As the Kansas City Business Journal reported, DST Realty Inc., a division of DST Systems Inc., is hoping to turn the space into a training facility for the Federal Aviation Administration. The FAA is still considering whether it will relocate the Center for Management and Executive Leadership from Palm Coast, Florida, to one of seven cities (Kansas City among them) vying for the project.
The Lyric Theater represents another opportunity for Kansas City to show that downtown development can be sustainable. If the FAA deal or some other reuse for the former Lyric Opera building isn't found, the city will just be repeating the mistakes of the Sprint Center and Kemper Arena.
KC can't consider a new building a true success if it comes with the burden of an older, underutilized building. And older theaters are not exactly being snapped up. Case in point: the former Alanz Theatre at 624 East 63rd Street. While tax incentives may prove to be the most expedient method of rehabbing the 86-year-old Lyric structure (though, it's hard for DST Realty to claim hardship when it purchased the building in 2007 knowing that the Kauffman Center would be built), the clock is ticking.