18th and Vine

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: 18th and Vine

Postby longviewmo » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:27 pm

Looks like they've already strategically demolished the building next door.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby FangKC » Mon Dec 28, 2015 10:59 pm

I am assuming that the open-air plaza and fountain on the south side of E. 18th Street between Paseo and Vine is the reason they are asking for funding to do strategic demolition of the Chamber of Commerce building, and probably the other old retail building in the photos below. I think this is a huge mistake to demolish two existing buildings--especially for a plaza.

I would rather see them retain these buildings, and eventually do new in-fill buildings in between them and up to the corner of Vine.

One of the problems of the district is that is doesn't operate as a daily retail district. There is no retail density at all--mostly because there aren't enough storefronts to congregate any retail and services together. This won't happen tomorrow, but as Beacon Hill and the area south of 18th and Vine has more housing constructed, there will be a need for neighborhood services and retail again.

Even with the housing project to the east and south, I would think there would be need for a few local services like a hair salon, bank or credit union, child care center, dentist, convenience market, etc.

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Black Chamber of Commerce building on the SE corner of E. 18th and Paseo is to be demolished.

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It doesn't appear this building is in that bad of shape, so I don't understand tearing it down for a plaza.

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I assume the old retail building below will be demolished too.

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The Boone Theater building is seeking funds for a performance space for Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. It has also been mentioned for use by the International Folk Alliance headquarters. I assume they would share the facility.

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The article doesn't mention where a potential site for a parking garage. I would hope that it could be combined with some additional housing units, so the site would not be sole-use.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby FangKC » Mon Dec 28, 2015 11:06 pm

longviewmo wrote:Looks like they've already strategically demolished the building next door.


Yes. That was the Leona Pouncey building that was previously demolished.

FangKC wrote:The former Leona Pouncey law office near 18th and Paseo has been demolished. It was the two-story building near the corner. The corner building remains.

It was listed on Preserve Missouri's 2012 Most-Endangered Historic Buildings List.

http://preservemo.wordpress.com/most-endangered/

The Pouncey Building – Kansas City, Jackson County

The Pouncey Building is a 1909 2-story brick commercial building in the heart of Kansas City’s 18th and Vine Jazz District. This is one of the few remaining original office buildings in the district and is significant in its association with the social history of the district in that it was the office of the city’s first African American female lawyer, Leona Pouncey Thurman, who moved her office to this building in 1955. Missouri Preservation has been made aware that the City of Kansas City intends to move forward with demolition in anticipation of the City hosting the All Star baseball game in July 2012. The building is on the main strip of the Jazz District and in close proximity to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. It is currently on the dangerous building list. Although on the National Register of Historic Places and subject to Section 106 review, it is feared that the City desires to “fast track” the demolition as they are concerned about codes and safety, and the image of blight in the City. Listing on Missouri’s Most Endangered Historic Places will hopefully bring additional interest and awareness to the building to find a buyer who can rehab the building, as there has been interest in the past and the building is currently for sale.


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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby DaveKCMO » Tue Dec 29, 2015 1:14 pm

this district is still the victim of decades-old planning principles.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby smh » Tue Dec 29, 2015 5:56 pm

A shame to see such a nice corner building torn down for what will certainly be an almost always vacant plaza.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby flyingember » Tue Dec 29, 2015 9:31 pm

DaveKCMO wrote:this district is still the victim of decades-old planning principles.


Imagine if the city bought up a bunch of land, gave it away and charged nothing for permits. But development must start within 6 months to get the deal and you're competing for it. The project that produces the most tax return gets the land.

Create a special urban development friendly area without density requirements, height minimums/maximums, design rules, low income requirements, parking requirements, etc. The only rule is no tear downs. If you want a historic building you must use it in your plan.

But all work must be done without any incentives being available. The incentives would be in the free land up front.

The value of seeing what the market would build if rules are relaxed could be worth it to help guide urban planning. It could be a cheap education.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby FangKC » Thu Jan 14, 2016 1:29 pm

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Jazzing up funding efforts

...

If funding is procured, the city would renovate and plan for new development in the Jazz District, including: $1.5 million for an open-air plaza and fountain at 18th Street and Paseo, $1.1 million for a new surface parking lot west of Paseo, $3.9 million worth of new retail buildings in place of an existing parking lot at the southwest corner of 18th and Vine, a new café and renovations for the Blue Room in the American Jazz Museum, $2 million worth of headquarters and performing space plus preservation of the Boone Theater facade at the Kansas City Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, and $1 million would be spent completing the Buck O’Neil Education and Research Center.

...

http://northeastnews.net/pages/?p=30267

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby FangKC » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:06 pm

I still have to be convinced of the wisdom of that pedestrian plaza on the SE corner of 18th and Paseo--indicated by No. 1. I don't see the point of it.

The same goes with tearing down two existing vacant retail buildings to build a new retail building--No. 9. New buildings mean higher rents, and 18th and Vine already has a problem attracting paying tenants that can afford the rents. Older renovated buildings can provide cheaper rents. That one older retail building, on 18th between Paseo and Vine, could possibly be eligible for historic tax credits to renovate it, which helps keep retail rents lower.

If you are going to tear down those two existing retail buildings, certainly don't replace them with one two-story building and a plaza. Get rid of that plaza and put up a 4-5 story building from Paseo to Vine with retail at ground level and apartments on top. 18th and Vine needs more people living there.

I'm still not convinced that 18th and Vine needs the amount of additional surface parking lots they are proposing. I'm dubious that the No. 11 surface parking lot will get used very often. I have never noticed a severe parking problem in the 18th and Vine District as it exists now. 18th and Vine needs more residential.

One of my biggest problems with this redevelopment plan is the lack of new residential housing to come if the City invests, and the inability of the people overseeing this effort to bring in more private equity partners to rebuild the District. Unless the planners can repopulate this neighborhood, I don't think 18th and Vine will ever achieve the level success to justify all this city investment.

I am also concerned that every old building they knock down only diminishes any remaining historic character that remains.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby TheBigChuckbowski » Thu Jan 14, 2016 2:39 pm

I only watched the meeting with Cleave for a short time. But, it seemed like his rationale for the parking was that people coming for the new baseball complex would park there and walk through the district and increase its foot traffic.

I seriously doubt overflow parking would ever get that far away and people will be going to the district any way to grab lunch or dinner before/after/in between games. The parking is stupid and pointless.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby DaveKCMO » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:10 pm

i would expect this proposal to morph as city staff tries to mesh it with adopted plans.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby Eon Blue » Thu Jan 14, 2016 4:28 pm

TheBigChuckbowski wrote:I only watched the meeting with Cleave for a short time. But, it seemed like his rationale for the parking was that people coming for the new baseball complex would park there and walk through the district and increase its foot traffic.

I seriously doubt overflow parking would ever get that far away and people will be going to the district any way to grab lunch or dinner before/after/in between games. The parking is stupid and pointless.

If they're worried about overflow from the baseball complex then they should allow on-street parking along the Paseo. Currently no parking is allowed except for Sundays (on the southbound side, at least).

EDIT: Unless allowance of on-street parking would screw up the eventual bike lanes planned for Paseo. Bike lanes > Parking.

(speaking of which, doesn't Sunday-only parking count as a subsidy for that church? Oh well...)

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby flyingember » Thu Jan 14, 2016 10:02 pm

Eon Blue wrote:speaking of which, doesn't Sunday-only parking count as a subsidy for that church?

Look at how many suburban churches rival walmart for their parking lot size, sitting empty 90% of the week.

I would rather effectively give a parking subsidy than see a sea of parking in more neighborhoods. It's a lesson that was lost as the city spread out.
A shopping center at least has some use 15 hours per day. Many churches are lucky to see 15 hours per week of use.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby FangKC » Fri Jan 15, 2016 8:54 am

Yes, they could also add street parking along Truman Road and Woodland.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby FangKC » Sun Jan 17, 2016 3:16 pm

U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver shows up to back a bold taxpayer ask: $18 million for 18th & Vine


...

This includes $3.9 million for new retail shops, more than $5 million to knock down dilapidated buildings and replace them with new development and parking, another $1.1 million for a surface parking lot, and nearly $3 million for a new headquarters for Kansas City Friends of Alvin Ailey and a Boone Theater courtyard.

...



...

At a time when Kansas City has difficulty finding money for other priorities, such as demolishing the vacant, ramshackle houses that pockmark Kansas City's East Side, $18 million is an extraordinary request. And it leads to some extraordinary claims from Cleaver, such as 18th & Vine being one of the three most recognizable corridors in the United States, along with Broadway in New York City and Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles. Fans of Chicago's Magnificent Mile, New Orleans' Bourbon Street and Memphis' Beale Street might take exception to that assertion.

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This is simply hyperbole from Cleaver. Bourbon Street and Beale Street are both arguably more famous urban districts to tourists and Americans. Both are more fully-developed districts that already draw a lot more tourism and visitors, and function as vibrant retail and entertainment districts. They are also both more authentic in that they have functioning retail and other businesses along them, as well as serve more fully as historic districts. What I mean is that most of the buildings that house the businesses are historic structures. Those cities didn't tear down most of the historic building stock to create the entertainment districts.

And what do Cleaver and Reed want to do? They want to demolish existing buildings, and what remains of the historic building stock, to create their dream for the district. They want to build new retail buildings in place of what is there. By doing that, you are doing away with what makes the district historic to begin with.

I have no problem with new infill structures being put up on vacant lots. But to tear down what is already there makes no sense. You are losing what gives value to the neighborhood. Sure, there is no value now to an empty building, but a renovated building can have value to the district. Even reused facades can have value.

They want to put up new retail buildings, but they aren't proposing a new retail structure on the SW corner of 18th and Highland next to the Gem Theater. They are leaving that a grassy park. Instead, they are tearing down two existing retail buildings to create a pedestrian plaza on the SE corner of 18th and Paseo. This makes no sense either.

Reed and Cleaver are proposing some the same ideas that were done in former urban redevelopment schemes that didn't accomplish their goals. Plazas and new buildings in place of the authentic.

...

Anita Dixon is the executive director of the Mutual Musicians Foundation, an organization that has its roots in Kansas City's jazz heyday of the 1920s, when 18th & Vine was about as far south and as far west as blacks were allowed to travel in the city. She told The Pitch that MMF and other 18th & Vine interests hawd been discussing ideas for the district over the last three months. They were surprised to learn that the city had other thoughts.

"I thought yesterday [last Wednesday] was our opportunity, until I got talked out of it by my 3rd District councilman," Dixon said. "Our discussions were shaping up to turn the area into a couple of heritage districts to be recognized internationally, to preserve what was left."

Preservation is another issue that may complicate future plans for 18th & Vine. Reed and Cleaver's $18 million request contemplates the demolition of four buildings, along with the Armory Building at 18th Street and Highland.

Among those structures are the old Black Chamber of Commerce headquarters and remnants of buildings once housing the old Eblon Theater and the Cherry Blossom jazz club. City officials say they want to preserve the façades of those buildings, if possible.

But preservationists are wary of the city's promises. In 2006, the city reached an agreement with the Jazz District Redevelopment Corporation and the state of Missouri, and pledged to save and restore many historic buildings at 18th & Vine.

"I would say it has been observed more in breach than in its compliance," says Greg Allen, president of the Historic Kansas City Foundation. He cites the demolition of the Leona Pouncey Thurman Law Office Building at 1505 East 18th Street, named after Kansas City's first black female lawyer, as an example.

Preservationists may have found a friend in Katheryn Shields, the newly elected 4th District council member. Shields told Reed and Cleaver that she expects future 18th & Vine plans to preserve historic buildings.

"I will expect that which can be saved will be saved," she said at the January 6 meeting.

...


The other thing I find curious is that Cleaver and Reed seem to be at odds with some of the neighborhood stakeholders in their plans. It appears that some stakeholders want to preserve the buildings that are there. The Jazz District Redevelopment Corporation doesn't appear as preservation-minded.

It also seems incongruous that an old white lady, Katheryn Shields, is more strident about preserving the original historic building stock than Cleaver or Reed. All this while historically the black community has complained that their history is allowed to be erased.

http://tinyurl.com/gwzdzpr

One of the biggest flaws in their proposed plan for the district is their failure to address future hope or plans for parcels on the south side of 19th and Vine, and their failure to provide any plan to attract private investment and development--at least in the form of residential housing.

Are their talks with any private residential housing developers? Have they talked to HUD about more dispersed mixed income housing? Anything?

Have they prepared an extensive neighborhood development plan for housing similar to Beacon HIll for the vacant parcels south of the district along Vine and Woodland, and west along 19th Street to Troost?

What about redevelopment of the Attucks School parcel?

Are there any future plans to also improve Truman Road, and redevelop adjoining retail parcels that are not contributing well to the neighborhood?

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby DaveKCMO » Mon Jan 18, 2016 9:59 am

http://kcur.org/post/mayor-james-talks- ... e#stream/0

James also touted the city's partnership with ArtsTech and KC NoVA as well as the upcoming Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in the 18th and Vine District. Though he had harder words for a recently passed $18 million redevelopment plan for the historic jazz site.

"If you're going to ask for an $18 million investment, I want to know what the heck you're doing with it," James said. "And what I saw was basically, 'Come up with the money and we'll figure it out.' Not good enough."

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby grovester » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:35 am

Really happy to see him take that approach, was worried this thing was going to steamroll through.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby DaveKCMO » Mon Jan 18, 2016 10:52 am

everyone is super sensitive to perceptions from now through april's e-tax vote.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby FangKC » Mon Jan 18, 2016 6:54 pm

The Mayor is right. I want to see a lot more specific details and long-term plans for adjoining blocks--including private partnerships and individual parcel drawings.

I would rather see city money contributed to rebuilding the historic buildings and facades that remain--with individual developers involved (like Sunflower Development) showing any contributions from historic tax credits, etc., than just demolishing what is there and rebuilding new.

What seems crazy to me is that this was Cleaver's big accomplishment as mayor, starting the redevelopment. But in that original plan he didn't prioritize the historical building stock back then--the ones they are talking about demolishing now: Elbon Theater, Roberts' retail block (Dixie-Lan BBQ), the Cherry Blossum Jazz Club building, and the other retail buildings. You save the history first, then build new infill buildings. The whole point of this neighborhood is its' historic legacy. That was probably more important than building the newer buildings that exist now. You build on that later with new retail and residential buildings--say in a phase two plan.

Cleaver talks about the fame of 18th and Vine. That is what people who visit this district want to see and experience--the authenticity. But Cleaver didn't do what he could have then to preserve as much of it as possible. Without that, all the new buildings in the world are not going to make people want to go there.

It isn't just the ruined buildings on the west side of Vine that I have questions about. What about the other empty retail buildings that still have a roof on them, or probably still had back when the original redevelopment started, that have never been renovated?

Why has it taken so long for these buildings to be redeveloped, and are still empty or under-utilized?

The NE corner of E. 19th and Vine streets.

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The west side of Vine Street south of E. 18th Street.

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The east side of Vine Street south of E. 18th Street.

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The east side of Vine Street south of E. 18th Street.

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The west side of Woodland south of E. 18th Street.

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The south side of E. 18th Street between Paseo and Vine.

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The north side of E. 19th Street between Paseo and Vine.

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These are questions that city council members need to make Cleaver and Reed answer as well as those involved in running the Jazz District Redevelopment Authority.

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby TheBigChuckbowski » Tue Jan 19, 2016 9:49 am

I am with you Fang.

The reason 18th & Vine isn't more developed should be clear. It's not a real neighborhood. There's a couple museums, a couple restaurants and a couple jazz clubs. There's barely any employees or residents nearby, no hotel, and there's no good connections to populated neighborhoods. The baseball complex will be huge IMO as it will bring people down there every weekend and hopefully weeknights during the warm months. That's still not enough, though.

If we're spending $18 million, it should be spent on historic restoration, a walkable/bikeable 18th street east and west, a bus connection to the crossroads, a hotel, apartments and offices.

18th & Vine is never going to be able to support itself if it remains a tourist-only destination. A tourist-only destination, by the way, that doesn't have a hotel and is in a "bad neighborhood."

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Re: 18th and Vine

Postby FangKC » Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:00 pm

Some of those empty older buildings also could have provided the opportunity for cheaper rents than the new buildings they put up. These types of buildings then are more affordable to smaller retail businesses, and professional services, that help revive a neighborhood.

This is what Memphis' Beale Street looks like for comparison purposes. It's a vibrant district utilizing many of the original historic buildings.

http://tinyurl.com/hp6gj4u


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