Old Hyde Park buildings could make way for parking lot

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A block-long row of old buildings could soon make way for a parking lot in the Old Hyde Park neighborhood.

The four boarded-up buildings on West Armour Boulevard between Wyandotte and Baltimore are owned by MAC Property Management. The company purchased the buildings with the intention of converting them into housing, but now the plan has changed.

MAC said renovation would be too expensive, so now the company plans to demolish the buildings and construct a parking lot.

"It'd be an awful sight," said Martin Phillips, president of the Old Hyde Park Historic District. He said the neighborhood has saved too many old buildings to let this happen.

"As a neighborhood, we believe this is the gateway into our community," Phillips said. "We feel like a set of teeth. You start removing a tooth here and a tooth there and pretty soon you don't have a very pretty smile."

Phillips said he is surprised MAC came up with the demolition plan. The company said it has rehabilitated more than 800 Midtown apartment units in the past five years, and 400 more are on the way.

Penn Valley Community College student Carl Cummings walks by the buildings every day on his way to school and hopes to see change.

"I think it would be a good asset to the area to have remodeling and have somebody live in there," Cummings said.

MAC said the properties still have a chance of survival.

The buildings are on the market right now without a specific asking price. A MAC spokesman said if a developer comes along with the right plan, the company would be willing to sell.

MAC will go before the Kansas City Historic Preservation Committee on January 25 to get permission to demolish, unless an acceptable offer arrives before then.

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