kcmiz wrote: ↑
Sat Sep 12, 2020 2:57 pm
I really want to like the north extension. But it’s just so shortsighted.
The current and proposed developments are suburban, mid-tier apartment complexes, the likes of which you’d expect in Lenexa, Overland Park or Independence. The riverfront land has so much potential to be a beautiful urban neighborhood with a traditional grid. Think Canary Warf (London), Williamsburg waterfront (Brooklyn), or Christianshavn (Copenhagen). This plan just lacks vision.
Most disappointing is this all but puts a nail in the coffin for streetcar ever crossing the river to North Kansas City. Urban Angle had it right. The better plan was to go to Columbus Park then terminate on the Heart of America Bridge with elevator access to the riverfront. This creates double the development opportunities and makes crossing the river in the future easier and much cheaper.
Why are we wetting ourselves about the potential for a renovated Casino? Outside of Las Vegas, casinos are leeches on communities that attract down-on-their luck individuals to waste their limited resources becoming addicted to the fantasy of striking it rich on video poker. This is not economic development. It’s community destruction.
I really hope I’m wrong. But this just seems like such a wasted opportunity on multiple fronts.
I understand where you're coming from.
While the potential is there to make the riverfront a dense neighborhood similar to the ones you mentioned, it must be said that Kansas City is not London, Copenhagen, or New York/Brooklyn. The cost to do things of that manner are out of reach for the rents that would come as a result of a development of that scale in KC. In other words, developers couldn't fetch the rents needed to make that style of development possible. Huge incentives could be issued to make a development like that possible, but that comes at a cost for the City of KCMO and services provided by the City.
While the Riverfront may feel suburban in nature now, it will feel more dense and more like a neighborhood when fully developed. The approach that is being taken is wise, at least in my opinion. There will be some retail space. There will be hundreds, if not thousands, of apartments and condos down on the Riverfront, and you'll have office space. All of this was created out of nothing.
The hopeful extension of the Streetcar over the Heart of America bridge could still happen, just if it were done, it would be done as another branch of the Streetcar system. Sometimes a linear approach isn't what's needed, but that's just my opinion. If this option were to be considered, then Columbus Park would benefit greatly, but we'll see. Columbus Park has good bones to become something truly great with or without the Streetcar.
The current extension of the Streetcar to the Riverfront will make this area more of a "car optional" neighborhood. Example, from your apartment in a yet to be developed project somewhere on the Riverfront, you could walk or bike to the Streetcar stop and ride on down to anywhere along the Streetcar route while bringing your bike along to connect you to other areas like West Port, 39th Street, Brookside and more. So you're connected to the City without the need for a car and you can get your exercise in the process. So I see the extension to the Riverfront as a win for connecting the Riverfront to the rest of the core.
As for the casino, I don't really care about casinos no matter where they are. Las Vegas is a disaster waiting to happen.