KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The city of Kansas City, Missouri, is poised to purchase the surface parking lot at the southwest corner of West 12th Street and Broadway Boulevard, directly across from the Convention Center.
One reason the city considered the downtown property is the redesign of the Barney Allis Plaza, which will eliminate most of the parking beneath the square.
The 12th and Broadway property is one area where the city hopes to transfer some of that parking. To add more parking to that lot, city leaders hope to build a parking structure containing several stories.
At the City Council’s Finance, Governance and Public Safety Committee meeting on Wednesday, however, Councilman Eric Bunch proposed using that spot for several purposes, in addition to parking.
The councilman added a resolution to the purchase, which the committee approved with a few wording changes.
"I envision a downtown that has a much more strategic approach to parking and addresses our parking needs," Bunch said.
Some examples including installing apartments or adding office and retail space, along with the parking garage.
"Thinking about it more creatively than just a simple little parking garage," Bunch said. "If we're going to do this, let's do it well."
Others on the committee looked at the proposal in a different light, as more shops bring more demand for parking. The city also has a commitment to nearby hotels and businesses to provide a certain amount of parking for employees and customers.
The parking dilemma is something nearby businesses like the Garment House understand all too well.
"People from the suburbs still have their cars. As we know, urban areas are going car-less and public transportation, so we're seeing a decline in cars," said Douglas Price, partner with Price Brothers.
But Price agrees a multi-use building fits in better with a booming downtown.
"If I were owning that land, I would build apartments and some ground-level retail services," Price said.
The resolution now heads to the full Kansas City Council for consideration. To view the full resolution, click here.