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

Post by kenrbnj » Tue Aug 06, 2019 12:19 pm

Earthling: that is an interesting data point. That is, Alameda, Parkway, etc charge commensurate HOA fees, yet hold their property values.

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

Post by earthling » Tue Aug 06, 2019 2:13 pm

Yeah HOA correlates to the services/amenities of building, not necessarily to the value of the units.

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

Post by kenrbnj » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:31 am

Do any of you folks have a picture of the diorama that was once sited in the Crown Center -- near that "Streetcar named Desire" restaurant?

The Diorama was probably 25' long and 15' in width. It detailed the initial build-out of CC, plus the subsequent phases; including the residential components. If my shitty memory serves me; there were little buttons to illuminate addresses from a control panel; allowing for guests to identify buildings.

When I lived on Union Hill (should have NEVER sold that place) -- that was kind of the "destination". A drink at the Hyatt and a walk through CC.

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

Post by TheLastGentleman » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:03 pm

I don’t have pictures, but I know they have it in storage.

I’ve asked.

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

Post by moderne » Fri Aug 09, 2019 1:22 pm

If memory serves, the model office buildings along Grand were taller than shown in the latest rendering.

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

Post by FangKC » Fri Aug 09, 2019 3:21 pm

Image

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

Post by TheLastGentleman » Fri Aug 09, 2019 4:13 pm

I believe there are two separate models. The one in storage, but also one at the hallmark museum visitor center place. The latter is the one in the above postcard

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

Post by kenrbnj » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:06 pm

That picture bears a slight resemblance to the model in the lobby. The lobby model did have more office components on the south edge (where 2555 Grand is currently situated.)

The model was done in-relief; accentuating the old "signboard hill".

The biggest shame: They could have had a built-in client base had more emphasis been placed upon the residential component . I'm afraid they were probably too ahead of their time..

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

Post by langosta » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:37 pm

Do we expect the original shopping component of Crown Center to ever “take off”? I just don’t see the southern expansion having much of an effect on the original C.C.

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

Post by earthling » Mon Aug 12, 2019 1:49 pm

With retail dynamics changing due to online dominance, 'shopping components' will have to adapt.

Have never been a fan of CC's master plan. It's just a compressed office park with some living buildings, never designed with intent to have a ground level street vibe. It's not as drastically bad as Brasilia but it reminds me of that line of thinking, something sterilized about it. "Live/work in 72 degrees all year round!" OTOH, I like that downtown has a lot of varying degrees to approaching urbanism. CC's isn't anything to model after though. And the riverfront is entirely blowing it, even worse than CC. edit:
Last edited by earthling on Mon Aug 12, 2019 4:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Post by kcjak » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:07 pm

Obviously a lot has changed since CC was designed back in the 60s, and I just don't see the mall portion ever doing much better in it's current iteration. They've done some positive things to shore up the lack of traffic-drivers...bringing in Sea Life and LegoLand, recent upgrades to the restaurant listing, etc. But there is ZERO traffic in the mall after lunch and not much to bring in new residents unless something changes.

MAYBE if they redesigned the shops to incorporate street traffic similar to City Creek or Gateway malls in Salt Lake City, but I can't see CC spending that kind of money when physical retail storefronts are dying off. Also, if the new development will feature retail, restaurants, bars, etc. on the ground floor, I can't see residents going all the way to CC for the mall if there's nothing exciting there.

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

Post by kenrbnj » Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:30 pm

Crown Center was a creation of the times. 1970's were a dangerous time; post "King Riots".

The "street-scape" comment is spot-on.

CC integrated a safe residential section, multi-tenant office use, retail, entertainment, a huge hospitality component; plus their HQ. Importantly; through the 1990's Crown Center Redevelopment put their security detail into Union Hill. Crown Center positively wanted the Union Hill neighborhood to succeed.. (I was grateful. At the time I was at 204 E. 30th Street. )

I remain convinced the Crown Center concept remains relevant. They are able to change the composition of their development -- and invite third party developers (which they've done.) Once critical mass is regained; the complex will continue to evolve. 2555 Grand and the tertiary residential additions are testament to this.

Imminently, CC and Union Hill will be contiguous. It is my hope employers will recognize CC as a professional "village"..

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

Post by horizons82 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:12 pm

Converting all of the third floor over to halls was an extremely smart move on CC's part. That said, It'd be nice to see a marquee restaurant or experiential tenant take up the old 4th floor theater space. It's a shame that large of a space is just mothballed.

Overall, It's the second floor that gives CC a black eye.

If they were to consolidate the 2nd floor tenant spaces and bring in a few larger clients, it'd help. It needs a destination or two. Maybe move fritz' up a floor and expand it? God knows that thing draws a crowd.

They also should reconfigure this exterior wall to allow for a more visible entrance with glazing:
https://goo.gl/maps/jSF6UncNYiVPQEPW7

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

Post by langosta » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:50 pm

kenrbnj wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 3:30 pm
Crown Center was a creation of the times. 1970's were a dangerous time; post "King Riots".

The "street-scape" comment is spot-on.

CC integrated a safe residential section, multi-tenant office use, retail, entertainment, a huge hospitality component; plus their HQ. Importantly; through the 1990's Crown Center Redevelopment put their security detail into Union Hill. Crown Center positively wanted the Union Hill neighborhood to succeed.. (I was grateful. At the time I was at 204 E. 30th Street. )

I remain convinced the Crown Center concept remains relevant. They are able to change the composition of their development -- and invite third party developers (which they've done.) Once critical mass is regained; the complex will continue to evolve. 2555 Grand and the tertiary residential additions are testament to this.

Imminently, CC and Union Hill will be contiguous. It is my hope employers will recognize CC as a professional "village"..
Could CC add infill residential in areas already built out?

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

Post by langosta » Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:53 pm

horizons82 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:12 pm
Converting all of the third floor over to halls was an extremely smart move on CC's part. That said, It'd be nice to see a marquee restaurant or experiential tenant take up the old 4th floor theater space. It's a shame that large of a space is just mothballed.

Overall, It's the second floor that gives CC a black eye.

If they were to consolidate the 2nd floor tenant spaces and bring in a few larger clients, it'd help. It needs a destination or two. Maybe move fritz' up a floor and expand it? God knows that thing draws a crowd.

They also should reconfigure this exterior wall to allow for a more visible entrance with glazing:
https://goo.gl/maps/jSF6UncNYiVPQEPW7
Does Crown Center have space for an Urban Target? It could be one of the better downtown KC locations. Close proximity to large office spaces, hotels, and residential. Direct transit access with plentiful parking for people coming in from surrounding areas.

I never knew that was an entrance.

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

Post by moderne » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:38 pm

Was originally the street entrance to bar/restaurant called "25 Grand."

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

Post by horizons82 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 7:39 pm

langosta wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:53 pm
Does Crown Center have space for an Urban Target? It could be one of the better downtown KC locations. Close proximity to large office spaces, hotels, and residential. Direct transit access with plentiful parking for people coming in from surrounding areas.

I never knew that was an entrance.
The southern half of the second floor, minus the crayola complex, Kid Oh (halls' kids section), and required circulation, is roughly 20k by my estimate. That theoretically is enough space for an urban target on the smaller end. However, the space that'd be available would be an awkward L formation, sliced up by circulation/fire paths for the other spaces (like how halls is in off-hours). Unless CC just gives them 25 years rent-free, there's no way they'd take that space.

All other floors of the retail complex don't have enough space without kicking out another major player (Coterie, fritz, Halls, MTH, etc)

If Target ever came to the CC area, IMO the most logical areas would be the Crown Center Exhibit Hall, either building at the intersection of Grand & Pershing, or the new construction.

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

Post by KCtoBrooklyn » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:09 pm

To me, it seems like the Crown Center shopping area is doing fairly well and heading in the right direction. I haven't really noticed many vacancies. Sure, it could be better, but it has an interesting mix of shops (but I'm not much of a shopper). The crowds vary, but it rarely seems dead to me.

I have been going to Crown Center much more frequently lately, since having kids. I live close by and it is a good option for getting out when the weather is bad. Besides the obvious kids attractions (Sea Life, Legoland, Coterie, Kaleidoscope, etc), it's a nice indoor space to walk around when you tie it together with Union Station (yes, the dreaded honky tube). If there are any additions/changes I think it would be good to build on the kid/family attractions.

The food options are decent with Spin and Sheridan's Unforked. Curry in a Hurry is a sleeper. I don't know anything about this BBQ place going in, but it seems like it will be an improvement.

I wouldn't mind seeing a movie theater going back in, although I'm not sure where it could fit. I'm not sure if a new structure could be built somewhere around the ice terrace. There is a lot of underutilized space there. With Cinemark Plaza closing, there is definitely a need for another theater somewhere between Downtown and Ward Parkway.
horizons82 wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:12 pm
That said, It'd be nice to see a marquee restaurant or experiential tenant take up the old 4th floor theater space. It's a shame that large of a space is just mothballed.
Unless there is more space that I'm not aware, isn't MTH Theater using all of that space?

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

Post by horizons82 » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:17 pm

KCtoBrooklyn wrote:
Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:09 pm

Unless there is more space that I'm not aware, isn't MTH Theater using all of that space?
I’m talking about the old American Heartland Theater space above where halls is now. You’re talking about MTH on the same floor as halls, which used to be the cinema.

Here’s an article from when Heartland closed:

https://www.kmbc.com/article/kc-s-ameri ... se/3675238

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

Post by TheLastGentleman » Mon Aug 12, 2019 10:56 pm

Lately I've been impressed with the crowds in crown center each time I visit. I also think the shops and restaurants have slowly become better fitted with the complex. For instance, Unforked fits its context 10x better than the streetcar desire ever did.

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