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Old 01-06-2017, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,493,517 times
Reputation: 5414

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Every development proposed in metro KC is now labeled as "mixed use". Very few of them actually are.

The latest is this development in NKC.

http://www.bizjournals.com/kansascit...brewhouse.html

http://www.kansascity.com/news/busin...124573064.html

There is nothing mixed use about this. It's standard sprawl. Lots and lots of surface parking lots, low density development, zero walkability etc the uses are in no way "mixed". Apartments are in one part, retail in another etc. If this is mixed use then all of metro KC is mixed use.

NKC really dropped the ball here. I really thought they would put up something cool here. Instead they are giving away a ridiculous amount of incentives for what they will be getting in return. Just because Wichita and Kansas gave Driv Golf (similar to Top Golf) stupid incentives doesn't mean NKC should do it. NKC should have used that money to build structured parking to make a true mixed use project happen.

NKC I was really hoping for a true mixed use, high density project in this high profile infill location. Instead, you are going to make it look like Barry Road sprawl.

I can't believe that after doing such a nice job with Northgate Village, NKC is going to do this with the only sizable place left to develop in the city.

What a missed opportunity.

Last edited by kcmo; 01-06-2017 at 01:05 PM..
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:46 PM
 
990 posts, read 877,810 times
Reputation: 822
We have walkable mixed use areas in this metro, but honestly it's not top priority for most people in KC. It seems that most people want large lots, big yards, relatively new housing, ample parking, and easy-access streets to drive on. Yes, there is a smaller contingent of people that want the more dense urban style but there was a recent report in KC Business Journal about how suburbs were still killin' it. Apparently this is not just a KC thing either...


Search Business Insider article from May: "The Suburbs Are Making A Comeback". Sprawl isn't going away anytime soon...people like what it has to offer, and can deal with the drawbacks. Gotta give the people what they want...
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Old 01-06-2017, 01:55 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,817 posts, read 39,346,783 times
Reputation: 48613
I don't think it's that nobody "gets" it. I think it's more that is not anything most are especially interested in. Just not a priority. Wrong audience.
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Old 01-06-2017, 02:35 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,493,517 times
Reputation: 5414
Quote:
Originally Posted by KC_Sleuth View Post
We have walkable mixed use areas in this metro, but honestly it's not top priority for most people in KC. It seems that most people want large lots, big yards, relatively new housing, ample parking, and easy-access streets to drive on. Yes, there is a smaller contingent of people that want the more dense urban style but there was a recent report in KC Business Journal about how suburbs were still killin' it. Apparently this is not just a KC thing either...


Search Business Insider article from May: "The Suburbs Are Making A Comeback". Sprawl isn't going away anytime soon...people like what it has to offer, and can deal with the drawbacks. Gotta give the people what they want...
I understand KC has walkable mixed use areas, but pretty much none of these new developments that keep getting called mixed use are mixed use at all. Developers are often using the "mixed use" description as another way to get incentives because they are not building the same old stuff, when in reality they are. That's my point. Just because the same developer is building an apartment complex next to a strip mall, doesn't make it mixed use.

Although KC is noticeably more suburban oriented than most cities in the USA today, suburban living in general is still king in KC and across the USA. I never denied that nor did I say I had a problem with it. Even in the biggest cities in the USA, the vast majority of people live in suburban areas. Even though most cities are seeing a huge renaissance that will likely never change because no matter how many people move back to the city, they will be outnumbered by suburban residents by a large margin.

However, there has been a huge trend in offering some alternatives to traditional suburban development outside of urban core areas. This is where KC seems really confused. Suburban office parks like what you see in KC with glass single use boxes and huge parking lots have been declining big time. In some areas like DC, Chicago, west coast etc, suburban office development has come to a grinding halt unless it's near a transit station or part of a mixed use development. Even though people generally like living in suburbs, 1980's office parks are out and people like working in areas that are walkable, have places nearby to shop, dine etc and these areas are also great for high density apartment complexes so people that don't want to live in a single family home or all the way downtown have an option.

The Northland already has a ton of new construction single family homes and single use apartment complexes just like the rest of metro KC. That location should have been reserved for a more dense, true mixed use, walkable development. The location close to Cerner, the Casino and downtown NKC/downtown KCMO would have been a huge success. They could have even included the golf attraction, but the rest of the proposed development is a total fail for that location.

NKC could have done so much better.
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Old 01-06-2017, 08:16 PM
 
172 posts, read 98,498 times
Reputation: 102
I suppose it comes down to opportunity cost. DC, Chicago, and the coasts have geographical constraints that drive developers to provide dense mixed use, because it is a more efficient use of land. In KC, there is no geographical barrier in any direction. NKC can continue to expand north. Overland Park can continue to expand south. Lee's Summit can continue to expand SE. In KC, sprawl has little to no opportunity cost, so developers can build sprawling properties with retail+residential and slap a mixed use label on it, even if it is barely walkable.
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Old 01-07-2017, 05:50 AM
 
376 posts, read 429,532 times
Reputation: 350
You're forgetting one of the great driving factors behind high-density, mixed use development and lifestyles: traffic. I grew up in and around Los Angeles, and when I was a kid, there simply was no mixed use or high density outside of the city centers of places like L.A., Long Beach and San Diego, apart maybe from desirable beach communities like Santa Monica and Venice. But as the years went by and traffic became more and more untenable and really started to impact public health, air quality, and economic productivity, density and development along transit corridors—as Southern California began to build out its rail and subway systems—became popular and even in demand.

KC doesn't have that pressure. Traffic at its worst here is a faint echo of what it is in cities like L.A., Houston or NY. I adore high-density urban living, but someone with small kids who wants a yard, and who can live in a new home in Lees Summit and still get to his job in downtown KC in 30 minutes, is going to choose suburbia until the negatives of transit outweigh the positives of living in a place like LS. For many people I know, that happened years ago in Los Angeles (where traffic literally dominates every decision you make during your day); it is unlikely ever to happen in KC because of the geographic issues and because the area's "under the radar" quality will probably keep us from ever becoming an Austin-like growth bomb.
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