Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunders?

Discuss items in the urban core outside of Downtown as described above. Everything in the core including the east side (18th & Vine area), Northeast, Plaza, Westport, Brookside, Valentine, Waldo, 39th street, & the entire midtown area.
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Midtownkid
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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Midtownkid »

Here is a quick urban plan I came up with a while ago...just showing the currant land usage and what I would do differently. Most of the new buildings would be housing. Some commercial space added. Main focus is to rebuild a street wall on Main.

TODAY

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FUTURE?

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Midtownkid »

Here is a quick urban plan I came up with a while ago...just showing the currant land usage and what I would do differently. Most of the new buildings would be housing. Some commercial space added. Main focus is to rebuild a street wall on Main.

TODAY

Image

FUTURE?

Image

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by aknowledgeableperson »

" So how was no one ballsy enough to invest in the area when the whole entire god damn thing we are talking about was investment?!?"

The investment came only because the eyesores of Warner Plaza were demolished.

Anyway, there was much history to Times Square, good and bad, whereas Warner Plaza had some but for the most part was a non-descript area except for the negative stuff. An advantage for Times Square was that even when it was down it still was a vital area to NYC. For KC Warner Plaza and much of the area around it had lost its vitality a long time ago. For the most part it was either an area to avoid or just drive through as fast as you can without stopping.

"As if Kansas City isn't important and nothing is worth saving here."

Not so much that but having the resources to get more things done. Not saying NYC is in perfect shape but KCMO is still trying to "save" many parts of itself. There are many needs but little money to spread around.


"Difference #1: attitude."

To a certain extent that is true but that NY attitude has something behind it. Corporate presence. Tourists. A world or global class city.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by herrfrank »

aknowledgeableperson wrote:The investment came only because the eyesores of Warner Plaza were demolished.

Anyway, there was much history to Times Square, good and bad, whereas Warner Plaza had some but for the most part was a non-descript area except for the negative stuff. An advantage for Times Square was that even when it was down it still was a vital area to NYC. For KC Warner Plaza and much of the area around it had lost its vitality a long time ago. For the most part it was either an area to avoid or just drive through as fast as you can without stopping.
Let's try please to separate the buildings from the problems. That means, separate the buildings that comprised Warner Plaza and Linwood Terrace plus the other midrises on Main Street plus the rows of houses on Warwick, McGee, 33d and 34th Streets from the problematic people of that neighborhood between, say, 1970 and 1990.

Demolition is not the only answer. It isn't now and it wasn't then. The city could have condemned the neighborhood and then preserved it, whole or part, rather than bulldozing it. And recall please that this huge bulldozed parcel remained vacant for a decade.

I do not know if Midtown KC would have a Costco or a Home Depot, but at a minimum there would be a more urban streetwall on Main.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by mean »

Demosthenes wrote:Pash is 100% correct. When it comes down to it the difference is attitude.
Actually I think the more important difference is land value.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by pash »

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Last edited by pash on Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by pstokely »

Demosthenes wrote:No akp, I DO get it. Do you get it? Because correct me if I'm wrong, but Midtown Marketplace was investment. Was it not? So how was no one ballsy enough to invest in the area when the whole entire god damn thing we are talking about was investment?!?

I just disagree with how they went about investing in the area. Okay? I think it was a blunder. One of the city's greatest blunders.

And actually, they did kind of tear down Times Square. I mean it still exists, but much of it is gone and has been replaced by new buildings, and the scene itself has changed drastically. Lets say that it was the same though. What the hell does that pathetic statement mean? That is New York but this is Kansas City. As if Kansas City isn't important and nothing is worth saving here. This is where NYC and KC are way different. When things go bad in NYC, they do things to help make the neighborhood better. When things go bad in KC, they bulldoze the area and pretend it never happened.

Pash is 100% correct. When it comes down to it the difference is attitude.
they kicked out the porn shops outta Times Square without tearing it down with the Disney $

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by pstokely »

pash wrote:High prices for real estate help ensure that land doesn't sit idle, but they don't keep buildings from getting knocked down. At New York prices, small buildings are likelier to get bulldozed (to build something taller) than they are in KC.

I do think attitude is an important factor. New Yorkers in the main have been strong proponents of traditional urban forms since the late 1960s, having recovered quickly from a brief post-war blip. Kansas City swung so far in the other direction, and was so decimated by AKP's generation—the nadir was only about fifteen years ago—that we're in a deep, deep hole, with fewer options for digging ourselves out.
Home Depot has stores in Manhattan without parking lots, but they don't expect anyone to drive to them in their own cars like they do here, they weren't gonna spend the $ for a multi-floor store here, CostCO has store in Manhattan with a parking garage attached but there's no need for that here where land is cheap, there's no room for suburban one story big box stores with parking lots in Manhattan

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Demosthenes »

So here is a comparison of our Home Depot with the urban Home Depot located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. Both of these aerials are at the same scale.

Now, before you start complaining the obvious complaint Akp, I realize that urban Home Depots like this didn't exist at the time. This store in Chicago was actually the first multi-floor Home Depot in the world, built in 2003 I believe. It blows my mind that no one was doing this because it seems like such an obvious idea, but they weren't. Whatever. I'm still showing so everyone can see how easily we could have fit this into the project area without tearing everything down. Also, what's to stop us from building a new urban Home Depot in the future? Maybe in the coming decades it will become worth it to tear down the big boxes and design new urban versions of these stores.

You may notice that the Home Depot in Chicago has a much smaller footprint. Well it is only 80,000 sq. ft. compared with KC's 130,000 sq. ft.. Also the Chicago Home Depot is two floors. Now in my opinion this is brilliant. I have actually been in this store before and it is very spacious and has a nice layout. The Chicago store also has a parking garage built in, which allows for it to fit onto this small lot and extremely dense block. This store makes such great use of space. I wish people in KC would look at this for future reference when they don't think there is enough space to build something. It just takes creativity and knowledge.

I really wish we had a similar Home Depot facing Main Street, maybe right next to the building on the corner (with new entrances facing the streets of course). Maybe some day we could do something similar.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Demosthenes »

pstokely wrote: they kicked out the porn shops outta Times Square without tearing it down with the Disney $
Goes to show you that we didn't need to tear down the buildings to get rid of the problem. In New York they didn't start tearing down those buildings until there were plans for larger, more luxurious buildings. Gentrification is the most common reason for demolition in NYC.
pstokely wrote: Home Depot has stores in Manhattan without parking lots, but they don't expect anyone to drive to them in their own cars like they do here, they weren't gonna spend the $ for a multi-floor store here, CostCO has store in Manhattan with a parking garage attached but there's no need for that here where land is cheap, there's no room for suburban one story big box stores with parking lots in Manhattan
Well they are including garages in these multi-floor Home Depots, so they are expecting people to drive in. Obviously not everyone will in an urban area like that, which will help. Shoot I've walked and bussed to the Linwood Home Depot before. It's also an urban store. Our land may be cheap enough to allow for a big box and parking, but we could have easily fit a smaller, multi-floor Home Depot into the development area without tearing just about anything down.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by aknowledgeableperson »

There were many things in Times Square favor that Warner Plaza did not have which have been mentioned before. One additional one was the establishment of a Business Improvement District. And for the most part the cleanup of Times Square happened after the demo of Warner Plaza.

Coulda and shoulda Kansas City done something different with Warner Plaza? We all know, in hindsight, it could of. But at the time the city did not have the luxury of multiple options. Its choices were quite limited. And one thing in particular that works against KC is land costs. With the low cost of land in KC, especially in midtown as opposed to downtown, compared to Chicago, New York, San Fran, and a few others it is way cheaper to spread out as opposed to going up.

There is no way to correctly develop an answer and it would lead to another discussion but "what if"? What if Warner Plaza was not demolished and the businesses there were able to continue, the Midtown Marketplace not developed therefore no Costco/Home Depot, what would the area look like now? And the surrounding area? For me the short answer would be the area would be in worse shape than it was before demo, still looking for redevelopment.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Demosthenes »

aknowledgeableperson wrote:There were many things in Times Square favor that Warner Plaza did not have which have been mentioned before. One additional one was the establishment of a Business Improvement District. And for the most part the cleanup of Times Square happened after the demo of Warner Plaza.

Coulda and shoulda Kansas City done something different with Warner Plaza? We all know, in hindsight, it could of. But at the time the city did not have the luxury of multiple options. Its choices were quite limited. And one thing in particular that works against KC is land costs. With the low cost of land in KC, especially in midtown as opposed to downtown, compared to Chicago, New York, San Fran, and a few others it is way cheaper to spread out as opposed to going up.

There is no way to correctly develop an answer and it would lead to another discussion but "what if"? What if Warner Plaza was not demolished and the businesses there were able to continue, the Midtown Marketplace not developed therefore no Costco/Home Depot, what would the area look like now? And the surrounding area? For me the short answer would be the area would be in worse shape than it was before demo, still looking for redevelopment.
You really think it would be in worse shape than pre-demolition? Really? Interesting. So I imagine you think it would be literally falling apart today, with no work done, no businesses, nothing.

I definitely think there would be some work being done, with an up and coming vibe. I'm sure it would still be a bit rough though, maybe a few of the buildings still vacant. So sure, you can always say that getting rid of the vacant structures and replacing them with successful businesses was a smart move.

Look at it this way though: almost every bit of open space once had a money making property sitting on it. Just a couple replacement businesses isn't a very good substitution for the potential that the old neighborhood had. And when I say that I'm talking financially, not just how cool I think that neighborhood is.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by chaglang »

Demosthenes wrote: Look at it this way though: almost every bit of open space once had a money making property sitting on it. Just a couple replacement businesses isn't a very good substitution for the potential that the old neighborhood had. And when I say that I'm talking financially, not just how cool I think that neighborhood is.
I would wager that those two businesses bring in more revenue to the city than WP ever would have. And I bet the assessments on a single WP building was under $1500 at the time of demolition. Obviously the site could be densified and bring in even more money. But Costco and HD are very profitable. As I mentioned before, they've generated enough money to start redistributing some of that money back into the community.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Demosthenes »

chaglang wrote:
Demosthenes wrote: Look at it this way though: almost every bit of open space once had a money making property sitting on it. Just a couple replacement businesses isn't a very good substitution for the potential that the old neighborhood had. And when I say that I'm talking financially, not just how cool I think that neighborhood is.
I would wager that those two businesses bring in more revenue to the city than WP ever would have. And I bet the assessments on a single WP building was under $1500 at the time of demolition. Obviously the site could be densified and bring in even more money. But Costco and HD are very profitable. As I mentioned before, they've generated enough money to start redistributing some of that money back into the community.
Sure, but as shown in that Chicago example there was no need to tear down every other potential money maker just to get the Home Depot and Costco. And sure the buildings in Warner Plaza weren't worth much at the time. I'm sure today they would be worth a whole lot more though, especially if they were no longer boarded up.

With what we have today though, do you see us trying to redevelop this site any time soon? I really would like for that to happen, but I don't see anything new happening on the site for at least a decade or two. I'm hoping that the streetcar will push this idea forward quickly though. Once there is a stop right outside Midtown Marketplace I am sure that will almost instantly have people interested in densifying and redeveloping it. Without the streetcar it could literally be decades before anyone did anything. This streetcar really gives us a lot to be thankful for.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by aknowledgeableperson »

People talk about the positive effect Consentino's has had on the downtown residential outlook. Well, to a certain degree Costco/Home Depot has had the same effect for not only the immediate neighborhood but for miles around. Back when the Marketplace was built the Chicago option was not available, and probably wouldn't have been used then or now because of the difference in land cost between the two cities.

Do I think the neighborhood would have seen some redevelopment or preservation by now if it had been demolished? NO. There is nothing historic about it as a whole or in part. It was a cancer and the only option for treatment was complete removal. Even if having a streetcar line running by it in the future would have spurred something just think of the negative effect it would have had over the years. It may not have been pretty but the Marketplace has been a good thing for the city over the years, much more positive than what was there before.

Ideal development? No, but way better than nothing.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Demosthenes »

The buildings may not have been historic, but several of them were architecturally significant. Lets look at the survivors from that time and neighborhood. We have the commercial building on Main with the tattoo parlor and other businesses and the row homes just north of it on 34th street. Neither of these are historic but if there was a plan to demolish them I can guarantee you there would be an outcry. Why? Because these buildings have great architecture and are terrific pieces of urban fabric. Many of the buildings in Warner Plaza were similar and deserved to stay because of their impact on the built form and architecture.

Sure Home Depot and Costco have had a positive impact on the area, I won't question that. I still think that long-term it was a poor decision. I think other things could have had a positive impact on midtown, and we could have still had the HD and Costco had we built the project in an urban manner. The suburban nature of the development is not the reason for midtown improving. It is the businesses themselves. So therefore we could have built the development better, and the same positive effects would have shown up. That has been the whole argument here. It's not that we hate Home Depot and Costco, it's that we don't like how they were designed.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by chaglang »

Demosthenes wrote:
chaglang wrote:
Demosthenes wrote: Look at it this way though: almost every bit of open space once had a money making property sitting on it. Just a couple replacement businesses isn't a very good substitution for the potential that the old neighborhood had. And when I say that I'm talking financially, not just how cool I think that neighborhood is.
I would wager that those two businesses bring in more revenue to the city than WP ever would have. And I bet the assessments on a single WP building was under $1500 at the time of demolition. Obviously the site could be densified and bring in even more money. But Costco and HD are very profitable. As I mentioned before, they've generated enough money to start redistributing some of that money back into the community.
Sure, but as shown in that Chicago example there was no need to tear down every other potential money maker just to get the Home Depot and Costco. And sure the buildings in Warner Plaza weren't worth much at the time. I'm sure today they would be worth a whole lot more though, especially if they were no longer boarded up.

With what we have today though, do you see us trying to redevelop this site any time soon? I really would like for that to happen, but I don't see anything new happening on the site for at least a decade or two. I'm hoping that the streetcar will push this idea forward quickly though. Once there is a stop right outside Midtown Marketplace I am sure that will almost instantly have people interested in densifying and redeveloping it. Without the streetcar it could literally be decades before anyone did anything. This streetcar really gives us a lot to be thankful for.
They might be worth more, but still nowhere close to what is there now. Look at the row of apartments directly across the street. That's probably a good idea of what WP would look like now. Just a guess.

Do I think the site will be densified soon? No, nor should it. It's a low priority. Expend the capital on investing in the remaining parts of the neighborhood.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Demosthenes »

chaglang wrote: Do I think the site will be densified soon? No, nor should it. It's a low priority. Expend the capital on investing in the remaining parts of the neighborhood.
Yea I feel like it's a very low priority too, though once the streetcar comes I think that will change quickly. Which is good because I think it should be high priority. Just curious, what is priority number one for you in the neighborhood? See, one of my highest priorities is the redevelopment of underutilized properties and vacant lots. Now Midtown Marketplace may have successful businesses, but it is seriously underutilized right now. If Midtown Marketplace was turned into a mixed use development with high density residential, it could be a game changer for midtown. I think this site is a great location for several nice residential towers. Midtown needs many more middle class people and yuppies to move in. This would have an all around big impact on midtown, with infrastructure being improved, better commercial, etc.

This site really isn't very far from Union Hill and Martini Corner. I think with a nicely done redevelopment of the site it could be a good sell to people with a fair amount of money. Certainly apartments on the level of what MAC is doing could be built on this site.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by chaglang »

Priorities:
1. Stop tearing down buildings with no plan for redevelopment.
2. Get underused or abandoned buildings into the hands of people who want to utilize them.
3. Infill and densify
4. Encourage walkable commercial and retail services.

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Re: Is Midtown Marketplace one of the city's greatest blunde

Post by Demosthenes »

chaglang wrote:Priorities:
1. Stop tearing down buildings with no plan for redevelopment.
2. Get underused or abandoned buildings into the hands of people who want to utilize them.
3. Infill and densify
4. Encourage walkable commercial and retail services.
Okay great, so Midtown Marketplace fits into your priorities number 3 and 4. I agree with all of these priorities being very important for the success of midtown.

This site has lots of space for infill, probably more than any other site in midtown. It is also a great candidate for densification with a streetcar stop being right at this location in the near future.

This site is also a prime example of unwalkable commercial and retail services. This site is at the intersection of two large commercial corridors. Both of these roads should be lined with walkable commercial. So this site, being so large and at such a crucial intersection, needs to be redeveloped in a way that future commercial along both corridors can replicate.

I think Midtown Marketplace really needs to be high up on our priorities. It holds so much potential in improving midtown. A couple big boxes over a square mile simply won't do much to improve the neighborhood. It just keeps it from being terrible, that's all.

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