OFFICIAL - 21c Museum Hotel KC (former Savoy Hotel)

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
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beautyfromashes
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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by beautyfromashes »

markf wrote: Yes I really wrote that.  The point I'm trying to make is that both sides of deals in this town settle on a price based on what they think they can get out of the taxpayers.  I don't feel it's right for sellers to reap profit on the backs of taxpayers.  The property is worth what it's worth.  Not what it's worth with potential subsidies.  Just my opinion, which as we all know everybody has one.
So, you're asking the original developer to sell the property at the price it would have been without the TIF designation to save the city some money? Just out of the goodness of his heart? Really?!? Just trying to get this straight cause I must be missing something.

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

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WSPanic wrote:
...Funk can still veto the TIF request until Thursday.
How's that recall effort coming along?
Last edited by KC-wildcat on Wed Mar 18, 2009 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by KCLofts »

This is great news.  I've stayed extensively at the Magnolia Hotel in Dallas, which is a Hoeltze property.  I love it, they did a great job with the renovation.  Still lots of classic, historic touches left over from the old Mobil Oil building, with a new contemporary flair.

They will do a good job.  This is great news to save what is currently a neglected dump.

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by beautyfromashes »

KC-wildcat wrote: Has a mayor ever been assassinated?
Whoa, whoa, whoa....I know this is a message board and you can pretty much say anything, but, you don't want to start putting this in people's minds.  There's idiots out there that might start thinking about it.

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by LenexatoKCMO »

markf wrote: I believe when you factor in the value of subsidies in the sale price, you dilute the effect of those subsidies.  It becomes a zero sum game. 
TIF by defninition is a zero sum game - but for a city to unilaterally abandon incentivized development is economic suicide without nationwide reform first.  Taking a moral stand isn't all that effective when you bleed yourself to death in the process.  
markf wrote: So the seller gets more money based on the fact that his property is in disrepair.  That just doesn't seem fair to me.  If I'm the only one that feels that way, so be it.  Wouldn't be the first time.   :)
He is also getting more money based on the fact that he has already steered the project through some of the most tedious and beurocratic parts of the development process.  The new owner doesn't have to work to jump through near as many hoops to get the project done and much of the legal expense has already been outlayed - clearly there is a tangible value in that.  You could even call it "sweat equity".  Its not as though the seller gets the full value of the TIF in the purchase price - if so, the project wouldn't be attractive to the buyer.  

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by AJoD »

beautyfromashes wrote: So, you're asking the original developer to sell the property at the price it would have been without the TIF designation to save the city some money? Just out of the goodness of his heart? Really?!? Just trying to get this straight cause I must be missing something.
What's the harm in asking, though?  Isn't this the kind of thing that effective city leaders (cough) might be able to do?

I get where Mark's coming from.  Not sure what the solution is...it's a pretty standard issue with government money.  When does government money actually encourage or allow something that otherwise wouldn't have happened?  And when does it just jack up the price because, hey, the government is paying for it?

I've wondered the same thing about government college education money.  Is pumping more government money into the postsecondary education system, money that allows more discretionary spending among education "buyers", going to do anything to help control spiraling education costs?

People complain all the time here about property owners in the Crossroads overvaluing their property, both rents and sales.  Does an expected infusion of government cash, or government tax breaks, not fuel high prices?  Seems like it would.

I don't blame property owners for trying to take advantage, and I understand the benefits, just not sure how to strike the right balance.

Kind of thinking out loud here, but I don't see what markf has said that is so controversial.  I don't know the solution to bum squatter landlords who allow their property to deteriorate and then are bailed out by the city, but I can see how it's a problem.

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by WSPanic »

markf wrote: So the seller gets more money based on the fact that his property is in disrepair.  That just doesn't seem fair to me. 
I don't think it's necessarily fair to characterize the property that way. It sure as hell isn't what it used to be, but it's still a nice hotel with a well-above-average restaurant. They continue to market the property as an historic B&B - which gives them a pretty unique position in the market. Many of the rooms have been updated - just not to the extent of a $20/$30 million renovation would give it.

I'm not saying it does/doesn't deserve the tax break. I'm just saying this isn't really a property in a state of disrepair. At least I don't think it is.
If it doesn't have street-level retail, it's an abortion.

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by KC-wildcat »

staubio wrote: This is a challenging spot for the hotel. It opens up to a window into the sea of parking to the north...
Community garden anyone?

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by markf »

AJoD wrote: What's the harm in asking, though?  Isn't this the kind of thing that effective city leaders (cough) might be able to do?

I get where Mark's coming from. 
AJoD,

Yes you do.  I too am just thinking out loud.  A trait that gets me in trouble more often than not!
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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by LenexatoKCMO »

WSPanic wrote: I don't think it's necessarily fair to characterize the property that way. It sure as hell isn't what it used to be, but it's still a nice hotel with a well-above-average restaurant. They continue to market the property as an historic B&B - which gives them a pretty unique position in the market. Many of the rooms have been updated - just not to the extent of a $20/$30 million renovation would give it.

I'm not saying it does/doesn't deserve the tax break. I'm just saying this isn't really a property in a state of disrepair. At least I don't think it is.
A fair point - while the Savoy has clearly needed this kind of renovation for a couple decades, it's not like the owner has let it just sit as a vacant, deteriorating hulk, trying to further blight it.  He has perfomed the minimum maintenance and continued to operate it as a contributing business all these years.  

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by kcdcchef »

i personally think it is awesome that mr. lee is not only thinking of selling the savoy, but that he also is committed to selling it to someone that will restore it properly. mr. lee, to his credit, restored the restaurant quite nicely. many of you may not think so, but it had fallen into disrepair. and he redid all of the fine touches. and kept the strict savoy principles in place in the kitchen. if you go there, you can still get hand cut prime steaks, hand carved imported fish, live lobsters, home made desserts and breads, it is an amazing place. few people recognize it as such due to it not being new and flashy. i still try to make it there every 3 or 4 visits to kc. damn good prime rib STILL. i mean, if it is bad, there would not be 200 people there eating there on fridays and saturdays still.

i can remember that being my first saute cook job. mr. lee had this guy as a maintenence man, who, lived in the hotel with his son, and they were in the process of redoing the rooms, one by one. and the funny thing is, the rooms they had redone, were spectacular! but hotels are not meant to be done one room at a time!!

i truly hope this gets done, and gets done right. mr. lee recognizes that he is pushing 80, and cannot get it done. his nephew, dan lee, used to be involved, but not anymore. i was hoping that family would keep it, because, despite their ignorance about how to renovate a hotel properly, they were committed to upholding the standards of the very venerable savoy grill. and it is a dining treasure.
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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by beautyfromashes »

Seems to me the city has two choices:

1. They can try to withhold funds or bury the TIF as a punishment to the orignial owner for not keeping his property up to high standards, or.

2. Approve a good project that will help the development of DT....AND possibly give the neglectful owner some unjustified cash.

Me personally, I say, "Move on! Rebuild with a great new project." and to the old owner, "Here's your token cash, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of DT.  You've been replaced."

Spite never gets you anywhere.

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by kcdcchef »

beautyfromashes wrote: Seems to me the city has two choices:

1. They can try to withhold funds or bury the TIF as a punishment to the orignial owner for not keeping his property up to high standards, or.

2. Approve a good project that will help the development of DT....AND possibly give the neglectful owner some unjustified cash.

Me personally, I say, "Move on! Rebuild with a great new project." and to the old owner, "Here's your token cash, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of DT.  You've been replaced."

Spite never gets you anywhere.
you gotta understand, don lee put a fuckload of money into that property. he is the one who redid the gold lettering above the doors that said hotel savoy and savoy grill. he is the one who put up the nice lamp posts along 9th street. he redid the savoy grill dining room. has sunk an assload of money into the kitchen there ( almost 100,000 on a dish machine alone ) he put in big bucks into giving the savoy real parking versus a gravel lot with weeds in it. and he and his team re-did about half of the hotel rooms into grand fashion. they really are nice. just not what the average traverler thinks is cool. i am an avid b&ber, so, when i saw the rooms, i thought, fuck yeah!! but the average traveler expects hyatt, marriott, holiday inn.

but don lee put a lot of money into that place, and kept a kansas city dining tradition alive for 50 years. anyone who has never been in the hotel, go in and check it out. not as though it is falling apart. on the contrary, very nice looking in there still, and well maintained. just needs a complete reno.
MU FINISHED THE YEAR RANKED HIGHER IN HOOPS AND FOOTBALL THAN THE KAY U JAYDORKS. UP YOURS KAY U JAYDORK FANS!!!! :D :D :D :D :D

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by LenexatoKCMO »

kcdcchef wrote: you gotta understand, don lee put a fuckload of money into that property. he is the one who redid the gold lettering above the doors that said hotel savoy and savoy grill. he is the one who put up the nice lamp posts along 9th street. he redid the savoy grill dining room. has sunk an assload of money into the kitchen there ( almost 100,000 on a dish machine alone ) he put in big bucks into giving the savoy real parking versus a gravel lot with weeds in it. and he and his team re-did about half of the hotel rooms into grand fashion. they really are nice. just not what the average traverler thinks is cool. i am an avid b&ber, so, when i saw the rooms, i thought, fuck yeah!! but the average traveler expects hyatt, marriott, holiday inn.
Yeah - I can see how someone might think a ten year lapse between TIF approval and sale might sound like some developer trying to take advantage and milk a profit but I really don't think that was the case here.  I think the Savoy ownership has been trying to find someone to see this through for a long time.  I remember a couple years ago when the rumor was that he was talking to the people who own that giant roadside, "Steak Ranch" joint down in Texas about turning it into a steak ranch hotel.  Thank god he was patient and something more suitable came along. 

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

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kcdcchef wrote: if you go there, you can still get hand cut prime steaks, hand carved imported fish, live lobsters, home made desserts and breads, it is an amazing place. few people recognize it as such due to it not being new and flashy.  
It has been a while since I've eaten there, but I recall the service being outstanding as well. Formal, but still very pleasant. Several of the servers had been there 10-25 years - which says a lot.
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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by PumpkinStalker »

I don't know much about the cost of rehabbing these buildings, but it seems 25 mil won't go far.  Haven't had time to read the article yet, but I'm very interested in this and I'll be posting a lot more in this thread I'm sure.  Here are some cell pics that I took about 4 weeks ago on a whim when I was bored one Tuesday night.  Each room is different and there are only 22 available currently.  The rest are still in their original state for the most part.

Great posts about the place chef.  I love when you have a passion and have lots to say on topics like this.  What he did was definitely generous but the poor building needs much more.  It IS decaying, horribly so.  There are sections of the floor in the back hallways that are MISSING for gods sake!  There are also 4-8 full time apartments there with people living out their lives.  Guess they'll be booted!  Here are the pictures, and chef's right - the rooms the single maintenance guy did are BEAUTIFUL but only 22 of them are habitable.  The rest are boarded and padlocked up.

These are in no particular order
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And my favorite room!
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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by beautyfromashes »

kcdcchef wrote: when i saw the rooms, i thought, fuck yeah!! but the average traveler expects hyatt, marriott, holiday inn.
This makes sense to me. I'm more the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott-type you talk about.  Also, the restaurant doesn't make sense to me.  It seems to be from a different era, one I'm not confortable with.  It bugs me that the servers are all old white guys and then black guys with white gloves come over to refill my water and take my plates.  The high brow service is just a little too 'Jim Crow' for me.  I kind of hope they change the concept a little bit and make it a little more relaxed.  Perhaps, add some music or something to make it a little more quaint.  Just random thoughts.

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by LenexatoKCMO »

beautyfromashes wrote: This makes sense to me. I'm more the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott-type you talk about.  Also, the restaurant doesn't make sense to me.  It seems to be from a different era, one I'm not confortable with.  It bugs me that the servers are all old white guys and then black guys with white gloves come over to refill my water and take my plates.  The high brow service is just a little too 'Jim Crow' for me.  
Not true - some of their best and longest serving head table waters were african american. 
beautyfromashes wrote: I kind of hope they change the concept a little bit and make it a little more relaxed.  Perhaps, add some music or something to make it a little more quaint.  Just random thoughts.
God I hope not - you can get relaxed anywhere else in town.  The old world style service at the Savoy has always been what makes it unique and stand out.  Its something that next to no one else offers.  If it were just another steak and seafood joint that gets you in and out in an hour and fifteen with a waiter who doesn't even know the cuts of meat, than there would be nothing to distinguish it from umpteen other places in town.  If it closes for a year of renovations though, it will be difficult to get back all of that staff with their skills that no one else posseses anymore. 

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by kcdcchef »

LenexatoKCMO wrote: Yeah - I can see how someone might think a ten year lapse between TIF approval and sale might sound like some developer trying to take advantage and milk a profit but I really don't think that was the case here.  I think the Savoy ownership has been trying to find someone to see this through for a long time.  I remember a couple years ago when the rumor was that he was talking to the people who own that giant roadside, "Steak Ranch" joint down in Texas about turning it into a steak ranch hotel.  Thank god he was patient and something more suitable came along. 
that steak ranch place was toying with putting up a location in the power and light district. the guy who runs it, dan lee, is don lee's nephew. which, i think, is why he was thinking that option through. my understanding is don lee was not wanting the savoy traditions destroyed.
WSPanic wrote: It has been a while since I've eaten there, but I recall the service being outstanding as well. Formal, but still very pleasant. Several of the servers had been there 10-25 years - which says a lot.
yeah, almost every server in that dining room has been a part of the savoy for decades and decades. and they are all so polished, so professional, so elegant. they always have pressed white waiter coats, polished silver savoy buttons on, that, dont list names, but numbers, a tradtion from the 1920's that lives on. i sure hope that if this group takes over, they keep the savoy grill part as is. it is operating with no issues. i mean, seriously. the savoy grill has operated continously as a damned successful restaurant for a century, and it still packs them in. i would hope they let the savoy grill operate as. perhaps reno the kitchen, the equipment is 200 years old. i can still remember sauteeing on a stove that was cast iron in the kitchen, from the 30's, that worked well. and old exhaust fans that were also cast iron and 60 years old. you could see the outsiide through the fans, on busy winter nites, well, damn it felt good. i just hope they keep the grill as is. if you have never been, it iis worth the money, shit, i am thinking of getting a slice of irish whiskey pie next month when i come to town now.
PumpkinStalker wrote: I don't know much about the cost of rehabbing these buildings, but it seems 25 mil won't go far.  Haven't had time to read the article yet, but I'm very interested in this and I'll be posting a lot more in this thread I'm sure.  Here are some cell pics that I took about 4 weeks ago on a whim when I was bored one Tuesday night.  Each room is different and there are only 22 available currently.  The rest are still in their original state for the most part.

Great posts about the place chef.  I love when you have a passion and have lots to say on topics like this.  What he did was definitely generous but the poor building needs much more.  It IS decaying, horribly so.  There are sections of the floor in the back hallways that are MISSING for gods sake!  There are also 4-8 full time apartments there with people living out their lives.  Guess they'll be booted!  Here are the pictures, and chef's right - the rooms the single maintenance guy did are BEAUTIFUL but only 22 of them are habitable.  The rest are boarded and padlocked up.
i thought it was closer to 50. when i worked there, there were about 10 rooms that were in good order. TEN!! and mr. lee had wayne ( the guy i referenced ) working on them one room at a time. the problem was, you cannot redo pipes and electrical for one room, you have to do it in stacked fashion. so, when ripping out piping and electrical, he would do all the rooms that were numbered 1, or numbered 2, to do them from the top down. no other way to do it really. and they would knock down the existing walls, redo it, new tile, new carpet. they did one hell of a job. the issue is, like you see in the pictures, that it looks like hell in the areas untouched. but they have been letting people live there for 40 years now.

but 25m will redo it. think about it, the president got redone for 47m, and it was much further gone. pres did not have one thing left that could be saved. needed new EVERYTHING. at least the savoy has some structure left within the hotel part. the pres had to be completely gutted and started over. the savoy has a functional restaurant, and a few other rooms. now, any reno will do these areas over, but not as much work will be needed. pres had to do the restaurants and banquet space over. whomever renos the savoy, will not have to do a lot of work in those areas. and, the exterior of the savoy is not falling apart. pres was. i think 25m will redo the savoy quite nicely.

i am already thinking of staying there in 2011!!
MU FINISHED THE YEAR RANKED HIGHER IN HOOPS AND FOOTBALL THAN THE KAY U JAYDORKS. UP YOURS KAY U JAYDORK FANS!!!! :D :D :D :D :D

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Re: Savoy Hotel to undergo $25 mil gut/resto

Post by KCMax »

I stayed here on my wedding night and thought it was great. It is a little dumpy, but I certainly wouldn't say it has fallen into disrepair. And the restaurant is great. I don't think it is for everyone, but I don't want it to be like every other hotel restaurant. Its nice to kind of have a throwback like the Savoy Grill to bring back nostalgia. They make you feel like you are upper crust society of the 1920s. And the food! Terrific!
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