Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
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GRID
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by GRID »

An urban Target in Crown Center makes so much sense. Why would hallmark not make that happen? And they need to sell the Sheraton and get that redeveloped into a modern hotel with a higher end flag.

I still can't believe they have let that structure become a freaking Sheraton and now it's going to sit vacant and probably not re-open at all anytime soon. Somebody needs to throw 50 million at that tower and it would be as modern as any new building would be.

Hate to see Downtown KC lose such a large hotel.

earthling
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by earthling »

Halls can't force Target to if they don't see the market study numbers they want. But seems downtown is getting pretty close. Apparently they want 35K residents, though that was a factor years ago. Might be different conditions now.

And Hallmark is hardly in a position to invest much into Sheraton. I suspect Halls will be selling off Crown Center area in chunks this decade to someone with bigger pockets, some of it anyway.

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GRID
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by GRID »

earthling wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:18 pm
Halls can't force Target to if they don't see the market study numbers they want. But seems downtown is getting pretty close. Apparently they want 35K residents, though that was a factor years ago. Might be different conditions now.

And Hallmark is hardly in a position to invest much into Sheraton. I suspect Halls will be selling off Crown Center area in chunks this decade, some of it anyway.
Downtown KC could easily support an urban full blown Target, let alone a smaller neighborhood sized one. I think the city just needs the right developer and location. It really seems like Crown Center would be a good candidate, but Hallmark might not be all that interested in a tenant like Target.

There are potential risks. Not for suburban people coming to the city like was mentioned before, but it would become a modern day "hypermart" for KC's east side. KC has a lot of poverty and that poverty is in a retail desert. People from the east side etc would come into Crown Center by the bus load and that would create some issues for crown center.

And the hotel should be sold hopefully. It seems like Hallmark is finally unloading underutilized property. I have a feeling that tower is about to go into a long period of deterioration with many proposals to redevelop it.

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by earthling »

Based on rumblings from many, DTKC's difficulty appears to be more Target's parameters to make the move than KC's attempt to get one. Unclear if CC made any effort though. Target announced a bunch more small format coming next few years with maybe different site selection criteria, hopefully DTKC will fit the profile they require.

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GRID
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by GRID »

earthling wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:30 pm
Based on rumblings from many, DTKC's difficulty appears to be more Target's parameters to make the move than KC's attempt to get one. Unclear if CC made any effort though. Target announced a bunch more small format coming next few years with maybe different site selection criteria, hopefully DTKC will fit the profile they require.
KC would be better off with two or three smaller urban targets throughout the downtown to plaza corridor than one large destination target anyway. Put one on Troost, one in crossroads or crown center, one in midtown etc. With Midtown taking off and creating a true 4-5 mile urban corridor, there is no way that KC doesn't get a Target or two in the next few years.

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by normalthings »

GRID wrote:
Sat Feb 06, 2021 4:00 pm
An urban Target in Crown Center makes so much sense. Why would hallmark not make that happen? And they need to sell the Sheraton and get that redeveloped into a modern hotel with a higher end flag.

I still can't believe they have let that structure become a freaking Sheraton and now it's going to sit vacant and probably not re-open at all anytime soon. Somebody needs to throw 50 million at that tower and it would be as modern as any new building would be.

Hate to see Downtown KC lose such a large hotel.
Active older adult living at Crown Center makes a lot of sense.

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by TheLastGentleman »

Anyone recognize where this is in crown center? Sorry for the low quality

Image

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by horizons82 »

Looks like the original CC Halls atrium. Don’t remember there being a skylight like that though.

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by moderne »

And right at the top of the escalator is the "Picnic" luncheonette. I would love to see some photos of the West Village shops between Halls and the rest of the CC shops.

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by herrfrank »

^^That's the original Hall's indeed. Behind where the cameraman is standing, next to the men's department, a clubby salesroom featured an assortment of model trains and accoutrements of all stripes, where I spent many weekend hours in the 1970s. I have some family Kodachromes from 1973 showing the main lobby of Crown Center (the Grand Street entrance, not the courtyard entrance to Hall's shown above).

The West Village was the best part of Crown Center btw -- industrial iron staircase and grillwork (I don't recall escalators until the 1980s remodel). There was a photographic studio near Function Junction's current location, where we had some fancy-dress family pictures taken. Also a high-end woodworking shop selling full-size George Nakashima tables (where "The Bridge" is today). My father hemmed and hawed over a beautiful Nakashima coffee table circa 1978.

Picnic was where the fancy, older ladies would luncheon during a shopping excursion. There was still one veteran from Picnic working at the Hall's concept bar, until its recent demise. The American Restaurant on the roof was of course amazing. That decor was perhaps the most iconic 1970s interior ever. Apparently all still intact, just mothballed.

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by herrfrank »

Multiple pics from family Kodachromes in the album below. The last pic, a large cloth "mural" was hanging in Hall's for many years - about 8 feet by 10 feet. Elaborately embellished with "found art" as we would say today. The main Crown Center lobby pics were taken in Christmas 1973 and another one in 1974 after the second floor was modified. Also a 1967 shot of Union Station, Gilham Park in 1964, Plaza lights in 1965.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/2DyJCLjErU1t6mSU6

I've got dozens more of these from the 1960s and a few from the 1950s also in another location.

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TheLastGentleman
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by TheLastGentleman »

Thanks for sharing those!

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by moderne »

Wow! The Mayors Xmas tree when it was in Gilham Park, the Plaza before the Giralda Tower.

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normalthings
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by normalthings »

Image

Zoom into KC P&L building. Where is that large billboard hanging from?

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KCDowntown
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by KCDowntown »

Pretty sure that's on the Hotel Continental (a.k.a. Mark Twain Tower).

KCDowntown
normalthings wrote:
Mon Feb 15, 2021 3:21 pm
Zoom into KC P&L building. Where is that large billboard hanging from?

moderne
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by moderne »

It would be the Hotel Continental at the time the Playboy Bunny club was there. Also note how dainty the AT&T bldng was.

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by FangKC »

There's also the Hotel Continental roof sign in view there.

Chris Stritzel
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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by Chris Stritzel »

Halls shared a photo of the new mens department on Facebook. Looks to be at the top of the escalators near Function Junction and Topsy's.

https://www.facebook.com/HallsKC/photos ... 3231916130

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by horizons82 »

After stopping into CC & Halls this weekend, I'm more certain than ever that CC bungled the Halls downsizing. The way they've remodeled doesn't lend the now-unused space to being easily occupied by another retailer or any sort of public-facing entity. Short of creating some new & awkward exterior appendage or expanding Legoland vertically, the general public is going to have a hard time navigating to anything that would go in there.

Between the now-closed bridge area and the remaining old halls space east of the bridge, you're looking at 20,000+ sf just sitting there unused for the foreseeable future. Nevermind the under-utilized American space above it.

My $0.02 on how they could have re-invigorated CC better:

- "Shift" the downsized Halls to stretch across the bridge and into a re-imagined halls space above Legoland.
- Reclaim a portion of the existing halls as a new ticket office and lobby lounge/bar space for a re-engaged 4th-floor theater, offer it to Quixotic (or another arts group) at a negligible rate to help with evening & adult interest in CC.
- The remaining space between the southern escalators and the main atrium can either be given up to a new tenant or combined further with the theater space to the north for a sizable amount of space. Definitely large enough for a target, but preferably some sort of user that lends itself to nighttime activity with the re-engaged theater space. An Eataly-type experience or food hall?
- Reincorporate the kid's department with the rest of the hall's space. Give up the Kid-oh! space on level 2. Relocate the 1st floor candy store to this space.
- Shutter the sub-par Chinese, Mexican, and three pigs bbq food stalls on the 1st floor. Combine along with the candy store space for a new decently-sized mid-grade restaurant to compliment Unforked, Spin, & Burnt Ends.

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Re: Crown Center: urban disaster, shining star, or in-between

Post by flyingember »

20,000 sq ft that’s unavailable helps them keep leasing rates up and makes the center look fuller.

Why would they close fast food space? It’s been one of the most consistently used areas of crown center. They need a lot more options like it.

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