Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

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.

Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Keep it as is - almost entirely as a shopping/restaurant mall district.
11
19%
Mix things up just a little more such as adding neighborhood amenities, broader nightlife, lighter eats.
27
47%
Needs more drastic change with less mall focus, pedestrian only street.
14
24%
Don't care.
5
9%
Other
1
2%
 
Total votes: 58

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by flyingember » Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:13 pm

earthling wrote:And cutting down on some retail could provide opportunity for downtown to expand retail.
what makes you say these two things connected?

would a retailer that wants to locate in one of the premier retail centers in the midwest really locate downtown just because there's no space at their center of choice?
there's signs this is the case, look at how many companies waited for space to open on the plaza. The Apple Store was space constrained for years and waited for larger space there before moving and they could have opened a huge store downtown at any rate they wanted to pay

Is it possible that your ideas have a better chance of opening elsewhere nearby and high end retail does so well on the plaza and pays so well there's no reason to support anything else?

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Jul 19, 2017 3:28 pm

Agree that high end retailers like Apple would want to be on Plaza. But there are avg joe mall retailers that may consider downtown if no spots on Plaza. Greater Downtown might need to hit 30K pops before it happens, and it's getting there with the planned units.

We are talking in circles but the point is not to get rid of Plaza retail, the suggestion is to just reduce about a dozen retail spots to broader variety and it looks like so far the poll agrees with that. There are a lot of locals who've lost interest in the Plaza, the 'boring mall' it has become. I know some who go maybe once/twice a year and only because of showing off KC to someone who visits them. We have a drink at Plaza hotels once in a while and when talking to visitors about the Plaza there are sometimes comments about it just being 'a generic mall with pretty lipstick' and 'no services to walk to (drugstore/market)'. Hotel visitors from larger cities expect it, find it strange Plaza doesn't have any basics. The new owners could mix things up a bit more and draw a broader audience more regularly. With a pedestrian only stretch, it could become much more appealing.

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by flyingember » Thu Jul 20, 2017 8:57 am

There are a lot of locals who've lost interest in the Plaza, the 'boring mall' it has become
why does the plaza need to be something for everyone? Why does it need to serve any specific person to be worthwhile with the storefront mix the way it is today?

If a great new neighborhood use store wanted to open up at 47th and Madison would you be upset because it's not on the plaza?

A dozen uses changing can easily be fulfilled by being OFF the plaza and in close proximity. I don't understand the insistence that these 15 square blocks are so special that a specific need couldn't possibly be fulfilled anywhere nearby.

To pick one example
There's a CVS at 50th/Main, 43rd and Rainbow and 39th and Main and a Walgreens at 39th/Broadway and it looks like the Sunfresh has one. That's one pharmacy half a mile from the plaza and five within close proximity. Why is that not good enough?

Yes, we need to mix things up but there's way more opportunity by looking near the plaza than on the plaza to add to the retail mix.

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Thu Jul 20, 2017 9:37 am

Agree it doesn't "have to be" anything, but there are opportunities to do so much more with it than a generic mall despite what goes on with the surrounding areas. And many apparently agree the Plaza needs at least some form of a change than just a mall. Those who live around it would like some neighborhood amenities (just a few spots) that are at a pedestrian scale, the Plaza used to have this before turned into a mall. Is understandable some in burbs accustomed to car-dependent culture don't appreciate this (though odd to strongly oppose). Some who have lived in highly urbanized areas see lots of missed opportunities with what the Plaza could become - the bones are there to become a really great neighborhood village _and_ regional destination with shopping/restaurants.

Acknowledged you are fine with the way it is as a suburban visitor and don't think it needs significant change. Swag bag for participating. We're talking in circles at this point.

Seeking input/feedback/ideas from any others before sending this thread to new Plaza owners.

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by flyingember » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:12 pm

You're still not getting what I'm saying. I'm saying you're thinking too small by focusing on one shopping center.

The opportunities are 100x greater to look beyond the functionally tiny area of 46th Ter to Ward Parkway and Main to Jefferson. Here's a map
https://countryclubplaza.com/wp-content ... ng-map.jpg
It's quite a bit smaller than many think it is. There's zero hotels actually on the plaza, for example (they show two for positioning) to go back to your point on hotel guests

We need to expand the walkable retail areas of midtown and the country club district, not limit our amenities to one small area because it has the name everyone likes.

Why is there such a push to mess with this shopping district when we could put the same things a few blocks away off the plaza?

Would a CVS three blocks from the plaza t 45th and Belleview really be a horrible place to go?
Is the mixed use project at 51st/Main, 0.5 miles from the plaza, so far away that it can't work as a neighborhood amenity?
Is the library at 49th/Main so far from the plaza that someone at 45th and Penn can't walk there?

We need to think of the greater area and connect neighborhoods to amenities much more directly than them needing to go to the plaza. There's nothing wrong with a shop not being within 3 blocks of Broadway and Nichold Rd. It's not in the wrong place because it's not next to the apple store.

I'm saying we need to spread these amenities out more so they're actually in the residential neighborhoods. We need bike lanes TO the plaza, not just on it

We don't need to upend the purpose of the plaza to open neighborhood amenities.
Last edited by flyingember on Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Thu Jul 20, 2017 3:26 pm

^Got it, thanks for the input.

Would be good to hear from others too on your comments. Your position and ideas are pretty clear and something for them to factor. Another swag bag for your participation.

Will send this to Plaza owners maybe Monday morning. Have several contacts lined up. Will point out that despite small poll this is a pro development leaning site that discusses city issues. Will be interesting to see if this experiment gets any action if even small.

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Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by wahoowa » Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:56 pm

earthling wrote:There is a CVS with tasteful signage in background...
Image
charlottesville!!

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Tue Jan 23, 2018 4:48 pm

With the Plaza lease losses and no signs of significant improvements, I'll send this thread to the new owners again. Continue to post any ideas here for change. See original post as well and vote in the poll. Can also change vote.

I'll update the original post with any new ideas and send to owners.

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by beautyfromashes » Tue Jan 23, 2018 6:02 pm

Good local brewery, Local Pig Burger & Dog concept, Sushi Place, Groceries & essentials mart, gelato, KCCO retail, Made location, Crate & Barrel, Hibatchi type relaunch, second story gym...

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by longviewmo » Tue Jan 23, 2018 8:27 pm

Yeah, local brewpubs are the hip thing. Pick the best and offer them a sweet deal?

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by bobbyhawks » Wed Jan 24, 2018 1:12 pm

If I were running the Plaza, I'd go after Bob Wasabi for a touch higher-end sushi concept and pair it with a sake/white wine bar, though KC may be more of a sushi rolls city and not as interested in good sashimi and nigiri, which is really his selling point. I also think a high-end wine store with in-house tasting room (not a crappy branded wine-maker/restaurant) would do well, as well as some type of french-style bakery (could get a McClain's or lure someone like Paris Baguette). If they wanted to do something huge, they could try to get an Eataly or other similar concept, which would be a giant get for KC.

Ideally, and since I'm not running the Plaza, I'd love to see Bob Wasabi move to the Crossroads for the sushi/sake/wine bar (we already have multiple good/excellent bakeries and a great wine store in Cellar Rat).

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by beautyfromashes » Wed Jan 24, 2018 2:14 pm

^ Great ideas! I’m not sure if Bob Wasabi is ready for the scale and speed that would be required on the Plaza, but a partnership to help with running the business side would be excellent.

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Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by ToDactivist » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:08 pm

wahoowa wrote:
earthling wrote:There is a CVS with tasteful signage in background...
Image
charlottesville!!
This is where Delaware is going....

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Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by grovester » Wed Jan 24, 2018 3:39 pm

ToDactivist wrote:
wahoowa wrote:
earthling wrote:There is a CVS with tasteful signage in background...
Image
charlottesville!!
This is where Delaware is going....
Yes, seems like having Delaware car free/rail only would be pretty low hanging fruit.

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Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by flyingember » Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:53 pm

grovester wrote: Yes, seems like having Delaware car free/rail only would be pretty low hanging fruit.
I would start with Nichols Road between Penn and Jefferson. Both sides of the street have an alley available and no parking garage/lot off it.

Seems like the single easiest block to close in the city and as it's only a four-block street it won't affect through traffic. It's also not so long that delivery vehicles couldn't park on the N-S roads and walk a little or deliver from the rear.

I kind of picture a two-way bike lane on the south side of the street and basically turn the rest into a large outdoor plaza (pun intended) that businesses can use. Like outdoor seating space for a restaurant, sidewalk sale or the like

Also would give a large space for more regular outside events, increasing foot traffic and thus leasing rates

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by WoodDraw » Wed Jan 24, 2018 7:28 pm

Can someone tell me what the path is that they're on? Other than dealing with retail turnover as best as one can, I see no plan.

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Thu Jan 25, 2018 10:33 am

^Their 'strategy' if there is one appears to be to maintain it as a mall/restaurant district with a bit more local mix. The poll above so far shows nearly 70% think it needs more mixing up outside just mall shops/bars/restaurants or more drastic change.

Plaza vacancy is only 3% (Dec 2017) but was better before new owners took over. Downtown now has lowest retail vacancy in metro.

They need to do something for broader (and specialty) appeal as retail in general struggles with online shopping and retail/chain restaurants are not as much a driving attraction - churning to local restaurants won't be enough. Acknowledging there is a neighborhood around it and catering to it would be a good start. Then expand offerings beyond mall shops many visitors already have near them. Would be nice to see some Plaza mall-like retailers (especially clothing) move downtown and Plaza mix things up outside mall retail, both ending up with a better neighborhood/shopping balance.

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Re: Does the Plaza need a drastic change or on the right path?

Post by wahoowa » Thu Jan 25, 2018 3:49 pm

ToDactivist wrote:
wahoowa wrote:
earthling wrote:There is a CVS with tasteful signage in background...
Image
charlottesville!!
This is where Delaware is going....
yes, please! :D i had my eye on a living arrangement near there already, but a move in this direction and even mrs. wahoowa might be on board

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by earthling » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:05 am

With Plaza struggling to adapt, any new thoughts on need for a different path? See first post. Will send this thread again to new Plaza owners.

So far about 70% think Plaza needs to mix things up or more drastic change, about 20% say stay on the path they are heading.

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Re: Poll: Does the Plaza need a drastic change, some change or on the right path?

Post by Darlene » Wed Apr 11, 2018 8:23 am

I like the Plaza pretty good but I do want to see more parking lots. A lot of ladies are not okay with parking in the garages at night.

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