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USA Real Estate Blog

Kansas City Moves Ahead on Two Big Downtown Projects

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The Kansas City Council pushed forward two big building projects
— one at 13th and Main streets and one at Third Street and Grand
Boulevard in the River Market — after taking a timeout on the proposals in
December.

The projects eventually could house as many as 1,800 jobs, and
the council signed off on two ordinances Thursday that would
empower City Manager Troy Schulte to negotiate development
agreements, The Kansas City Star reports.

The project at 13th and Main, called Strata, would be the first
new office tower in Downtown since the 29-story 1201 Walnut
building went up in 1991. It would stack a 750-space parking garage
on existing retail at the corner and then put office space on top
of the parking. The result would be a 25-story, 250,000-square-foot
tower
at a cost of $94 million. The project would be developed
by a partnership among developer Copaken Brooks, Jury & Associates
and H&R Block Inc.

The River Market project would turn a block of surface parking
into a transit-oriented development. The Kansas City
Area Transportation Authority and Briarcliff Development Co. are
driving the plan.

After council members sought more time to digest the proposals
in December, they advanced the projects on Thursday, though the
plans will return to the council again for approval, The
Star
reports.

Both projects seek city financing for parking garages, and the
River Market ordinance passed easily, with a unanimous vote, the
report says. But council members hung up on Strata, which would be
built on spec, meaning without a signed tenant.

Council members expressed concern about putting the city on the
hook to guarantee the debt on bonds issued for the garage but
ultimately tweaked the ordinance’s language to soften its tone, the
report says.

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