Developers lay out their visions for the Kansas City of tomorrow 

Page 4 of 5

Thomas Corrigan Building
Location: 18th Street and Walnut
Project value: $22 million
Public nut: Unclear so far
Developer: Alan Waterman
Details: Thomas Corrigan and his brothers were streetcar developers in Kansas around the turn of the 20th century when fixed-rail transit was fashionable. Some years later, streetcars went out of style in Kansas City. Now streetcars are back in vogue with a two-mile downtown starter line under construction, just a block from a building named after Corrigan. Developer Alan Waterman has told reporters that the forthcoming streetcar line helped inspire him to buy the Corrigan Building — whose previous tenants have included the U.S. Postal Service and the Veterans Administration — and refashion it into 80 loft-style apartments.

Beacon Hill
Location: Troost Avenue, from 22nd to 27th streets
Project value: $50 million-plus
Public nut: Kansas City has committed more than $5 million to spruce up several blocks along Troost and has directed $250,000 in Community Development Block Grant funds for the Colonnade apartments. The Missouri Development Finance Board has approved $5 million in tax credits for a parking garage.
Developer: Beacon Hill Developers
Details: Sixteen years ago, the Beacon Hill neighborhood was supposed to become a harbinger of downtown redevelopment with the city using federal housing money to gobble up parcels of land along Troost. But money was misappropriated, and Kansas City's housing program, which had been entangled in federal receivership, couldn't get the project started. A joint venture among JE Dunn, Zimmer Real Estate and Taliaferro & Browne has gotten Beacon Hill's act together. Last year, the University of Missouri-Kansas City started building student housing there to serve the Hospital Hill campus. More apartments are on the way, along with townhouses.

Roaster's Block
Location: Seventh Street and Broadway
Project value: $30 million
Public nut: Historic tax credits and tax abatement
Developer: O'Reilly Development Co.
Details: Downtown lost one of its more charming aspects when Folgers Coffee shut down its roasting plant on Broadway, thus cutting off the sweet odor of roasting beans that occasionally wafted over the city. A Wisconsin company bought the roasting complex with an eye toward a residential conversion but couldn't garner support for the affordable-housing component of the plan. Now Springfield, Missouri's O'Reilly Development wants to turn the former coffee plant into market-rate lofts and apartments to offer more rental space to downtown's northwest quadrant.

Argyle Building
Location: 12th Street and McGee
Project value: $20 million
Public nut: 25-year tax abatement
Developer: Arghom LLC
Details: Louis Curtiss, born in Canada the year that the Civil War ended, became an architect in the Midwest. His work earned him the moniker "The Frank Lloyd Wright of Kansas City." Among the buildings to his name that still stand are the Folly Theater and the Boley Building. While the Folly thrives as a playhouse and the Boley as an office building, Curtiss' Argyle Building across the street from the headquarters of Kansas City Public Schools has languished in the hands of several developers who failed to refashion it. Parking was always problematic for a residential conversion until City Hall sold developer Jim Wiss a small surface lot behind the Boley and leased 150 parking spaces in a parking garage that municipal employees use. That should help the boarded-up building become about 120 market-rate apartments.

Columbus Park
Location: Between Third and Fifth streets, from Gillham Road to the Heart of America Bridge
Project value: $70 million
Public nut: $18 million from the Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority
Developer: Columbus Park Developers
Details: It's rare to see single-family housing pop up in a downtown core dominated by apartments and condos, but Columbus Park Developers (a consortium that includes Kite Singleton and Zimmer Real Estate) has designs on a 20-acre redevelopment that would turn into a neighborhood within a neighborhood. Plans call for 360 market-rate single-family and multifamily housing units, plus some senior housing and commercial development.

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