Make Grand Grand

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
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KCMax
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Make Grand Grand

Post by KCMax » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:44 am

I love this idea. I like the idea of KC having "corridors" that showcase our city and can spur spin-off development. And Grand seems like a perfect natural corridor.

A grand new heyday is envisioned for KC?s Grand Boulevard
Dubbed ?Make Grand Grand,? the effort was inspired by the ?complete street? school of design. To lead it, Bridging the Gap, an environmental advocacy group, recruited Kemper, the CEO of UMB Financial, and McHenry, the city parks and recreation director.

The plan, just getting under way with a $100,000 city allocation, calls for transforming the 2?-mile stretch of Grand between Crown Center and River Market into an environmentally savvy, landscaped corridor with bicycle lanes, broad sidewalks, cafes and benches
SAVE THE PLAZA - FROM ZOMBIES! Find out how at:

http://twitter.com/TheKCRag

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by kboish » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:47 am

I would really love to see this happen, but hate getting my hopes up.  One encouraging thing that makes it more likely is the fact that UMB and the Kempers seem to be on board...but really how could someone not be?

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by NDTeve » Tue Jun 21, 2011 8:48 am

Good for Kemper and KC. Need more of this...especially along this stretch.
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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by KC-wildcat » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:51 am

NDTeve wrote: Good for Kemper and KC. Need more of this...especially along this stretch.
Maybe I'm just cynical, but I can't read Kemper's comments with an ounce of appreciation.  That jackass and that bank building design has essentially caused the ruin in that area of DT.  No street level retail.  Giant surface lot (as opposed to sub-garage) dedicated to UMB employees.  And his stance on rail is idiotic as well. 

?I?d be sensitive about losing Grand to rail, but if Grand is the widest street and best street for it, I?ll support it.?

The trolley won't replace vehicular traffic on the designated street.

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by ignatius » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:53 am

seems this has at least some substance to it.  is just a vision for now but is necessary before developing a solid plan. we've been wanting some kind of pedestrian scale continuity from CC to the Loop but nothing has been looked into until now.  this could putter out but it is at least a start.  hope it can gain some momentum and bring together several different tangents going on that can develop a focus on grand.

was thinking main should be infilled from CC to P&L but grand would be good too.  might be a challenge to get many of those lots infilled as many are owned by KC Star and other corporate entities.  main would probably be easier to infill, but grand is better for bike lanes.

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by TfromKC » Tue Jun 21, 2011 9:58 am

KC-wildcat wrote: Maybe I'm just cynical, but I can't read Kemper's comments with an ounce of appreciation.  That jackass and that bank building design has essentially caused the ruin in that area of DT.  No street level retail.  Giant surface lot (as opposed to sub-garage) dedicated to UMB employees.  And his stance on rail is idiotic as well.   

?I?d be sensitive about losing Grand to rail, but if Grand is the widest street and best street for it, I?ll support it.?

The trolley won't replace vehicular traffic on the designated street.



This is largely true, but I wouldn't lump Mariner in with his father/brothers. He is a younger guy who is actually pretty progressive. Spends most of his time in Denver, so he understands what a thriving downtown can do for a city. I can understand being upset with some of the Kemper family decisions but I don't think it is fair to throw Mariner under the bus for decisions his family made years ago. I think you'll be surprised at what he can and is willing to do.

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by bobbyhawks » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:24 am

ignatius wrote: was thinking main should be infilled from CC to P&L but grand would be good too.  might be a challenge to get many of those lots infilled as many are owned by KC Star and other corporate entities.  main would probably be easier to infill, but grand is better for bike lanes.
Here's to hoping we can have it both ways.  I'd love to see main have the rail, and Grand become more of a boulevard with bike lanes and a green median.  I still really would like to see us develop something akin to the Ramblas in Spain, with either a closed off section of brick street, or a center section of street for pedestrians that could be closed off to most traffic.  That would never work on Grand without putting a heavy traffic burden on Main, though.  In my ideal world, a capped highway between Truman and the Crossroads would be the Ramblas, and the Grand improvements would help tie together the pedestrian friendly nature of downtown through to Crown Center.

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by taxi » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:28 am

TfromKC wrote: This is largely true, but I wouldn't lump Mariner in with his father/brothers. He is a younger guy who is actually pretty progressive. Spends most of his time in Denver, so he understands what a thriving downtown can do for a city. I can understand being upset with some of the Kemper family decisions but I don't think it is fair to throw Mariner under the bus for decisions his family made years ago. I think you'll be surprised at what he can and is willing to do.
Well said, T.
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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by tella100 » Tue Jun 21, 2011 10:11 pm

kboish wrote: I would really love to see this happen, but hate getting my hopes up.  One encouraging thing that makes it more likely is the fact that UMB and the Kempers seem to be on board...but really how could someone not be?
As a Grand resident, this would be awesome.  Wondering where the 30M comes from though?  I would be all in for a donation though!

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by FangKC » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:00 am

I agree about not throwing Mariner under the bus because of decisions his family has made in the past.  He is younger, and hopefully has different ideas.  I know that I don't think like my parents and grandparents.

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by FangKC » Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:25 am

I do think it's important to upgrade Grand through downtown and turn it into something to be proud of. It needs to be more like W. 47th Street in the Plaza, and improved with better lighting, street furniture, and landscaping.

This is important to redevelop Grand downtown and start making it a place that--in the future--a Polsinelli-Shughart wants to move to, and AMC wants to stay in.  The reason the Plaza is so attractive to firms is because of the total experience. It's well maintained and striking to the eye. Big companies locate in physical areas that match their image. 

There are still a couple of buildings along Grand that need addressing. I think the Traders on Grand tower needs to be renovated, and we also need to get something done with the former Gate City National Bank building, and the Grand Avenue Temple office building.

There are some good spaces for streetside restaurants on the east side of Grand between 9th and 10th streets. I think a couple of restaurants could operate in the Grand Avenue Temple office building retail space, and in that one former retail building that is attached to the former Federal Reserve Bank.

I would also like to see a new building constructed to bridge the gap between the Gate City Bank building and Traders on Grand.  Perhaps the Traders building could be expanded into a larger footprint.  Traders might be bundled into a future Copaken project across the street at 12th and Grand and perhaps share parking.

This would solve some problems. No one is going to object to how tall a building a firm like PS wants to build inside the Loop.  There is less concern with demolishing houses or having uproar from older residential neighborhoods that feel encroached upon.

If you want to take the pressure off the Plaza as far as development goes, then you need to make the downtown loop as attractive as the competition.

We also need to really work on improving Grand between Truman Road to Crown Center. I think the City needs to think about putting a parking garage on McGee for The KC Star and other retail along there, and get the Grand Avenue frontage developed.

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by DaveKCMO » Thu Aug 04, 2011 10:23 am

first public meeting! http://grandblvdkc.com/2011/07/youre-in ... ng-august/

wednesday, aug. 17
6-8pm
UMB bank auditorium
1010 grand

on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grand-Bou ... 2881036891

forum: [url=http://grandblvdkc.uservoice.c​om/]http://grandblvdkc.uservoice.c​om/[/url]

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by geeman68 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:09 am

Attended the Make Grand Grand presentation and meeting.  It was much more than I had thought it was going to be. I only thought we would get a presentation on the plans and sort of do a forum/town hall type thing.

Instead the 75 or so of us in attendance actually brainstormed and did group sessions to help determine the mobility/destination plans of the Grand corridor from Berkley Park to Crown Center.  It was really cool and exciting to take part in such an event.  Our ideas are now going to concept and the next meeting on Sept 21 at 6pm (place TBD) will layout the project concepts/implemenations. 

We were also notified that the Streetcar has been narrowed down to either Main or Grand and that the announcement would be made Sept 21 as well.  We all think Grand would be the better and more obvious choice with the possibility of linking the streetcar south down Main toward the Plaza from a Grand connector.

Some of the biggest things mentioned was defining adequate green space (pocket parks) along the Grand corridor, particularly north of Washington Park.  Allowing for 2-3 free public parking/garage spaces.  Beautification/streetscaping.  Replacing all the surface lots with businesses or event spaces (at least along Grand).  Apartment/rental housing was another big component as we need many more residents in the downtown core in order to have sustainable retail and restaurant viability.  The condo market is too soft, there has been in influx of income restricted housing (1006 Grand, Courthouse Lofts, East Village(under construction)) which is great, but where is the ready supply of market rate, yet affordable, apartments?  3 or 4 apartment towers in downtown proper, smaller apartments/row homes in the Crossroads and another apartment building or two in the Rivermarket/Berkley Park would infuse so much more life and vibrancy into downtown and the core. 

Anyways, enough rambling from me. Just wanted to report on the happenings and goings on. Keep a watch for the next meeting and join us to put in your 2 cents!

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by ignatius » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:20 am

The downside to Grand for the streetcar is that there are some very large lots owned by corporations not based in KC.  Would be difficult to get those developed on a pedestrian scale.  

Main St has a handful of small lots through Xroads that have much greater chance of pedestrian scale development for the streetcar.  Pocket parks is a great idea but they also would probably have a better 'scale feeling' on Main rather than Grand.

I do want to see Grand improved but Main seems to make more sense for the streetcar and seamlessly integrating Xroads and River Market to the Loop on a pedestrian scale.  Grand should be the major roadway for cars, not pedestrians hanging out in a pocket park.

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by ignatius » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:29 am

I've posted this here for voting...

http://www.kcmomentum.com/parking-and-t ... sUpdated=1

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by KC-wildcat » Thu Aug 18, 2011 10:45 am

ignatius wrote: The downside to Grand for the streetcar is that there are some very large lots owned by corporations not based in KC.  Would be difficult to get those developed on a pedestrian scale.  
Grand is the widest, and therefore, best suited for mixing a rail line with auto traffic.  No question. 

However, in terms of proximity, Grand has various downsides.  Grand is two blocks further from the convention hub and the proposed convention hotel.  Grand will also destroy the P&L/SC event plaza that is used for various events (rodeo, circus, BigXII, NCAA tournys, etc). 

On the flipside, if a Grand line served to spark the redevelopment of the big surface lots at 14th St. and 11th St. , I would support the Grand plan 100%.   

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by chrizow » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:08 am

KC-wildcat wrote:

However, in terms of proximity, Grand has various downsides.  Grand is two blocks further from the convention hub and the proposed convention hotel. 
is five blocks really too far for people to walk?  the hotels are mostly between grand and the convention center anyway.  perhaps there could be a very frequent shuttle or streetcar that takes a square route around the financial district for those who will not, or cannot, walk from 13th and grand to 13th and central...

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by GRID » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:39 am

Do you guys really like it when the close grand off like that?  I think it just makes the area feel even more dead when they do it.  It just takes all the traffic off, but nobody really hangs out in the street and it just creates a vast dead space of concrete.

I actually like the bustling atmosphere that the traffic, buses, taxi cabs etc creates with Grand open.  You could just build a really wide crosswalk with a signal between the arena and the P&L district that would be able to handle pedestrians exiting the arena after events and keep the area feeling a bit more vibrant.  Transit would function better too and be less disrupted and confusing to use.

Figure something out for the few days (and really only a few hours of those days) where they actually use grand (big 12 fest).

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by geeman68 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:52 am

GRID wrote: Do you guys really like it when the close grand off like that?  I think it just makes the area feel even more dead when they do it.  It just takes all the traffic off, but nobody really hangs out in the street and it just creates a vast dead space of concrete.

I actually like the bustling atmosphere that the traffic, buses, taxi cabs etc creates with Grand open.  You could just build a really wide crosswalk with a signal between the arena and the P&L district that would be able to handle pedestrians exiting the arena after events and keep the area feeling a bit more vibrant.  Transit would function better too and be less disrupted and confusing to use.

Figure something out for the few days (and really only a few hours of those days) where they actually use grand (big 12 fest).

=D>

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Re: Make Grand Grand

Post by smh » Thu Aug 18, 2011 12:00 pm

GRID wrote: Do you guys really like it when the close grand off like that?  I think it just makes the area feel even more dead when they do it.  It just takes all the traffic off, but nobody really hangs out in the street and it just creates a vast dead space of concrete.

I actually like the bustling atmosphere that the traffic, buses, taxi cabs etc creates with Grand open.  You could just build a really wide crosswalk with a signal between the arena and the P&L district that would be able to handle pedestrians exiting the arena after events and keep the area feeling a bit more vibrant.  Transit would function better too and be less disrupted and confusing to use.

Figure something out for the few days (and really only a few hours of those days) where they actually use grand (big 12 fest).

I’ve never understood why Grand has to be either completely “open” or “closed”. Couldn’t Grand be hut to automobile traffic during certain events but remain open to the streetcar? Streetcars and people can coexist, this is one of the great features of them. Perhaps my favorite example is the Leidsestraat in Amsterdam. People are pretty capable of avoiding large, rail riding vehicles.

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