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KCATA seeks to provide lot for development along 18th Street corridor

Posted at 5:58 PM, Nov 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-08 19:15:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Kansas City Area Transit Authority (KCATA) owns a two-and-half acre lot at the corner of 18th and Troost that sits in the shadow of downtown, which it hopes one day will be a beacon for development in the area. 

“We are the conduit between the Crossroads and 18th and Vine and with all the investment in 18th and Vine, with all the development in the Crossroads, this is a great opportunity for the ATA to get involved and help out the city,” said Robbie Makinen, president & CEO of KCATA. 

KCATA told 41 Action News it has received a number of unsolicited inquiries from developers who are interested in turning properties owned by the transit authority into spaces where people can live, work, and play. 

“Because as much as we could develop this on our own, I think the greatest value proposition is the public-private partnership,” Brien Starner, director of economic development for KCATA, said.

The transit authority created his position about a year and a half ago. 

In that short amount of time, the board has voted to move the transit hub at 10th and Main to 12th and Charlotte so the old space can be turned into a park or a development.

Then over at 3rd and Grand, KCATA has partnered with a developer to turn a parking lot into an office building.  

“Putting for the development proposal at 3rd and Grand -- it really opened up the eyes of the development community about what ability and interest is,” Starner said.

For the lot next to the KCATA headquarters, the vision is to create a combination of retail, office, and residential space.

“What we want people to know is that KCATA is open for business and not only are we going to drive customers, we’re going to drive development too,” Makinen said.

KCATA said it's working with the city to figure out what is best to get developers to present proposals for the lot either through an RFP or an RFQ.

That’s set to take place in the next 60 to 120 days.