Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby lock+load » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:45 am

Disgusting. KC Life is a scar on this city.

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Midtownkid
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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby Midtownkid » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:27 pm

GRID wrote:None of this stuff should be coming down in kcmo. This continued destruction of the urban fabric of kc is mind boggling and so un-productive. KC has got to find a way make land and structures on land in urban corridors like Broadway more valuable and desirable. Broadway needs light rail (street cars would be better) or something to spur economic investment and maintain density.

You add all these little tear-downs up (which rarely lead to quality urban redevelopment) and the you have substantial damage.

For the love of god, stop tearing things down. There has to be more that can be done to correct this.


The Valentine Shopping Center needs to be torn down and redeveloped as a mixed use place. An apartment tower or two (same height as Ambassador), town homes to the west, major retail along Broadway, and smaller cafes etc on Valentine.

Imagine if Whole Foods or Trader Joe's opened there or in a new building on the Blockbuster site. GAME CHANGER. That would do the trick.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby Midtownkid » Fri Mar 09, 2012 1:38 pm

Image

Looking at this picture, the apartments were even more attractive that I remembered. I don't buy the "too dangerous, burden on the neighborhood" thing. I feel like KC Life / many in KC are just too lazy or too un-imaginative to see the potential in our old buildings. Pretty much every single piece of the urban fabric is important. We've already destroyed most of 1800s KC, lets not start digging into the 1900-1930s. That was KC's time in the spotlight!

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby FangKC » Fri Mar 09, 2012 6:41 pm

Neighbors wanted the attention focused instead on the nine-story Ambassador Hotel at 3560 Broadway and the Knickerbocker Apartments, which also are owned by Kansas City Life. They say demolishing the Little Ambassadors could provide parking space that could assist the redevelopment of the other structures.

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2012/03/07/34 ... rylink=cpy


No place to park? Look south of the Ambassador and Knickerbocker Apts. and one can see that the roof of the Valentine Shopping Center has a ramp and parking spaces on the roof that are completely empty. Why can't the Ambassador rent spaces there?

Another alternative would be to close Knickerbocker Place to through traffic and allow resident angled parking on the street behind a secured gate. There are no other driveways on Knickerbocker Place other than those that would serve those apartments, so it doesn't need to be a through street anyway.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby macnw » Sat Mar 10, 2012 10:55 am

KC Life has been buying property in that neighboorhood forever. What are the options to minimizing this land grab. Doesn't historic preservation mean anything. Doesn't St Louis save lots of their older buildings? What is it with KC? Portland goes to great lengths to save buildings, even when in terrible shape. Every city has a past, just seems like KC doesn't give a shit. What does Sly say about all this destruction?

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby FangKC » Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:55 pm

I was surprised that the Historic KC Foundation was so compliant about this. I can't imagine Jane Flynn would have gone along with this.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby KCMax » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:58 am

Midtownkid wrote:Image

Looking at this picture, the apartments were even more attractive that I remembered. I don't buy the "too dangerous, burden on the neighborhood" thing. I feel like KC Life / many in KC are just too lazy or too un-imaginative to see the potential in our old buildings. Pretty much every single piece of the urban fabric is important. We've already destroyed most of 1800s KC, lets not start digging into the 1900-1930s. That was KC's time in the spotlight!


Wow, had never seen that side. Real shame that is going down.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby KCMax » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:58 am

Midtownkid wrote:Image

Looking at this picture, the apartments were even more attractive that I remembered. I don't buy the "too dangerous, burden on the neighborhood" thing. I feel like KC Life / many in KC are just too lazy or too un-imaginative to see the potential in our old buildings. Pretty much every single piece of the urban fabric is important. We've already destroyed most of 1800s KC, lets not start digging into the 1900-1930s. That was KC's time in the spotlight!


Wow, had never seen that side. Real shame that is going down.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby FangKC » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:01 pm

I don't buy the premise that those buildings were torn down because they were in terrible shape, and were dangerous buildings.

The Chatham Hotel up the street was probably in much worse condition, and it was restored. The exteriors of the Little Ambassador buildings look fine to me, so it appears to have been mostly interior deterioration. If people were camping out in the building, then secure the building against entry. This is all about parking, and there were probably other solutions if the owner had pursued them.

Does Kansas City Life own the Valentine Shopping Center? Does anyone know?

I still think that Knickerbocker Place could have been closed by the City as a through street. The City closed W. 37th Street between Broadway and Central to create parking for the Chatham Hotel redevelopment.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby longviewmo » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:04 pm

FangKC wrote:Does Kansas City Life own the Valentine Shopping Center? Does anyone know?


It looks like it's owned by UGA LLC, which is also listed as the owner for Uptown Theater.

Here's a county picture of one of the destroyed buildings in 2005. It doesn't look bad at all.

Image

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby chaglang » Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:36 am

Pardon my ignorance, but has KC Life ever actually redeveloped any of the property they have demolished? Do they have any plans for any of their vacant lots? I know they have held the land along SW Trfy vacant for decades. If I remember correctly they were sued by someone to stop bulldozing the remaining houses they own over there - hence, the lonely apartment building and white frame house a block north of the Norman School. I've also seen the KCPD using the Knickerbocker Hotel and another KC Life-owned house directly behind the Norman School for door kicking and SWAT practice, which makes me skeptical that they are interested in keeping any of these buildings in usable condition. At what point does the city (or someone) take KC Life to court to get them to stop tearing down everything they own?

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby Midtownkid » Wed Mar 14, 2012 10:46 am

Luckily we still have twins for these buildings near Linwood on Forest Ave.

Image

I really really wish we could get the city going again around there. Linwood and Paseo is such a special place in the city. There are great clusters of buildings along Troost around Linwood and Armour, Laugh O Gram Studios, and some of the city's most well-built colonnaded apartments. It should be an elegant area again someday. Not impossible!
Last edited by Midtownkid on Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:21 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby FangKC » Wed Mar 14, 2012 5:33 pm

YAY, we still have examples. The only problem is that I worry just as must about losing those buildings as well, because they sit empty and unrenovated. So many other buildings around them have already been demolished in that neighborhood, and because it's east of Troost, there is less likelihood that they will get saved. The Little Ambassador buildings at least were in a much better neighborhood, where renovations are going on.

Does anyone know of any other buildings of this design anywhere in the City?

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby FangKC » Wed Mar 14, 2012 11:03 pm

I just came across this old Business Journal article from 2010 that indicates that Kansas City Life tried to buy the former Norman School building on SW Trafficway. They had the high bid, but apparently lost out, and ended up suing, but didn't prevail.

It makes me wonder if KC Life would have demolished the Norman School or not, and why does KC Life buy up so many properties just for the purpose of demolishing them?

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascity/stories/2010/04/05/story9.html?page=all

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:04 am

FangKC wrote: and why does KC Life buy up so many properties just for the purpose of demolishing them?


I thought its purpose was to build some sort of midtown office complex at some point in the future.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby Midtownkid » Thu Mar 15, 2012 10:20 am

We aren't Manhattan. Our Midtown should stay "park-like " and mostly residential as it is. We should be infilling with single family homes in the neighborhoods with bigger retail/office/residential buildings along Main and Broadway, 31st and 39th only. Hope they never build a giant office complex.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby WinchesterMysteryHouse » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:00 pm

The Ambassador apartments were dangerous to live in, however. I rented there in 2003 and it was totally 'hood.' Ambulances and KCPD nightly, mildew underneath the carpets in the halls, squatters in the basement. The February before my lease started, bodies discovered in the dumpster. That Spring this cat Manuel got stabbed to death in the hallway. That's hood. I periodically visited after my lease expired and the front door, a metonym, was comically altered to every time. Boarding the glass, extra locks, etc.

So, this is where preservationism meets reality, and it sucks preservationism loses to hood reality in KCMO.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby pash » Tue Mar 20, 2012 6:12 pm

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Last edited by pash on Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby chaglang » Wed Mar 21, 2012 6:08 am

pash wrote:Which makes sense only if you're the kind of person who can keep a straight face while blaming those problems on bricks and mortar.


Seriously. The Ambassador's condition is only a symptom of the problems. Remediation needs to take place at the landlord/owner level.

Honestly, if there were still people living in the building, preservation is the easier option. I've personally seen uninhabitable buildings saved for less than the cost of demoing them. But the owner has to give a crap. Everything starts with the owner.

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Re: Knickerbocker Place Apartments

Postby kcjak » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:25 am

Wasn't the Ambassador renovated just a few years ago?


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