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What's next for Country Club Plaza? | HP Village Management shares vision for future

Posted at 1:33 PM, Jul 01, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — With the sale of the Country Club Plaza official, many Kansas Citians are wondering what’s next.

In a press conference Monday, HP Village Management President Ray W. Washburne and Stephen Summers, who will oversee leasing efforts, answered questions about their vision for the future of the Plaza.

“I just want to say, this is a legacy investment for our family. Everything we invest in is long-term,” Washburne said. “We don’t, as I say, put lipstick on something and flip it. And you can see by our ownership of things that they go on for generations, and we totally see County Club Plaza this way.”

HP Village Management is only the fourth owner of the Plaza.

While the ownership group is based in Texas, Summers said his mother and grandparents grew up in the area surrounding the Plaza, so it has a “special place in our heart.”

Moving forward, Washburne said the “challenges were a lot” but HP Village’s focus is set on creating “places that are inclusive for everyone” while ensuring the Plaza is very much part of the neighborhoods it surrounds.

Plaza Neighborhood.png


Washburne said more than $100 million will go toward upgrading basic infrastructure.

Due to the age and spread of the Plaza, 1 million square feet over 15 city blocks, Washburne said it was easy to uncover a multitude of issues.

He noted several retailers who were successful in the Plaza eventually left due to disrepair, including sewers and leaks unaddressed by previous management.

Drawing inspiration for the Plaza from Highland Park Village in Dallas, Washburne said they plan to change from parallel parking to diagonal parking, break down streets, roll out curbs and bring in more landscaping.

“Right now, if you go down there, it just feels like a lot of concrete," he said. "So we want to get it to where pedestrians have a nice walking experience."

Plaza Parking Garage Concrete.png

A full landscape plan will be released in the fall.

Aesthetically, Washburne said the new owners plan to evaluate buildings one by one to reface and recreate storefronts that are cohesive.

Other agenda items that are top of mind include rehabbing parking garages, adding a boutique hotel, creating unique office spaces and constructing an architecturally significant “end-of-street building.”

The overall goal of Washburne and Summers is to create a retail-first experience; all ground floors of additional developments will be kept retail spaces.


Summers is set on bringing in local food and beverage vendors by the fall.

“Within a year, you’ll see some pretty dramatic changes,” Washburne said.

The Highland Park Village project in Dallas was about a five-year project.

Washburne said it takes time to negotiate leases.


Starting Monday, officers will be out patrolling the Plaza on the sidewalks.

Before purchasing the Plaza, Washburne said many conversations were had about security, especially with news of shots fired on the property in April.

Another effort to "keep eyes on the property" will be executed by adding cameras, likely 100-150, per Washburne.

Plaza Retail.png

Possible tenants

“Best-of-class” local retailers will be prioritized, but Summers said they aren’t ruling out partnering with national or international retailers.

Summers said there could eventually be a space for elevated brands. He said the Plaza is the largest market in the U.S. without a Louis Vuitton or Gucci store.

Due to HP Village’s rapport with the brands, he said they plan to target them, even though they’re “not coming today.”

In the meantime, Summers’ eyes are set on contemporary high-end brands, which Washburne said tend to travel in packs.

Various entertainment options, that have yet to be announced, have reached out to HP Village, Washburne said. However, there is no plan to bring back the movie theater as it does not align with the demographic they intend to target.

Other needs of the community will be addressed, too.

Washburne said a small grocer will be brought in to create a convenience store, which he joked is necessary because there’s currently nowhere to just walk and buy a Coke.

Additionally, Summers said he has heard Kansas City’s cries for Houston’s to return. While he cannot make any promises, he said, “That feedback has been very noted."