DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

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DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:28 pm

Ok, here's the premise.  You are head of a construction & development company. You have vast power, and plenty of money to redevelop any neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri. This is because of your close friendship with Jim Stowers and several high-profile builders and architects.  Your partner in a landscaping company as well.

What neighborhood would you redevelop? Describe your approach and goals.  Don't pick an easy one like The Plaza.  Be descriptive and create an image in our minds. What style? What mix of residents?  Would you involve the City or go it alone to have your own vision? This is like Sim City using words, diagrams, and photos. Create an environment. Feel free to post examples. This will help stimulate ideas and debate.

Please remember to have fun, and be innovative.  If you want a Ferris Wheel, it's your dream.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby advocrat » Tue Aug 21, 2007 10:24 am

West Bottoms.

Vision Statement: West Bottoms will be developed into a vibrant residential and special retail district, with existing warehouses being converted into loft condominiums with ground floor retail and restaurants established therein. Also present in the area are theaters, and a marina district with access developed along the Kansas River.  Light rail expansion (Phase II of the plan links West Bottoms with the Phase I connection near City Market,) which runs west along the bluff adjacent to Woodswether Road into and through the West Bottoms. West Bottoms residents enjoy a special connection to Kansas City on the bluff but with strikingly unique streetscape of magnificent structures that have been restored in appearance to the turn-of-the-century community it once was. Situated at the center of the "Crescent Bike Path" residents can either walk the river leg to the City Mark and Berkley RiverFront Park, or the Union Station Cultural Center leg that passes through Southwest Blvd. Union Station and on to the 18th & Vine District.
 
Last edited by advocrat on Tue Aug 21, 2007 2:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Tue Aug 21, 2007 11:23 am

Advocrat, I would make a couple of suggestions to help expand upon your vision. 

Extend the light rail link to the western edge of the district so that Wyandotte County might link to it (around  James St. and Central Avenue) and run a line down Minnesota or State Avenue.

Create a trade mart or design center in one of the old warehouse buildings and concentrate design, craftsmen, antique stores, and home decor businesses around it.  The building would sell housewares and planning services: artists, craftsmen, skilled workers, ironworkers, stone and brick masons, woodworkers, decorators, carpet businesses, draperies, and the like.  A central location for all those services. I would even suggest a specialty-brick foundry for custom orders.  Maybe we could get "Stretch" to move down there.

Create a small canal district around the marina so condo towers might develop a  residential district around water and boat-users.

Use the base of the Inter-City Viaduct to build a flood levee to protect portions of the district against flooding.  Extend the levee west to the Kansas River levee.   One could take limestone from under the Quality Hill bluffs, and around Cambridge Circle.  Underground storage facilities would be created for warehousing and underground business parks.

Embark on a tree planting and landscaping program to beautify the district.
Last edited by FangKC on Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby advocrat » Tue Aug 21, 2007 12:55 pm

FangKC wrote:Advocrat, I would make a couple of suggestions to help expand upon your vision. 

Extend the light rail link to the western edge of the district so that Wyandotte County might link to it (around St. James Avenue) and run a line down Minnesota or State Avenue.

Create a trade mart or design center in one of the old warehouse buildings and concentrate design, craftsmen, antique stores, and home decor businesses around it.  The building would sell housewares and planning services: artists, craftsmen, skilled workers, ironworkers, stone and brick masons, woodworkers, decorators, carpet businesses, draperies, and the like.  I would even suggest a specialty-brick foundry for custom orders.

Create a small canal district around the marina so condo towers might develop a  residential district around water and boat-users.

Use the base of the Inter-City Viaduct to build a flood levee to protect portions of the district against flooding.  Extend the levee west to the Kansas River levee.   One could take limestone from under the Quality Hill bluffs, and around Cambridge Circle.  Underground storage facilities would be created for warehousing and underground business parks.

Embark on a tree planting and landscaping program to beautify the district.


My original vision draft had several sentences about Kansas City, Kansas, going across the Central Avencue birdge up central over to Minnesot Avenue (revitalized of course) and back.  But I was afraid of scope creep so I deleted it. I'm musing over Kemper arena-not sure if it should be a year round Ice Rink hockey venue, or a mega church, God of course would like a major corporate church, wouldn't he? :-k :puke:

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:00 pm

I like the idea of a mega-church there.  It would be a great venue to watch the comedy of Jerry Johnston and laugh at his satire of Christianity.  At some point, a giant hook would pull him off-stage and Federal agents would haul him off the stage to a  nice cell for tax evasion, fraud, or improper use of church-funds.  The wing of the jail would be called the Jerry Falwell Memorial Correctional Facility of Deceit and Blasphemy.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby bahua » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:02 pm

I like the idea of development, but I very highly dislike and vehemently disagree with the idea that a large developer or governmental entity is necessary to develop a neighborhood.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:05 pm

advocrat wrote:My original vision draft had several sentences about Kansas City, Kansas, going across the Central Avenue bridge up central over to Minnesota Avenue (revitalized of course) and back.  But I was afraid of scope creep so I deleted it.


You have to include Wyandotte County in the general scope because part of Wyandotte County exists in the West Bottoms, and the original Kansas City, KS, started there on St. Louis Avenue and James.  In fact, most of what we think of as KCKS is the old cities of Wyandotte, Armourdale, Quindaro, Rosedale, and Argentine.  The original Kansas City, Kansas, was soley on the western edge of the West Bottoms just east of Genesee.  It was a triangular piece of ground.  Sadly, most of the buildings were lost to flooding and time.  Most of the meatpacking plants were located in that part of the West Bottoms and across the Kansas River in Armourdale.

The old meatpacking plants would have been great flea market spaces.
Last edited by FangKC on Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby bahua » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:07 pm

Along with W 39th, and to a lesser extent, the River Market.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:22 pm

And Pendleton Heights.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Tue Aug 21, 2007 1:24 pm

We certainly can agree about that.   The Crossroads.  Hippies and artists with a dream.

However, Kansas Star bonds might come in handy for the marina and levee.

In addition, to make possible renovation of the 19th century industrial building stock,  historic tax credits would be useful to maintain the integrity, history, architecture, and general ambiance of the district.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby DaveKCMO » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:32 pm

advocrat wrote:West Bottoms.

Vision Statement: West Bottoms will be developed into a vibrant residential and special retail district, with existing warehouses being converted into loft condominiums with ground floor retail and restaurants established therein. Also present in the area are theaters, and a marina district with access developed along the Kansas River.  Light rail expansion (Phase II of the plan links West Bottoms with the Phase I connection near City Market,) which runs west along the bluff adjacent to Woodswether Road into and through the West Bottoms. West Bottoms residents enjoy a special connection to Kansas City on the bluff but with strikingly unique streetscape of magnificent structures that have been restored in appearance to the turn-of-the-century community it once was. Situated at the center of the "Crescent Bike Path" residents can either walk the river leg to the City Mark and Berkley RiverFront Park, or the Union Station Cultural Center leg that passes through Southwest Blvd. Union Station and on to the 18th & Vine District.


most potential evar!   =D>

i think of portland's pearl district as a good model for the west bottoms (except for the connectivity issue, which could be easily -- and cleverly -- resolved with the recreation of one of our inclines... the 9th or 12th street one would do).

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:35 pm

I think the West Bottoms has some of the greatest potential of any district in the central city to become a flower, and generate tourism, and commerce again.  Remember it used to be a retail and wholesale district of some note.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Tue Aug 21, 2007 3:36 pm

Dave, you are exactly right to make that comparison.  You are a scholar and a gentleman.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Tue Aug 21, 2007 4:29 pm

I think a funicular tram would also be an interesting addition to facilitate West Bottoms/Quality Hill interaction.

Image

A funicular, also known as a funicular railway, inclined railway, inclined plane, or cliff railway, is a type of self-contained cable railway in which a cable attached to a pair of tram-like vehicles on rails moves them up and down a very steep slope, the ascending and descending vehicles counterbalancing each other.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Funicular

Image

Image

Image

Image




Talk about a funicular time.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby advocrat » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:53 pm

I've been on a couple of these things, the one you show in Pittsburgh and one at Niagra Falls.

Maybe these things are touristy frou-frou, but I can't imagine that it is all that expensive either, not beyond the reach of a company that would want to operate it, or like a public elavator in a place like Tower After Hours. Hmmm, could something like this be implaced at Liberty Memorial? Not as steep, but certainly a walk-saver, especially from the destinations of Crown Center and Union Station. The time might not have been right before these attractions were renovated, but what about now? Hmmm.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby advocrat » Tue Aug 21, 2007 7:55 pm

This thread was created to discuss godlike visions and makeovers of dilapidated neighborhood enclaves. So far, only one: West Bottoms. Come forumers, let's hear your ideas.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby rxlexi » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:56 am

  Okay, so it's not all necessarily 'run down', but it could use a little conceptual help to realize my dreams :) :

  Armour Boulevard and Hyde Park

  Vision - Armour Blvd from Broadway to Paseo is redeveloped as the heart of midtown; a residential and neighborhood retail spine that anchors the area between the Plaza and downtown and gives midtown a solid and desirable center with which to build from.  Because the streetscape is still in relatively good shape,  I would simply add well scaled and attractive mixed-use buildings on the remaining vacant lots and surface parking lots along Armour, for example the small park at Gillham and Armour, the Burger King parking lot on Main, and various lots further east, culminating in a large mixed use building at Paseo and Armour, providing a touch of retail or restaraunt space for the much neglected east side.  Clearly, I would renovate all of the beautiful jazz era highrises (can't believe they're still rotting!) and nearby apartment buildings throughout north and south Hyde Park.  I'd like to try to get the Kemper or Nelson to sponsor a small satellite gallery or else create a new small museum featuring architecture and design along Armour somewhere, providing just enough of a solid draw to pull some folks in and establish the new tone of the area.  Section 8 housing is long gone, though many affordable apts. remain.  Modern, dynamic gateways and street signs would send a clear message that the neighborhood is special. 
  I would add one solid new construction modern glass highrise between Gillham and Troost, and build a good sized neighborhood grocery at Troost and Armour, renovating the vacant hotel nearby into apartments.  Residential prices prices would vary and would be a mix of rental and condo.  I'd like to see a mix of mostly local restaraunts and yes, three or four bars along the length of the street, as well as a few neighborhood staples.  Ideally, it would become a destination for locals, if not necessarily out-of-towners, and a very desirable place to live in the heart of the city, close to all manner of retail and unique nightlife but with availability of good sized lots and beautiful tree lined streets.  A genteel midtown neighborhood full of some of our most elegant older buildings, and a great example of our 'famous' boulevard system, Armour deserves better than it's current state. 
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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Wed Aug 22, 2007 2:29 am

rxlexi makes an appearance. One of my favorite forum dreamers.

You could resurrect the El Casbah Nightclub in the old Bellerive Hotel, hangout of infamous mobster Johnny Lazia.   Lazia was gunned down in front of his residence at the Park Central Apartment Hotel on Armour near Gillham.  I'm sure it must be a stop on the Kansas City Gangster Tour.  Liberace used to perform at the El Casbah, and stayed in the Bellerive when he did.

Good work rxlexi.  A new glass apartment building amongst the older brick ones would signal that Armour and Paseo are back!  I hope it's one of those glowing glass buildings.  I was thinking recently about some type of gateway structure at the Paseo/Armour/Linwood intersections.

I like the old stoplight at Linwood and Paseo, but that intersection screams out for a roundabout circle with flowers, a fountain, and perhaps some sort of statuary goddess.  Perhaps we should erect a gold-plated statue of Kay Cronkite Waldo Barnes: Queen of Kansas City!   :P

Perhaps the Barnes' statue can go at Paseo and Armour.  That old traffic light is tres cool though.

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Last edited by FangKC on Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby bahua » Wed Aug 22, 2007 9:16 am

I think it's a huge shame that the L-shaped area formed by Armour Boulevard from The Paseo to Broadway, and Broadway from Armour to 39th, isn't the nicest part of midtown. Instead it's actually one of the worst.

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Re: DreamScape: You're GOD. What Run-Down Neighborhood Would You Redevelop?

Postby FangKC » Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:13 pm

The area just needs some fixing up.

Many of the buildings along Armour are just as nice looking as those along Ward Parkway and Cleaver Blvd in the Plaza.  The apartments just need to be renovated, and section 8 housing needs to be minimized.   An entire building should never be Section 8, but it should be limited to about 15-20 percent.  This is not to limit poverty as much as to make sure the neighborhood has a mix of income levels.

The other major difference between Armour and the Plaza apartment buildings of the same vintage is that there is not a lot of retail along Armour.

Had new urbanism principals been used at Midtown Marketplace instead of a suburban big box design, it might have stimulated more redevelopment and renovation along Armour.

Midtown Marketplace still could be corrected and made more of an urban village.
Last edited by FangKC on Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.


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