OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Good2Great
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 3:24 pm

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby Good2Great » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:22 am

I'm downtown all the time, but the fact remains that our city prefers to do great things IN SECRET. We spent millions on 18th & Vine, Union Station, Liberty Memorial, etc and then clammed up about it when we should be shouting this stuff coast to coast.

The perception of downtown as a ghost town has been perpetuated by the closed mouths of city leaders and the failure of anyone to market downtown as the place to be. The folks in the burbs need to be educated about the urban core, but no one is leading that educational effort. Even groups like Urban Core Group are intended for, well, people who already know about it.

We need to reach out to the burbs and educate.

Conversely, there's still a TON of ignorance in the burbs. A few years ago my organiztion held a planning retreat at Union Station with a small party to follow in the evening. One of my board members, who's a prominent JoCo bank president, called and said that his wife wouldn't be joining the party. Curiously, I asked why not and he said she didn't feel comfortable being at Union Station after dark. It's this kind of "Honkey Think" that we need to change.

There are so many misperceoptions metro-wide that must be changed for real progress to occur.

The JoCo population needs to understand that downtown isn't booby trapped to abduct/rob/rape whites.

The Southlanders need to know the Northland isn't a hillbilly village.

The Northlanders need to see WyCo as a great place for a day trip.

The eastern Jack fols need to realize that not driving a Lexus in JoCo won't get ou pulled over by the cops.

Each of these seem to be rediculously gross exagerations, but they are very real perceptions.

Somehow, a metro wide educational effort needs to be spurred.
KCSKYSCRAPERS changed my life. I was on the edge until I visited this site. Now I find myself longing to dive off a 60 story building onto a frozen fountain paying tribute to the St. Louis Arch.

User avatar
KCPowercat
Power & Light
Power & Light
Posts: 27633
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:29 am

now THAT I can agree with. Much of it is perception...I just don't like hearing that "perception" come from you as well....
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

Tweeting live from Big 12 tournament @downtownkc

User avatar
QueSi2Opie
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3864
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:05 pm
Location: Hangin' with the cons, crazies, and crackheads on 11th & Grand.

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby QueSi2Opie » Mon Aug 18, 2003 11:57 am

G2G made some excellent points...and his sarcasm reflects what many people think, but won't say because they fear that they'll be flogged for thinkin' KC has some real problems. Yes, it's gettin' better...but at what pace? Are we goin' to talk about an arena and entertainent district for another decade? Five years ago we were talkin' about the Power & Light District. I hope in the year 2008 I'm not sayin', "Remember when we was discussin' Cordish and SoLo? At least we have a few more lofts, a sprawling Federal Reserve campus that mirrors Sprint, and hopefully Union Station will open it's doors back up now that the IRS has relocated."

Seriously though, the Hard Rock Cafe represents America...and we're in the middle of freakin' America...so let's get one, join hands and sing Everything's Up-to-Date in Kansas City. However, I don't want to see a Hard Rock Cafe as the premier restaurant attraction for any type of entertainment district. It can be mixed in with other jazz, blues, reggae and high energy clubs in addition to other types of KC-original restaurants, funky retail and cool galleries.
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

I finally divorced beer and proposed to whiskey, but I occassionally cheat with fine wine.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12161
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Realities of a Mass-Marketed Economy

Postby FangKC » Mon Aug 18, 2003 8:00 pm

The realities of the modern entertainment marketplace revolve around branded names and franchises. Kansas City may have to accept a Hard Rock Cafe to interest tourists.

There are few movie theaters owned by a single, independent owner. Subsequently, Joe's Hamburger Stand cannot compete in market with Wendy's, McDonalds, and Burger King. To be successful, businesses need to be able to mass market their products and spread the cost of advertising and marketing across the board.

Branding appeals to consumers because they know they can get a Whopper anywhere in the world with certainty of how it will taste. Human's are attracted to what's familiar. People are inclined to avoid having a bad experience. Why risk Joe's Hamburger when they know they'll like Burger King? Granted, it deprives one of a new experiences and a hamburger that might turn out to be truly awesome.

We have to deal with modern realities of the marketplace. Hard Rock Cafe has become a brand name and an American icon. People are buying nostalgia packaged around food and music. They want to be able to tell their friends back home that they went to HRC on their trip to Kansas City, and have them know what that means. Tourist attractions are designed to attract tourists.

Unfortunately, if Grand Emporium were downtown, tourists may hesitate to go there. Why? "Hmm, Grand Emporium, I haven't ever heard of this place and I don't know what it is." Walk a block down the street, "Oh look, there's a Hard Rock Cafe, let's go there. I know what that is."

Humans operate on the same principle as when one enters a crowded room, one instantly goes to talk to people they already know and not random strangers. Think about it. When most people are in a large group of strangers, they are more likely to walk up and talk to someone they barely know and have little in common with, and whom might be a complete dork. Most people would do this instead of taking a change on a complete stranger.

We have to have a mix of places for any entertainment district to be successful. Having establishments like the Grand Emporium, The Hurricane, and The Beaumont Club downtown would attract local people and give the appearance of activity to outsiders. Hard Rock Cafe would give tourists a place to go while staying here. Once they have hit HRC, they might then try going to a local place. The local barbeque restaurants would attract both locals and tourists.

Convention planners are affected by perceptions and appearances. If Kansas City's downtown appears dead--with little entertainment activity, they will hesitate to send people here on conventions. People are attracted to activity--any activity. They will opt for places with a more lively reputation--like San Francisco, New Orleans, San Antonio, or Las Vegas. They want to get positive feedback from conventioneers.

For the downtown entertainment district to become successful, we have to create the perception of activity. If that means a Hard Rock Cafe in the mix, so be it.

User avatar
QueSi2Opie
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3864
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:05 pm
Location: Hangin' with the cons, crazies, and crackheads on 11th & Grand.

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby QueSi2Opie » Mon Aug 18, 2003 9:13 pm

Besides that, I can add another HRC shot glass to my collection 8)
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

I finally divorced beer and proposed to whiskey, but I occassionally cheat with fine wine.

User avatar
paisstat
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 402
Joined: Mon Aug 18, 2003 10:55 pm
Location: Volker
Contact:

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby paisstat » Tue Aug 19, 2003 12:39 am

A few themes restaurants are better than none at all. We don't want downtown to become an outdoor mall, as much as we all adore The Plaza. Once again, mega projects are not the way to go. I don't like the idea of developing zones or districts specifically for entertainment. A cluster of bars is a good idea, but there also needs to be housing, restaurants, coffee shops, and small retail. Either way, the streets must be narrowed, sidewalks widened and varied with different textures and materials, trees must must be planted now, the vacant lots and parking lots should be rebuilt with urban infill. These new buildings must include street level store fronts and be the same height as nextdoor buildings. Some present vacant lots can be carefully turned into green spaces surrounded by retail. Angled parking is a plus, as are new parking garages with street level retail. All those hideous billboards along I-35 should be torn down, with a city-wide ban on all billboards. The ones along I-35 ruin the view of downtown, and the one on the side of Union Station featuring Science City is in poor taste!

User avatar
trailerkid
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 11221
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:49 pm
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby trailerkid » Sat Aug 30, 2003 4:41 pm

I think the question to ask is...If I'm visiting NYC, Chicago or D.C., would I go to Hard Rock? My answer would be "Hell No!" I think I'm one of millions of people with this outlook.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12161
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby FangKC » Sat Aug 30, 2003 10:16 pm

The fact that HRCs are successful indicates that some people must like going to them. They are not my cup of tea either, but apparently that is not the case for everyone.

mpls
Pad site
Pad site
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 12:52 am

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby mpls » Sun Aug 31, 2003 12:13 am

:x this gets so tiring.
people like hard rocks, its a touristy thing to do. so if people use it, then yes i would like my downtown to look like that. so what if its flashy? if you don't like bright lights stay in your hole.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12161
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Tastes Will Tell

Postby FangKC » Sun Aug 31, 2003 2:43 am

If people don't frequent the Hard Rock, it will close. If they do, it will contribute revenue and activity to a city and downtown that sorely needs it. How can that be a negative asset? After all, it's only one place. It won't make or break the rest of the entertainment district.

User avatar
trailerkid
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 11221
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:49 pm
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby trailerkid » Sun Aug 31, 2003 1:56 pm

People also frequent Eckerd Drug, Mr. Goodcents and Big Lots...that doesn't mean that they are what we need or want downtown. Just because something is capable of being a sucess means nothing. Downtown should be something special...not Anyplace U.S.A. I'm not arguing that Hard Rock is unsucessful, although it's one of the only surviving theme restaurants, but it isn't what we should be focusing on attracting.

mpls
Pad site
Pad site
Posts: 80
Joined: Fri Aug 29, 2003 12:52 am

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby mpls » Sun Aug 31, 2003 3:08 pm

you can't always have it that way though. the idea of having a unique downtown is pretty basic, and a hard rock won't take that away.

User avatar
KCPowercat
Power & Light
Power & Light
Posts: 27633
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:14 am

Hadn't really seen a topic discussing the proposed new SoLo entertainment district so I'll hijack this one for the "official" discussion. There had been some talk of this in the arena thread but let's get all talk about the actual entertainment district in here.

In this week's Business Journal, Cordish seemed very high on the prospect of an arena and also entertainment district. Calling both "imminent".

Also it sounds as if most land need for this project is in friendly hands of people like UMB, DST, & Bridges (who owns 1 KC Place) and are all members of the GDDA. So anything needed to be done would be a lot easier as far as land aquisition goes.

So what kind of retailers would everybody like to see? Myself, I want a good mix of local/regional/national options.

Many have stated that KC is looking towards Columbus as what we would like to do as they have just built a similiar type district downtown call the Arena District. Here is it's website: http://www.arena-district.com
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

Tweeting live from Big 12 tournament @downtownkc

User avatar
Downtowner
Western Auto Lofts
Western Auto Lofts
Posts: 561
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 10:43 am

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby Downtowner » Mon Sep 01, 2003 2:11 pm

My suggestion for a tourist draw downtown actually comes from friends who recently visited from Australia. They were amazed and disappointed there were no OZ-themed anything here---no restaurant, bar or museum. They finally found OZ trinkets at their hotel gift shop for friends back home. Someone with imagination needs to come up with an OZ attraction---put it at Union Station or downtown. We can fudge a little and still have something on the Missouri side (we are still in KANSAS City). Around the world we are known more for the Wizard of OZ than for fountains or jazz. A memorabilia-filled theme restaurant would be UNIQUE and a huge draw (unlike HRC). Have a small museum beside it. It would be a must-see for any tourist coming to town. My Australian friends even pointed out there is an OZ-themed bar in Auckland. I always get the same reaction when I travel and say i'm from Kansas City. People inevitably come back with "Oh, the Wizard of OZ!". So I'm proposing this as the most logical, original tie-in. It could be very cool if done right with some class. Minneapolis has a Prince Museum. People flock to Southfork outside of Dallas. When is someone going to build an original OZ anything?

kcmajik
Strip mall
Strip mall
Posts: 256
Joined: Sun Jan 26, 2003 10:50 pm
Location: University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
Contact:

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby kcmajik » Mon Sep 01, 2003 2:35 pm

put the fake stereotypical OZ crap in joco. i don't want anything resembling western kansas in downtown kansas CITY, MISSOURI. then your aussie friends can ride the freakin light rail or whatever to oak park mall and visit rainforest and everything else synthetic that isn't really kansas city.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12161
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Fake Things

Postby FangKC » Mon Sep 01, 2003 6:50 pm

Before one goes too far with lambasting the "fake," please consider that J.C. Nichols was attempting to create a European-like shopping district similar to Seville, Spain, in the Country Club Plaza. Many would have regarding that as fakery when it was done, and now it's among Kansas City's No. 1 attractions.

I seem to recall that at one point there was a plan to create a Wizard of Oz themepark in Johnson County.

eliphar17
Alameda Tower
Alameda Tower
Posts: 1332
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:30 am
Location: Norman, OK (from KC)
Contact:

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby eliphar17 » Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:17 pm

kcmajik wrote:put the fake stereotypical OZ crap in joco. i don't want anything resembling western kansas in downtown kansas CITY, MISSOURI. then your aussie friends can ride the freakin light rail or whatever to oak park mall and visit rainforest and everything else synthetic that isn't really kansas city.

I agree that it goes in Kansas, but not for the same reasons. There would be nothing fake or stereotypical about it. (How could it be? What other Oz attractions are there to compare it to?) And it would be better than Disney World because an Oz attraction actually belongs in Kansas. There was an Oz theme park proposed a few years ago on a pretty grand scale, and for that reason it was shot down after considerable debate. I think there should be something (in JoCo or WyCo, doesn't really matter) on which to focus the Oz tourism trade, if it is indeed as substantial as Downtowner makes it seem. But under no circumstances should anything Oz-related be put in Missouri, because that makes absolutely no sense. There is no mention of Missouri anywhere in the story and just barely enough reference to Kansas to justify this discussion. And besides, the Missouri side of the metro already has virtually all of the stuff tourists come to see.

KCgridlock

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby KCgridlock » Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:34 pm

One of the original sites for the OZ park was in the far Northland near Smithville Lake...

I personally thought the OZ thing would have been a really good attraction and would have really helped the entire metro area's tourism economy. Not sure it would have worked in our weather and without some amazing national marketing which KC fails horribly at marketing itself.

But, you can't get a freaking bowling alley built in JoCo without the residents thinking the world is coming to an end.

Now Wyandotte should have built it by the speedway, along with a "major casino resort, not a 100 million dollar indian casino either, but a massive destination casino like what was proposed for Downtown KCMO before our city leaders took money under the table for that freaking Flamingo joke.

Then "Tourism District" would take on a whole new meaning.

JoCo will never build anything for the entire metro area.

User avatar
KCPowercat
Power & Light
Power & Light
Posts: 27633
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby KCPowercat » Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:47 pm

pssst....SoLo district :) Let's not make this into the 100th KS/MO battle.....we all know where that ends up.
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

Tweeting live from Big 12 tournament @downtownkc

KCgridlock

OFFICIAL - SoLo district construction (was "Do we want

Postby KCgridlock » Mon Sep 01, 2003 11:53 pm

OK, SoLo... (can we find an original name?, that is so 90's)

Image


Return to “Downtown Archive”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests