The Kansas City Star (Sunday) - - BUSINESS -

more Ave. was in jeop­ardy and then with the up­roar 11⁄ weeks ago when High­woods Prop­er­ties an­nounced it wanted to tear down the vin­tage Bal­cony Build­ing to make way for a glass of­fice tower, the foun­da­tion has been gal­va­nized.

Hun­dreds of new mem­bers have joined, a Face­book page “Save the Plaza” has more than 5,000 friends, and the or­ga­ni­za­tion (www.his­torick­ansasc­ is hold­ing a rally this Satur­day from noon to 2 p.m. at the J.C. Ni­chols Foun­tain to protest the High­woods pro­posal. High­woods mod­i­fied the pro­posal last week, but not enough to stem op­po­si­tion.

The his­toric foun­da­tion is gear­ing up to op­pose the High­woods of­fice plan when it be­gins the re­view process at City Hall in early Oc­to­ber.

“It’s re­ally ratch­eted it up a cou­ple of notches,” said Scott Lane, pres­i­dent of the his­toric foun­da­tion. “It’s in­creased our mem­ber­ship, in­creased our pres­ence and in some ways, that story got our tires back on the road.”

The first round of this re­nais­sance was sparked by the plight of the Cosby Ho­tel. The city had filed an emer­gency de­mo­li­tion

2or­der for the prop­erty built in 1881, one of down­town’s old­est com­mer­cial build­ings.

His­toric Kansas City helped lobby the city to take an­other look at the build­ing, and as a re­sult, en­gi­neers de­cided it could be sta­bi­lized for a rel­a­tively mod­est amount, $7,800.

The Na­tional Trust for His­toric Preser­va­tion was con­sulted, and there was hope the owner, Rick Pow­ell, would do­nate the prop­erty to a non­profit, which in turn would hand it over to a de­vel­oper to re­vi­tal­ize.

Last week, how­ever, Pow­ell pulled the rug out from un­der the ef­fort and said he planned to de­mol­ish the three-story brick build­ing.

Lane, who makes his liv­ing as a man­ag­ing bro­ker for Reece & Ni­chols, said the His­toric Foun­da­tion wants to make one more ef­fort to dis­suade Pow­ell, but the ex­pe­ri­ence was re­veal­ing.

“Peo­ple saw it as a new day for the His­toric Kansas City Foun­da­tion,” Wag­ner said. “We

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.