanks! The reason I posted it there was I didn't know where to put it. Outstate MO is described as this:Outstate Missouri
Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects in Outstate Missouri, excluding Metro Kansas City and Metro St. Louis.

And matguy, I live at Roger and Wyoming. Sorry you find my posts old!
arch city wrote:
Nonetheless, it is good to see job expansions as well as projects moving forward in both cities.


Absolutely. Not only is it good for Missouri, but too many state rep yahoos in JC love to hate on Saint Louis and we definitely need an "urban partner in crime" if you will. When both demonstrate good results from adopting urbanist principles we'll have a better chance of making inroads in Jeff City for things like public transportation funding and smart eco development incentives. My understanding is that the two cities have been working better on state legislative priorities.
arch city wrote:
^Also, not all of those were announced over the last week.
.


Thanks. Articles printed in the past week is more appropriate.
roger wyoming II wrote:
Thanks! The reason I posted it there was I didn't know where to put it. Outstate MO is described as this:Outstate Missouri
Discuss new retail, dining, business and residential projects in Outstate Missouri, excluding Metro Kansas City and Metro St. Louis.

Good catch. That forum's title has been changed per below. There are now also forums for national and international urban discussion.

In Missouri, Outside Metro St. Louis
Discuss anything urban in the areas of Missouri outside Metro St. Louis.
Cerner is seeing large growth and is planning to pursue a huge expansion in KC's vacant Bannister Mall complex and bring as many as 15,000 jobs, mostly in IT.

This article looks at how a city that has a growing but not incredibly large IT base can fulfill that large a task:
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/p ... m&page=all

I think it is quite applicable to St. Lou. Some tips offered by an IT consultant: target women. recruit young, go overseas.
roger wyoming II wrote:
I think it is quite applicable to St. Lou. Some tips offered by an IT consultant: target women. recruit young, go overseas.


The article mentioned -
employers aggressively recruit software engineers and developers to keep them from hopping from shop to shop


So the the tips above, I would add "Recruit Old".

My logic is -
IT workers in the "sweet spot" of 3-8 (or so - maybe 10) years experience are in big demand. Less or more than that, not so much, except for employers really looking to "go cheap" with the new grads. Those young workers, in 3 years or so, will jump ship or at least be in that sweet spot where they get restless and *have* the ability to move. IT workers' shelf life starts to expire fast after 10 years or so -- ability to jump ship? Not so much. [I'm basing this on experience with "big companies" -- e.g., Cerner -- not small start-ups where the culture and rules of road are different there.] Either way, young or old, contrary to popular belief, no new IT employee - young or old - is going to be 100% productive from Day 1. Some acclimation/training/whatever to a new environment is going to be necessary.
Looks like Brad Pitt's foundation is venturing beyond New Orleans:

http://www.kctv5.com/story/23909764/vac ... nt-complex

Maybe they'll do something here.
Projects like this market-rate apartment complex keep coming along in downtown KC:
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... 6&page=all

Once again the new streetcar line is touted by the developer as a strong positive and I am sure our peers in Saint Louis are noting these examples as they push for our own downtown-midtown streetcar line. The article also is interesting with the mention of the project's connection to Centropolis, a historic hotel that was once on the site and apparently "Centropolis" was a moniker used by city leaders back in the day to convey its proximity to the geographic center of the U.S. I guess they had to come up with something!
This sounds really neat:
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... tudio.html

A group of Kansas Citians are looking to bring some Disney magic back to Laugh-O-Gram Studio.

A Kansas City non-profit group, Thank You Walt Disney Inc., is looking to convert the historic building at 1127 E. 31st St. into an interactive museum and digital production studio. Butch Rigby, the chairman of Thank You Walt Disney, said the project has been a long time coming
.
Very nice story of one man who really has made a difference in redevelopment:

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... nt-13.html

"In the early 1980s, Bob Frye and his brother bought a rundown, six-unit apartment building in Kansas City’s historic Union Hill neighborhood.

About the same time, Frye made redevelopment of the declining neighborhood the subject of his master’s thesis as a Kansas State University architecture student.

Then, in 1987, he took over development rights and made Union Hill’s resurrection his life’s work.

Nearly 30 years later, Frye is nearing the end of that gargantuan task. By the end of the year, he will complete his final two major projects in Union Hill: the 181-unit, five-building final phase of The Founders at Union Hill apartment development and 13 new single-family homes in the heart of the neighborhood — one of Kansas City’s oldest..."

I seem to recall one of the developers who got the Midtown resurgence started a few years back has a similar story with his work beginning as a thesis for UI.
Another good day for KC.... the last significant office space in Union Station will be filled by the National Soccer Coaches Association, which is relocating from KCK. And 500 jobs will be coming to the city as a new sales/marketing chose it for its HQ; although the location will be the essentially suburban Northland.
Good stuff for downtown KC in the last week....

California Solar Company Sungevity Brings 595 Jobs to Downtown
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... tions.html

Minneapolis Tech Company The Nerdery Brings 100 Jobs to Downtown
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... -firm.html

140 unit apartment project planned in River Market
http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... arket.html
Mixed-use conversion of the 32 floor Commerce Bank Tower will bring 265 luxury units but also an early childhood center, charter K-5th Grade and Park University to the lower floors

Image

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2014/12/19/commerce-tower-education-tenants.html?page=all

I know SLLIS has the French School downtown and the struggling Confluence Academy is downtown as well, but are there others?
In addition to working with Cordish on Two Light (the next residential tower for the Power & Light district), KC may see another modern tower too:

Image
Image

A 25 story modern, class A office building just north of the Sprint Center.
Here's an idea of what downtown KC would look like once Cordish finishes the residential at P&L and if the new office tower is built. Photo Credit: KCRag Forum.

Image
^ Is that building in green next to Sprint Center a rendering of the 25 story office building the (non-Cordish) owner of the lot apparently was showing around last week?
This is my understanding, yes. The developer is Copaken - Brooks. They appear to have a few other nice proposals out for towers in KC in addition to this.
^ duh, I didn't notice the rendering you posted above the KC Rag credit.

And it looks like yet another streetcar-spurred residential project is moving forward, this one not too far from City Market:

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... l?page=all
I don't like being envious of KC, but it's hard not to be. Our city leaders should be embarrassed. But they're probably not.