Kansas City, Kansas leaders celebrate strong developer interest in redeveloping defunct mall and other key abandoned properties

On September 28, 2023, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas (UG) announced a shortlist of developers and subconsultants who have submitted their qualifications for the redevelopment of one or more sites owned by the UG.

The request for qualifications sought interested parties to redevelop one of three UG-owned sites: 47th/State Avenue (former Indian Springs Mall site); 4th and Minnesota “Triangle Site” in Downtown KCK; and several land bank sites at 18th and Quindaro Boulevard.

A total of six lead developers will advance to the next phase of proposal development.

The UG also shortlisted 30 subconsultants such as architects, engineers, and community organizations, as part of a second request for qualifications for development-related subcontractors.

We are encouraged by the interest in redeveloping these key sites in Kansas City, Kansas,” said County Administrator David Johnston.

As we look to build out our economic development team and strategic vision, finding creative ways to reactivate and restore these underutilized sites into vibrant, welcoming gateways of economic activity will lend to our future success,” he added.

Pre-Qualified Lead Developers

The three qualified lead developers for the Indian Springs Mall site include Block & Co – Christie Development; Oak Impact; and Copaken Brooks.

The three lead developers qualified for the Triangle Site in Downtown KCK include: Copaken Brooks; Flaherty & Collins Properties; and Milhaus.

Next Steps on KCK Redevelopment

The Unified Government only prequalified interested lead developers for the former Indian Springs Mall site and Downtown KCK site. No developer was prequalified for the 18th and Quindaro site.

Community outreach on the potential for these two sites will be conducted at the Unified Government’s Neighborhood Summit on October 28, 2023, at Gloria Willis Middle School.

An additional public meeting will be held for each site prior to the Unified Government releasing a request for development proposals for the two sites.

County-Wide Market Analysis Identifies Potential for Land Use

The Unified Government worked with Development Strategies to develop a county-wide market analysis as part of the PlanKCK comprehensive plan process. This study consists of an analysis of existing conditions that impact demand for real estate and poses the question: what is possible from a real estate market perspective?

The market analysis underscores our continued strength in the industrial sector given Wyandotte County’s logistics infrastructure and strategic location regionally and nationally,” said Director of Planning and Urban Design Gunnar Hand.

The analysis also underscores the need for more housing options and the many opportunities for the regeneration of the historic urban core to ensure Wyandotte County and KCK continues to strategically grow into the future,” he continued.

The analysis sees great potential in multi-family and industrial markets both regionally and nationwide. Key insights include:

  • Wyandotte County offers excellent regional connectivity and access to end markets, positioning it well for future retail and industrial uses.
  • The county contains a strong divide between its urban core and suburban areas, generally west of the Turner Diagonal Parkway, such that the building stock is much older and economic conditions and access to retail and services is weaker on the urban side.
  • The ready availability of vacant and underutilized land in the county poses opportunity for future development; additionally, the large number of older structures in the urban core create opportunity for historic rehab to serve the area’s growing multi-family market.

There is strong opportunity for future multi-family development, specifically targeting the “missing middle” of workforce housing and high-end options, which is evidenced by the existing strong development pipeline.

2012 photo of Indian Springs Mall is by Mike Kalasnik via Wikipedia.

See full report and an overview presentation.

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