Mark Twain Tower going residential?

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Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by KCLofts » Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:15 pm

Mark Latshaw, who did the Clubhouse lofts and the Cromwell lofts, is reportedly looking at the Mark Twain tower.

Could be 150+ more units downtown.  Parking is a big hurdle to overcome right now.

Biz Journal story.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by ignatius » Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:34 pm

Are too many office buildings going residential?  This one was a hot office space I thought.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by trailerkid » Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:35 pm

ignatius wrote:Are too many office buildings going residential?  This one was a hot office space I thought.


How many million square feet of office space is open downtown? And how many companies have been recruited in the last 5 years to fill it?

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by MidtownCat » Mon Apr 18, 2005 5:54 pm

On a side note - The Mark Twain building is home to one of the most amazing athletic clubs in the city.  On three floors of that building are a basketball court, swimming pool, and raquetball courts.  The swimming pool is a double height volume with a running track above it.  The basketball court is something straight out of a Spike Lee commercial.  I've also heard that at one time the building was a hotel and there are a few floors that have simply been locked up and there are many of the rooms in tact.

Pretty interesting place.

I'd hate to lose more downtown office space, but it would be great if in part of a residencial overhaul they did a restoration of the athletic club and it was re-opened.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by dangerboy » Mon Apr 18, 2005 6:19 pm

ignatius wrote:Are too many office buildings going residential?  This one was a hot office space I thought.


Like the article says, it's vacancy rate is quite a bit higher than the average for Downtown, so it can't be that hot.  When One KC is virtually empty, I don't think we are in any danger of losing too much office space.

The upside of converting office to residential, especially less desirable Class B or Class C buildings, is that is lowers the overall office vacancy rate.  That in turn will help to eventually push the market towards new construction of Class A space.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by kard » Fri Jan 27, 2006 4:36 pm

Mark Twain building is off the market and the management company is "aggressively marketing space for lease".  Mark Latshaw had been trying to purchase the building for a condo conversion.

http://kansascity.bizjournals.com/kansa ... st=b_ln_hl
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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by Thrillcekr » Sat Jan 28, 2006 11:47 am

dangerboy wrote:Like the article says, it's vacancy rate is quite a bit higher than the average for Downtown, so it can't be that hot.  When One KC is virtually empty, I don't think we are in any danger of losing too much office space.

The upside of converting office to residential, especially less desirable Class B or Class C buildings, is that is lowers the overall office vacancy rate.  That in turn will help to eventually push the market towards new construction of Class A space.
That's exactly what I was thinking.  Given the hotness of the downtown condo market (which will continue to get even hotter as the amenities keep stacking up) I don't think it will be long before there is no old space of any kind available.  Anyone seeking office space in downtown a decade from now will have to build it.  I'm just glad to hear that this empty space will be filled with something.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by dangerboy » Sat Jan 28, 2006 1:34 pm

It's starting to sound like the downtown condo market has cooled slightly.  A lot of product has come on the market in a short time, so maybe it will take a little more time for the market to absorb all the new units.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by smh » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:36 pm

Mark Twain Tower under contract, mixed-use development plan including offices, market-rate and income-restricted housing.

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/n ... 2013-09-05

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On-going downtown development projects

Post by FangKC » Thu Sep 05, 2013 5:49 pm

Let's add the Mark Twain tower to our list of downtown development projects. Mixed-use office and residential.

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/09/05/buyer-planning-mixed-uses-for-mark.html?ana=e_du_pub&s=article_du&ed=2013-09-05&page=all

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Re: On-going downtown development projects

Post by earthling » Thu Sep 05, 2013 9:02 pm

Not sure I follow all of this but it feels like the Mark Twain owner intentionally didn't make an effort to lease out the office space so that they could get a piece of the $45M tax credit. Not sure if that building is considered Class A or B but am thinking B. There is much more demand for B/C space downtown and they probably could fill it up if they tried. Maybe I'm not reading into it right but it smells suspicious.

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Re: On-going downtown development projects

Post by taxi » Thu Sep 05, 2013 10:27 pm

earthling wrote:Not sure I follow all of this but it feels like the Mark Twain owner intentionally didn't make an effort to lease out the office space so that they could get a piece of the $45M tax credit. Not sure if that building is considered Class A or B but am thinking B. There is much more demand for B/C space downtown and they probably could fill it up if they tried. Maybe I'm not reading into it right but it smells suspicious.

The owner is getting (maybe) $4 million. The new owner/developer will get all the tax credits.
Though I did hear he let the building get old, hoping to get a piece of the historic tax credits. Alas, he would have to develop it to get them. Generally, you have to spend money to get tax credits and I don't think the owner has spent much.

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Re: On-going downtown development projects

Post by FangKC » Fri Sep 06, 2013 2:29 am

earthling wrote:Not sure I follow all of this but it feels like the Mark Twain owner intentionally didn't make an effort to lease out the office space so that they could get a piece of the $45M tax credit. Not sure if that building is considered Class A or B but am thinking B. There is much more demand for B/C space downtown and they probably could fill it up if they tried. Maybe I'm not reading into it right but it smells suspicious.


The Mark Twain tower is now Class C space.

Well, the owner has had "for lease" signs on the side of the building for a long time, so I don't think that was the case at all. Part of the problem is that the building has been for sale for awhile. In the recent past, the office tenants were considered an impediment to the sale, and the owner didn't renew lease agreements with tenants because the building was considered a likely conversion to residential. Adding to the problem was that negotiations with developers kept failing. It wasn't that long ago that the Mark Twain was 80 percent rented. Now it's 10 percent.

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/stories/2005/08/15/story2.html?page=all

Google Streetview shows the signs.

http://tinyurl.com/ly4jnrp

Zimmer is the leasing agent.

http://zimm.reapplications.com/asp/basicleftright_fs.asp?PageUse=WebPublishProfiles&ProfileTemplateTxt=TransListingOfficePropertyProfilePublic&IDName=TransID&RecordID=6745

http://www.zimmercos.com/pdfs/office/MarkTwain_1page.pdf

I think part of the problem with the Mark Twain Building was the internal layout. It's an old building that wasn't ever designed to be an office building, but an Athletic Club, and later was a hotel. It is probably laid out to be small rooms/offices along a central corridor. There are offices available that have only 241 sq. feet. A design that isn't very popular for companies these days that like big floor plates and open office space. To create that kind of desirable office space would require gutting each floor to remove multiple small rooms, and opening up the space. Perhaps even removing the corridors on each floor, and having the elevator open into the office suite.

From the street, the Mark Twain Building appears to have much more mass than it actually does. It's not a thick square-shaped building -- even though one gets that sense looking at it from the street. It's actually a narrower L-shaped building.

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The offices/rooms inside the building would have probably been perfect for a private detective in a 1940s movie drama. :D

I think we should have Loftguy chime in on the internal layout of the building and its' positives and negatives when it comes to renting out space, and/or conversion possibilities. He's more knowledgeable about whether it's suited to be office space or apartments.

The smart thing to do in my opinion is to have the buyer of the Mark Twain tower also buy the Brookfield Building across the street--to the south, and develop both buildings into rental apartments at the same time, and have a unified management office for both. The Brookfield Building is also historic and would be eligible for historic tax credits, and perhaps the new market credits as well.

Then, the developer of both buildings should buy the City Center garage (on the former site of Italian Gardens), which is for sale now, to provide parking spaces for both residential conversions. The Wyandotte Garage, which is on the north side of the Mark Twain Tower, and on Baltimore, is also under contract right now. I would have bought that garage as well and linked it to the Brookfield/Mark Twain development, and dedicated both garages to residential tenants, and then rented out the remaining parking spaces to area buildings needing parking.

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/09/05/city-center-garage-for-sale-priced.html?page=all

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by KCtonic » Fri Sep 06, 2013 8:41 am

Didn't DST own the Mark Twain Building at one time? I seem to remember going through that building around 1993 back when I worked for IFTC (the predecessor to State Street KC & owned by DST + Kemper at that time). I distinctly remember that pool because it was so crazy to see a large indoor pool on the higher floors of an office building.

The wiki page for the KC Atheletic Club has some interesting info on the building as well

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kansas_City_Athletic_Club

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by DaveKCMO » Mon Sep 09, 2013 12:26 pm

It is probably laid out to be small rooms/offices along a central corridor.


that is the problem, i'm told, with the midwest hotel (different than it's cousins -- rieger and monroe -- on the same stretch).

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by chaglang » Mon Sep 09, 2013 7:42 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:
It is probably laid out to be small rooms/offices along a central corridor.


that is the problem, i'm told, with the midwest hotel (different than it's cousins -- rieger and monroe -- on the same stretch).

That's only a problem if they're going for historic tax credits, which require them to preserve the corridor and basic layout of the interior spaces. If they skip the HTCs they can gut the building and do whatever they want with the interior. But they have to have the $$ to do that.

Everyone remember this next year, when the Missouri Legislature takes another run at the historic tax credit program. The redevelopment of this building is apparently MUCH more difficult without those tax credits. Yes, there are restrictions on what can be done with a building, but for buildings with layouts that can accommodate new uses, this is often the funding that makes their redevelopment possible.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by loftguy » Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:05 am

Sorry so slow to note, Fang.

Yes, the Mark Twain/Continental Hotel is difficult to convert either to residential or to meet contemporary office needs.

It can be reconfigured and should be. It's a fine building in a logical location for additional residential. It is an expensive proposition, because of the substantial 'fireproof' construction of honeycombed concrete rooms and significant subsequent improvements into an office tower.

Cost is the issue here. If it were not for the numbers to be met, this building would have been converted six to ten years ago when condominium valuation would have supported greater investment. Historic tax credits did not bridge that gap even then and if the credits go away the gap grows to be nearly insurmountable.


I expect that streetcar deployment will bring additional eyes and greater budgets to study the MT, but it remains a difficult question in search of solution.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by FangKC » Tue Sep 10, 2013 6:25 pm

Loftguy, what do you think about a developer buying the Brookfield Building and the City Center garage and combining them with the Mark Twain Building under one central management? I would think at least having dedicated parking spaces for residents would increase the value of the property and rental rates. Would it make it easier to lease them?

Does having a swimming pool inside the building also make the building more desirable for residents?

I haven't looked at rules for historic tax credits in awhile, but I seem to recall that in certain situations, the exterior part of the building is placed on the historic register, and not the interior. That allows the developer to make modifications to the interior. I think this was done with the Mainstreet Theater when it was renovated. The interior of the theater was completely gutted and interior walls modified. It may have also been done with the President Hotel, and the Union Station powerhouse when it was redeveloped for the KC Ballet. If I recall, the upper floors of the President were gutted completely, and only the exterior of the hotel, the lobby, and certain meeting rooms were probably placed on the historic register.

There are a lot of old buildings that have been modified over the years and have lost their original historic integrity, but the outer façade remains intact.
I think in these situations, the historic tax credits are awarded for specific costs of maintaining or rehabbing the historic elements of the building that remain.

I think this was also the case with the first floor interior space of the old Coates House Hotel at 10th and Broadway when it was renovated. The original lobby space was divided up into offices for New Quality Hill's management office. I imagine the upper floors were divided up into apartments in a different configuration than what the original hotel layout was. In this case, they probably applied the assigned historic tax credits to the exterior preservation of the building only.

Another example of this might be the Chatham Hotel conversion on Broadway in Midtown.

Again, I ask Loftguy to chime in on this.

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by FangKC » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:14 am

The Mark Twain Building gets new market tax credits.

KCMO CDE also approved an $8 million allocation that will provide $2 million in gap financing for OHI Partners Inc.'s $16 million plan to purchase and renovate the Mark Twain Tower at 106 W. 11th Street. The Orlando, Fla., company plans improvements aimed at boosting the building's office occupancy, which stands around 10 percent, and converting part of the tower into a mix of market-rate and affordable apartments.


http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/news/2013/09/10/ab-may-nets-more-incentives-for-move.html?ana=e_du_pub&s=article_du&ed=2013-09-10&page=all

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Re: Mark Twain Tower going residential?

Post by joshmv » Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:03 pm

I was looking for info about the Mark Twain tower because I'm thinking about renting an office space there and I ran across this thread. I took a few photos that I thought might come in handy for someone in the future so I'll add those below.

As far as the interior, it wasn't great. The lobby and elevators were redone in 2001, but I still didn't think they were anything special. The office was on the 11th floor, and because of the price I wasn't expecting much. The carpet was dirty, the lights were very dim throughout, and the smell wasn't exactly pleasing. The office itself was ok for the price, mostly because there was a decent view to the west. Overall I thought the place was pretty depressing, but again, the price was right if only for the window. Not a place I would bring clients.

I asked about the pool and basketball court on the 6th floor so she let me take a look. I loved this part, and I can imagine if this building ever goes residential, that area could be pretty awesome.

I also looked at the Regus space in the old Cosby hotel, and the Innovation Cafe, all within a block of one another so if anybody has questions feel free to ask.

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