Midtown Plaza Area Plan

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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chaglang
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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby chaglang » Fri Jan 02, 2015 7:48 pm

I agree with the criticism of them being too suburban, the garage doors being too much of a focus, and the number of curb cuts.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby FangKC » Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:18 pm

I would rather see this type of townhouse on those parcels.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby beautyfromashes » Sat Jan 03, 2015 10:02 am

There used to be houses on those lots. Is there just more money in building townhouses vs. freestanding houses? What would a 4 bedroom/ 2 bath house go for on a skinny lot?

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby chaglang » Sat Jan 03, 2015 5:55 pm

FangKC wrote:I would rather see this type of townhouse on those parcels.
+1


beautyfromashes wrote:There used to be houses on those lots. Is there just more money in building townhouses vs. freestanding houses?

The number of SFHs being built in south JoCo makes me think no.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sat Jan 03, 2015 6:16 pm

What would a 4 bedroom/ 2 bath house go for on a skinny lot?

Of course a lot would depend on the finishes and so on but is the KC market ready for what would probably be a three story house?

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby beautyfromashes » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:09 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote:Of course a lot would depend on the finishes and so on but is the KC market ready for what would probably be a three story house?


I would think something like this would do great in KC.
http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/best_new_listings_capitol_hill_row_house_logan_circle_studio_cleveland_park/4513

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby chaglang » Sat Jan 03, 2015 8:09 pm

aknowledgeableperson wrote:
What would a 4 bedroom/ 2 bath house go for on a skinny lot?

Of course a lot would depend on the finishes and so on but is the KC market ready for what would probably be a three story house?

Think in terms of square footage, not height.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby FangKC » Sat Jan 03, 2015 9:11 pm

There are plenty of three-story houses all over Kansas City already.

Plus, there are also a lot of three story houses all over the Metro, in that many houses have a full finished basement--often with one side that opens out onto a patio or lawn.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:31 am

beautyfromashes wrote:
aknowledgeableperson wrote:Of course a lot would depend on the finishes and so on but is the KC market ready for what would probably be a three story house?


I would think something like this would do great in KC.
http://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/best_new_listings_capitol_hill_row_house_logan_circle_studio_cleveland_park/4513


Your question was about 4 bedrooms, not three that those row houses had. If built and people buy it nothing wrong. But I don't think the KC marketplace is ready for that type of verticle living.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sun Jan 04, 2015 2:41 am

FangKC wrote:There are plenty of three-story houses all over Kansas City already.

Plus, there are also a lot of three story houses all over the Metro, in that many houses have a full finished basement--often with one side that opens out onto a patio or lawn.


Of course there are but are they on a narrow lot? And not counting basement. Live in one now but it is not a narrow house that is three stories above ground on the front side. The three story houses that would apply to those narrow lots and others would have a 1st floor main living area with bedrooms on floors 2 and 3. That type of housing is not common in the KC area.
Our friends in the St. Louis area have one of those 3 story narrow homes, really a converted duplex. These houses have a staircase against one exterior wall with one row of rooms, front to back, on the other side. Not your typical suburban house.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby FangKC » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:47 am

aknowledgeableperson wrote:
FangKC wrote:There are plenty of three-story houses all over Kansas City already.

Plus, there are also a lot of three story houses all over the Metro, in that many houses have a full finished basement--often with one side that opens out onto a patio or lawn.


Of course there are but are they on a narrow lot? And not counting basement. Live in one now but it is not a narrow house that is three stories above ground on the front side. The three story houses that would apply to those narrow lots and others would have a 1st floor main living area with bedrooms on floors 2 and 3. That type of housing is not common in the KC area.
Our friends in the St. Louis area have one of those 3 story narrow homes, really a converted duplex. These houses have a staircase against one exterior wall with one row of rooms, front to back, on the other side. Not your typical suburban house.


What difference does it make if the 3-story house is on a big lot, or a 3-story townhouse in on a narrow lot? It's still 3-stories. You still have to walk up the steps in either house.

And, what difference does it make if the house is 3-stories and one of them is a finished basement versus 3-stories above ground? Many suburban houses have a full finished basement used as living space, and two above-ground levels.

Not all houses need to fit the suburban model. People have a variety of needs.

As people age for example, they might have less desire to live on a big lot and maintain a yard. I have talked to several people--some in my neighborhood, who wish we didn't have such big lots to mow. And I don't have the biggest of lots in the metro. Suburban houses tend to have larger lots than old central city lots.

The problem is for many people, and myself included, it's hard to find an older house for sale on a small lot, or a zero boundary zoning situation where house walls sit up to the edge of the lot. I looked and looked and ended up compromising with this house.

I even tried the condo/townhouse route, but I confronted a couple of problems there: financing the purchase because of the requirement that it be occupied by 50 percent owners already, or that the association fees were simply too high. I was cheaper for me to buy a single family house, and maintain the yard and house myself.

Kansas City never built many individually-owned townhouses, or wall-to-wall row houses. This distinction is different than townhouses with homeowners associations and their fees. Other cities have them. In a perfect world, I would have preferred to live in a older townhouse, or row house, built right up to the sidewalk--with a tiny back yard, that I owned individually, and that had no shared homeowner fees assessed. You can't find those in Kansas City.

As mentioned, I have talked to others that wish this type of housing existed. I doubt that these new townhouses on Baltimore and 34th are that variety. They probably will have association fees as well.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sun Jan 04, 2015 9:34 am

What difference does it make if the 3-story house is on a big lot, or a 3-story townhouse in on a narrow lot? It's still 3-stories. You still have to walk up the steps in either house.

And, what difference does it make if the house is 3-stories and one of them is a finished basement versus 3-stories above ground? Many suburban houses have a full finished basement used as living space, and two above-ground levels


There is a big difference. In your suburban model the main living area (kitchen/dining room/front door/living/family room) is in the middle with one set of steps down to basement and one set of steps up to bedrooms. In the urban 3 story model the main living level is on the lowest above-ground-floor with two stories of bedrooms, in that it takes two sets of steps to go from the living area to some of the bedrooms.

Not all houses need to fit the suburban model. People have a variety of needs.


Oh, I agree. It's just that in the KC metro housing market there isn't much of a demand for the urban model of a three story house. Of course that can change in the future but for now I don't see that as a viable option for most developers.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby chaglang » Sun Jan 04, 2015 3:11 pm

For the new Beacon Hill houses I believe they went 3 floors.

There's nothing magical about a 4/2 house. The vast majority of houses in midtown are 3/1 or 3/2, with an extra space on the 3rd floor. Every shirtwaist I've been in have been like that. They seem popular. A standard shirtwaist would fit on any of the lots we're talking about. None of them are especially skinny.

The skinny, 3 story house is a hallmark of an area suffering from land scarcity. That's not KC. More likely than a lack of demand, it's just easier and cheaper to buy two lots and spread the house across them.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby pash » Sun Jan 04, 2015 4:12 pm

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Last edited by pash on Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Sun Jan 04, 2015 5:17 pm

There was a section of row housing east of Main around 33rd(?) that was demolished for the area's redevelopment. The units were identical as opposed to many row houses that have each unit with it's own character. That is the only place I can remember that had that type of building. There is the Greenfield Village(?) in Grandview that is a modern take of the housing style. Individual ownership but more like an apartment complex instead of along a street.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby pash » Sun Jan 04, 2015 7:40 pm

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Last edited by pash on Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby FangKC » Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:21 am

There were some row-houses built, but all of them have been torn down.

There were scattered row-houses on Quality Hill, and some in Paseo West. There were also some townhouse type housing around Admiral and Highland.

I recall seeing a photo of some row houses on W. 11th between Wyandotte and Central, where the Marriott is now. There were also some on E. 14th Street east of Troost.

Below: Tullis Place near 7th and Jefferson.

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Below: 9th and Pennsylvania on Quality Hill.

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Below: W. 10th between Broadway and Washington.

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Below: Rat Castle Apartments near Home Depot in Midtown.

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Below: East 14th Street east of Troost.

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Below: Domphan block, Locust and E. 8th Street.

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Below: Garland block near Admiral and E. 7th Street.

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Below: Row houses near E. 14th and Troost.

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Below: This photo shows some row houses on Campbell north of 15th Street.

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Below: Photos show remaining row houses that used to be on the block of E. 6th Street Between Grand and McGee. They are obscured by the storefront.

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Below: Not sure of exact location of these. Possibly Quality Hill.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby Demosthenes » Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:57 am

There once were many row homes on the east side of downtown, all the way into Paseo West. I have seen some pictures of beautiful, ornate townhomes that were in the area of 13th or 14th street around Charlotte or Harrison or something. Pretty much right where the interstate now is. I would say that this whole area on the east side of downtown, north of Truman Road up to the inner part of the north east, was probably ripe with row homes.

Why assume that the KC area isn't interested in 3 story homes? With the popularity of old 3 story homes in our urban neighborhoods, I'm sure new ones would go quickly.

Edit: Hey Fang, some of those pictures are exactly what I was thinking of. Thanks for putting those up, even though they make me sick. I can't believe we have lost almost all of our 19th Century architecture. Has any other city been so adamant about destroying buildings from this era?

Btw... is the picture second from last showing the old Grand Slam Liquor?

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby FangKC » Tue Jan 06, 2015 1:40 am

Yes. That is Grand Slam Liquor.

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Re: Midtown Plaza Area Plan

Postby aknowledgeableperson » Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:28 am

I am not sure how to check it out but quite a few of those buildings shown in the pictures are probably up/down duplexes or even boarding houses, both popular at the time.
Single family row housing is generally considered to be individual housing that share common sidewalls but no one living above or below you. The front elevation can be either uniform or each living unit having its own appearance. Row housing that involves housing units above/below another is usually called stacked row housing.
Generally speaking I was using the former definition instead of the latter one.


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