OFFICIAL - City Club Apartments (former Midwest Hotel)

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
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OFFICIAL - City Club Apartments (former Midwest Hotel)

Postby DaveKCMO » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:31 pm

i wish it weren't true.

midwest hotel, part of the working class hotel historic district, was sold on the courthouse steps to a bank who wants to demolish it to build a high rise with a street-level walgreen's/CVS. pay no mind to the fact that the building is structurally fine (reinforced concrete), but it does need a major renovation.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby Midtownkid » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:58 pm

Might be time to pick our battles. Highrise w a drugstore sounds pretty good. At least not being demoed for parking

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby longviewmo » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:08 pm

$20k/yr in taxes is a lot for an empty building.

The building to the north and the Hereford House lot (to the south) are both owned by the bank according to the tax search, so I assume they have also been sold/are being sold and will be a part of the new development.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby KC Sporting Life » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:17 pm

Gotta say I feel a sense of relief hearing this news. Just the idea that something is going to happen with that space is encouraging. I've been looking at that completely decimated building and empty lot for 4 years. It's been a constant source for criminal vagrant activity. So, while I appreciate it as an historic property, I just desperately want to see some progress here.

And I think this situation is quite a bit different than the Orion building. This one is clearly on it's last leg with few, if any, options remaining. This may actually be a positive development, whereas it's difficult to look at the Film Row building that way.

Also, I think the corner of 20th & Main can be considered an entry or threshold into the Crossroads. Especially with the Streetcar project, when heading north on Main, 20th should really be eye-catching. I'd even like to see some sort of archway over the street, like the City Market signage.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby KCPowercat » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:25 pm

hmmmm....really hate to lose that building, 5 stories, gives nice size to the block....but on the other hand it's obviously a mess. Any further details what the highrise portion would entail? The pharmacy I would think would be a great addition for that neighborhood.....hopefully minus a huge surface parking lot.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby pash » Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:48 pm

.
Last edited by pash on Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:40 am

i have picked my battles. those are the four i've brought to this forum (cosby, lane, orion, midwest). there are others that go unnoticed all over town.

i'm frankly appalled that so few of you think the midwest is worth saving. it's in no worse shape than the cosby (declared a dangerous building + active demo permit) or the imperial brewery (now a burned-out shell boxed in by railroads and elevated freeways), and no less significant. the midwest is part of a recognized group of buildings that's on the national historic register, along with the rieger and monroe (the latter sat vacant for 30 years before being redeveloped).

i would have done the same for the rieger or monroe -- no less architecturally or historically significant.

you know there's nothing to prevent a drive-thru CVS there...

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby HalcyonKC » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:55 am

I've become cynical about any plans to build a new building that involve demolishing an old one. What's to prevent this sequence of events? It's happened many times before:

- The bank demolishes the old building.
- A little while later, the bank then pretends that their plans to build a new building have "fallen through."

Since the land is now vacant, the bank has a reduced property tax burden. They now have very little skin in the game, so they can sit on the consolidated parcel for years and years. The property becomes a purely speculative investment with no active plans by the current owner. They wait for a greater fool to materialize and buy it--like so many other parcels in the urban core. Meanwhile, the people who actually live down here get treated to a view of a weedy, empty and trash-strewn lot for at least the next decade or two.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby kboish » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:09 am

HalcyonKC wrote:I've become cynical about any plans to build a new building that involve demolishing an old one. What's to prevent this sequence of events? It's happened many times before:

- The bank demolishes the old building.
- A little while later, the bank then pretends that their plans to build a new building have "fallen through."

Since the land is now vacant, the bank has a reduced property tax burden. They now have very little skin in the game, so they can sit on the consolidated parcel for years and years. The property becomes a purely speculative investment with no active plans by the current owner. They wait for a greater fool to materialize and buy it--like so many other parcels in the urban core. Meanwhile, the people who actually live down here get treated to a view of a weedy, empty and trash-strewn lot for at least the next decade or two.


I totally agree w/ this assessment. I find it hard to believe a bank is buying this building with actual redevelopment intentions. If it is true and actually happens, then its a new day in KC...but until it does I'm extremely skeptical.

There are a few more details I'd need beforehand. What bank bought it? Is there an actual developer tied into it? What are their redevelopment plans?
Last edited by kboish on Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:15 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:13 am

http://www.pitch.com/kansascity/the-last-resort/Content?oid=2170462

A few years ago, urban redeveloper Adam Jones took notice of the Midwest while working on two buildings across the street, the Monroe and the Rieger, both former hotels. In the Monroe, Jones was renovating a longtime eyesore, a vacant mess that remains an irritation to its neighbors. He had heard a rumor that the owner of the Midwest Hotel had once tried to purchase the Monroe in a deal that fell through.

To Jones, the Midwest isn't a fleabag hotel with a nagging reputation as a crack shop. Instead, it looks like hot property.

"Right now in Kansas City, if you're an urban redeveloper like me, you love it that there has been an owner of the Midwest Hotel," he says. "Because it is a functioning building. It's got a roof, it's got a gutter, it's got air conditioning, he's sandblasted it, he's tuck-pointed all of the structural framework of it, his terra-cotta is not falling off, he's got a lobby, he's got a sign. If he had been allowed to buy the Monroe, it would be open right now just like the Midwest. Now, that says a lot if you ask me."

Jones isn't the only person fond of the Midwest. Six years ago, Chris Seferyn, co-owner of the Velvet Dog, Empire Room and Trocadero along 31st Street, expressed interest in buying the Midwest and reinventing it as a hip hotel targeted at "creative people" visiting or passing through Kansas City.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:15 am

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/stories/2009/12/07/daily16.html?page=all

In 2006, Buckeye announced plans for a $2.7 million project to renovate the Midwest Hotel and convert the top three floors of the five-story building into condominiums.

Those plans never materialized, however, and an October 2008 explosion and fire at the adjacent Hereford House restaurant represented another blow to the beleaguered structure. The restaurant had leased the ground floor of the Midwest Hotel building. The fire was ruled an arson.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby Eon Blue » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:24 am

I looked at the area with a more critical eye as I went by today on my way to work. The site of the former Hereford House is surely a big enough footprint for a pharmacy. If it isn't, then build a new complimentary building on the south site, rehab the Midwest, and share the ground floor for the business. The upper floors of the Midwest can be residential and the upper floors of the new building can be office or residential.


HalcyonKC wrote:I've become cynical about any plans to build a new building that involve demolishing an old one. What's to prevent this sequence of events? It's happened many times before:

- The bank demolishes the old building.
- A little while later, the bank then pretends that their plans to build a new building have "fallen through."

Since the land is now vacant, the bank has a reduced property tax burden. They now have very little skin in the game, so they can sit on the consolidated parcel for years and years. The property becomes a purely speculative investment with no active plans by the current owner. They wait for a greater fool to materialize and buy it--like so many other parcels in the urban core. Meanwhile, the people who actually live down here get treated to a view of a weedy, empty and trash-strewn lot for at least the next decade or two.

This is a discussion for another thread, but I'd love to see a system devised to prevent this scenario. Whether it's reduced property tax rates for vacant historic properties, or an ordinance that says certain categories of buildings cannot be demolished except for immediately prior to new construction, or something else. It's the same disease that causes unimaginative business folks to see more potential in a pay surface lot than an empty multi-story building.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby shinatoo » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:52 am

HalcyonKC wrote:I've become cynical about any plans to build a new building that involve demolishing an old one. What's to prevent this sequence of events? It's happened many times before:

- The bank demolishes the old building.
- A little while later, the bank then pretends that their plans to build a new building have "fallen through."

Since the land is now vacant, the bank has a reduced property tax burden. They now have very little skin in the game, so they can sit on the consolidated parcel for years and years. The property becomes a purely speculative investment with no active plans by the current owner. They wait for a greater fool to materialize and buy it--like so many other parcels in the urban core. Meanwhile, the people who actually live down here get treated to a view of a weedy, empty and trash-strewn lot for at least the next decade or two.


We should have some type of permanent minimum tax to thwart things like this. As in, if they knock down a viable building the taxes stay the same even if they don't rebuild.
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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby WSPanic » Thu Jan 24, 2013 9:59 am

DaveKCMO wrote:
i'm frankly appalled that so few of you think the midwest is worth saving.


It's safe to say most everyone on this board would prefer this building be saved rather than torn down and possibly redeveloped.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby KCPowercat » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:09 am

Yeah I think everybody here wants it saved. I halcy explained the probable outcome very clearly which is why we were asking for more details.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:18 am

this is the new owner: http://www.greatambank.com

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby earthling » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:46 am

I simply do not understand tearing down buildings when there are so many surface lots in Xroads that need infill. What's not to get about that.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby taxi » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:01 am

I don't trust any bank, I don't care if they're great, American or locally owned for over a century. By nature, their only interest is in making money.
If one of those drugstores goes into a space on that lot, where does the other one go? If I were a bettin man, I'd wager across the street.

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby smh » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:05 am

Can we expect any additional land to be opened for development now that the Walnut viaduct is closed?

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Re: And here we go again... Midwest Hotel to be demolished

Postby kcmetro » Thu Jan 24, 2013 11:11 am

Isn't this good news? The streetcar line was intended to spur development like this, correct? I know it would be preferable to have them keep the old building intact, but it's hard to be upset about a new "high-rise" (whatever that entails) residential building in the crossroads.


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