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Unread 02-04-2012, 12:24 AM
 
Location: Dallas
88 posts, read 98,716 times
Reputation: 82
Default The Bottoms

Hey I have a question. Now if this has already been asked before just redirect me to the thread I can find answer, but if not, well then I have a question lol. I don't live in the Kansas City area anymore so I am out of the loop on a lot of things. Will there be development in the bottoms? I see so much potential in the area. Again don't live in the KC area anymore so idk if anything is going on down there or not. I searched it but didn't find much. If nothing is planned for them bottoms what would Yu like to see happen down there.
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Unread 02-04-2012, 07:37 AM
 
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I assume you mean the W Bottoms as the E Bottoms is far more industrial with less appeal. There was an article in the Star a couple weeks ago about how the City is wanting to rezone the W Bottoms to attract developers. The history of flooding problems appear to be resolved now. The Bottoms could become what DUMBO became in Brooklyn (very similar appearance) but I'd rather not see that happen - at least not in that way.

I'd rather see developers continue to focus on infill from River Market to Xroads and not focus on W Bottoms. The Bottoms are pretty isolated and highly likely won't attract developers anyway. Some Xroad artists are moving into the Bottoms turning old buildings into live/workspace galleries, which picked up when Xroads taxes increased. It's true warehouse living with large raw open spaces and freight elevators direct to living space, not like what's going on in Xroads/River Market where a developer will cutup a building into modern living spaces with hallways. Would rather see artists continue that kind of organic change in Bottoms rather than structured residential from major developers - they should leave that type of development to Xroads and River Market.

Overall though the W Bottoms is improving. There are a few hot restaurant/bars down there now and most buildings are in use in some form or another. The haunted houses are considered to be among best in county in that environment, but they'd probably be more useful as organic residential conversion by artists (not developer style). Kemper Arena area is a big question mark now that Sprint Center has taken all of its gigs. Methinks it should be torn down.

For loft style living, Downtown KC is pretty appealing overall as there are 3 warehouse/loft districts surrounding downtown - maybe 75-100 buildings have been converted in last 10 years or so. Would like to see W Bottoms maintain a more kitschy/less organized true warehouse living style created by onsey-twosey individuals and leave the downtown stretch to more refined loft development.
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Unread 02-04-2012, 07:47 AM
 
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Some pics of W Bottoms I took maybe 10 years ago..
kc core dump - misc street views


Note the curtains... true warehouse living space...






haunted houses...


spooky to walk around here...


i think this building burned down





this is a good 10 years ago, is cleaned up now...


can't remember if this is W Bottoms or River Market...
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Unread 02-04-2012, 11:46 AM
 
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Yeah, so this thread indirectly inspired us to go to the W Bottoms for breakfast and hit the galleries/antique shops. Took a bunch of shots with my phone cam. Was pretty busy, with foodie trucks and many people about for a cool Saturday late morning, which was surprising given it was misty, gloomy and fairly cold (40s'). There are a lot more antique shops now than I recall from last time. I'd guess there are 25-35 or so gallery/antique type spaces now in W Bottoms and becoming a nice secondary arts district to Xroads, which has about 60-80 spaces depending on what you call an art space.

So the pics in last post above were from about 10 years ago, you can get a nice before/after idea. Still nice and gritty but more functional grit. Frankly I think W Bottoms and Xroads are better than DUMBO and Williamsburgh in Brooklyn, which have become too sanitized/gentrified.









[imgrl]http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3812896/Pics/w%20bottoms/20120204_113955.jpg[/img]
















http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3812896/Pics/w%20bottoms/20120204_115113.jpg (broken link)


http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3812896/Pics/w%20bottoms/20120204_115315.jpg (broken link)





there were several foodie trucks there this afternoon






Last edited by xenokc; 02-04-2012 at 01:15 PM..
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Unread 02-05-2012, 12:21 AM
 
Location: Dallas
88 posts, read 98,716 times
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Thank you for the post and the pictures. Seeing the haunted houses took me back a little bit lol. I totally agree with you on your post, and I see some change for the photos from the past 10 years. I think they should definatly keep the old, but add a little new down there. The bottoms around Halloween is the place to be. I have always wondered how it would be if the bottoms got a facelift, not really changing the old that much but like I said earlier adding a little new. I could totally see alot of young professionals, artist, liberals, and etc living in the bottoms with just a little work. Again thanks for the photos, the bottoms looks awesome spooky, but awesome lol. Also Kemper was amazing back when I was younger, have strolled past the sprint center a few times while visiting home and going to P&L and it looks amazing, but kemp hold youth memories.
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Unread 02-05-2012, 09:41 AM
 
1,617 posts, read 1,367,682 times
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River Market and Xroads already target young professionals. Are you familiar with the changes in Xroads the last 10 years? It's grown into one of the largest arts districts and many old buildings have been converted to lofts. There are still a lot of surface lots in that area. Would rather see those infilled with new development before developers attempt to yuppify WB. I used to want to see developers step into WB too but now that I see the organic growth from individuals and the outcome, would not like to see WB gentrified for yuppies - maybe if downtown only had 1 loft district, but there are 3.

Xroads sort of went through that phase where artists/creative types kickstart the re-use of a dilapidated area, the big $ developers later come in, the values/taxes go up and the original community (some) are effectively priced out of their place. Some went to WB. Many of the River Market antique dealers moved to WB too.

It's great to see large investments from major developers when they happen but the core downtown stretch hasn't even hit critical mass yet and is in more need of infill than major investments in WB.
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Unread 02-05-2012, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
6,709 posts, read 7,649,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xenokc View Post
I'd rather see developers continue to focus on infill from River Market to Xroads and not focus on W Bottoms.
For once we agree?

KCMO needs so much infill and critical mass still (so it can sustain fixed transit, street level retail etc) before even thinking about places like the west bottoms, river front etc.

Having said that, I hope the city does do what it can to save the structures that are left in the west bottoms. The city lost about half the structures down there to huge fires and lowrise warehouse developments in the past 20 years and now there are only a few blocks of the historic midrise warehouses left.

But yea, half of the downtown loop, half of the crossraods area etc are still extremely underdeveloped. And there are huge gaps in Midtown that need to be filled in to create a more vibrant and transit friendly, walkable and livable core.

It's good to see the W Bottoms getting some use although it will be somewhat sad to see KC lose some of the country's best urban haunted houses when the area become more gentrified.
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Unread 02-06-2012, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Volker, Kansas City, MO
12,062 posts, read 16,928,514 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
For once we agree?

KCMO needs so much infill and critical mass still (so it can sustain fixed transit, street level retail etc) before even thinking about places like the west bottoms, river front etc.

Having said that, I hope the city does do what it can to save the structures that are left in the west bottoms. The city lost about half the structures down there to huge fires and lowrise warehouse developments in the past 20 years and now there are only a few blocks of the historic midrise warehouses left.

But yea, half of the downtown loop, half of the crossraods area etc are still extremely underdeveloped. And there are huge gaps in Midtown that need to be filled in to create a more vibrant and transit friendly, walkable and livable core.

It's good to see the W Bottoms getting some use although it will be somewhat sad to see KC lose some of the country's best urban haunted houses when the area become more gentrified.
I also am inclined to agree that efforts would be best focused on Crossroads -- particularly where it relates to housing and dining which is what I'd really require to want to live there, but I sure do love the gritty feel of the West Bottoms.
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Unread 02-06-2012, 08:49 AM
 
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Saying 'half' the downtown area is 'extremely' underdeveloped is rather exaggerated but there are too many surface lots that need infill before paying any attention to WB (large $ development anyway).

WB grit is great and I'll take 'functional' grit over yuppified sterilized big $ gentrification like what happened to DUMBO in Brooklyn (looks almost identical to WB and used to be dilapidated). If WB were the only loft district then it would naturally happen. But there are 3 loft districts and the 2 moving forward still have work to do.

I'd be very surprised if big $ developers bite in WB anyway as it would probably be a riskier investment than investing closer to downtown core.
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Unread 02-06-2012, 05:19 PM
 
1,617 posts, read 1,367,682 times
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Since this is the W Bottoms thread, will throw this in. A James Bearder lists R Bar in WB as one of classic bars in US serving vintage drinks. Methinks Manifesto in Xroads should get cred too but it gets lots of attention elsewhere, good to see another KC bar get some marks...

10 great classic American cocktail lounges - USATODAY.com

And BTW, the building in the first picture post that I thought burned down did not. It's now a gallery.
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