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Old 02-03-2017, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Kansas City MO
206 posts, read 182,751 times
Reputation: 311

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With two recent high profile closings, along with some other vacancies that have cropped up recently, is there a concern that the new management company doesn't know what it is doing? Back when downtown was moribund, the Plaza was the only game in town on the Missouri side. What are everyone's thoughts about the direction of the Plaza and its ability, with the new management company in charge, to remain a flagship district in KC that draws people from all over the metro and beyond?
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Old 02-03-2017, 09:59 AM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,399,524 times
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I've always loved the architecture, fountains, landscaping, and various aesthetics of the Plaza, which make it a really nice outdoor experience, especially other times of the year than now. That's been the bulk of my appreciation. That hasn't changed.

But from a retail standpoint, I'll admit that is never been a huge draw for me in the decade I've lived here (many of those years, living in housing on the Plaza itself, so it was my neighborhood). And to that end, I feel it's gotten worse. True, taste is subjective, and my shopping tastes are admittedly more limited/specialized than most, but the selection of stores is on the decline, IMO. It hit me this past weekend, when hosting out of state guests who don't visit often, and we were at one point kind of aimlessly wandering the Plaza. Previously, there were a number of shops of interest. Now, though, there really isn't a ton that's interesting or especially unique.
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Old 02-03-2017, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,513,697 times
Reputation: 5415
Quote:
Originally Posted by Weaubleau View Post
With two recent high profile closings, along with some other vacancies that have cropped up recently, is there a concern that the new management company doesn't know what it is doing? Back when downtown was moribund, the Plaza was the only game in town on the Missouri side. What are everyone's thoughts about the direction of the Plaza and its ability, with the new management company in charge, to remain a flagship district in KC that draws people from all over the metro and beyond?
If the people down there don't start letting new construction happen, I would start to worry. The plaza is great, but it needs new blood, new residents etc. Keeping it the same (save the plaza) will eventually do it in. Downtown will do to the plaza over the next 20 years what the plaza did to Downtown in the 80's-90's. Nearly all new residential construction will be downtown and the plaza will be a secondary thought or option for most people.

I know there are some projects still happening around the plaza area, but developers generally have a very difficult time getting anything approved there. Downtown should remain the priority, especially when developers ask for incentives, but be careful not to forget about the plaza. For many decades the plaza has been a retail and dining destination for all of the urban core. Now that downtown is coming into its own plus people in JoCo have fewer and fewer reasons to make the trek to the plaza, the only way to really keep it going is to continue to add hotels, residential towers etc and make it even more dense than it is so that it's more self sustaining. Otherwise, you will start to see the plaza retail portion deteriorate.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:49 AM
 
Location: KCMO (Plaza)
290 posts, read 230,412 times
Reputation: 209
Quote:
Originally Posted by TabulaRasa View Post
I've always loved the architecture, fountains, landscaping, and various aesthetics of the Plaza, which make it a really nice outdoor experience, especially other times of the year than now. That's been the bulk of my appreciation. That hasn't changed.

But from a retail standpoint, I'll admit that is never been a huge draw for me in the decade I've lived here (many of those years, living in housing on the Plaza itself, so it was my neighborhood). And to that end, I feel it's gotten worse. True, taste is subjective, and my shopping tastes are admittedly more limited/specialized than most, but the selection of stores is on the decline, IMO. It hit me this past weekend, when hosting out of state guests who don't visit often, and we were at one point kind of aimlessly wandering the Plaza. Previously, there were a number of shops of interest. Now, though, there really isn't a ton that's interesting or especially unique.
I currently live right next store to the Plaza. I find it to be one of the most attractive parts of the city, but really doesn't crater to my needs as a resident in the area. Frankly, it's became less of a place for nearby residents years ago from what I have read. Interestingly, as others have pointed out about downtown's rise, that's an area I may move to in the future as frankly the Plaza doesn't do much for me beyond bringing out of town friends to (I could walk to a grocery downtown, but must drive to Brookside to get food items).
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
10,705 posts, read 18,513,697 times
Reputation: 5415
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA650 View Post
I currently live right next store to the Plaza. I find it to be one of the most attractive parts of the city, but really doesn't crater to my needs as a resident in the area. Frankly, it's became less of a place for nearby residents years ago from what I have read. Interestingly, as others have pointed out about downtown's rise, that's an area I may move to in the future as frankly the Plaza doesn't do much for me beyond bringing out of town friends to (I could walk to a grocery downtown, but must drive to Brookside to get food items).
Exactly. The plaza needs to evolve into more of a self sustained urban center rather than a regional destination. It will always be regional attraction but will likely never be the regional "retail" attraction it once was.

The development near UMKC with a Whole Foods is exactly the kind of new development the Plaza will need as it evolves. Basic retail for those living in the area and more density at the same time to support that type of retail. The streetcar also needs to be extended to the plaza to help people that choose to live there take advantage of all the new amenities being built in the urban core outside of the plaza.
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Old 02-03-2017, 03:42 PM
 
Location: kansas city
78 posts, read 84,433 times
Reputation: 83
I drove past the plaza nearly every day as a student at UMKC (2012-2016). Despite that, i never really visited the plaza at all. It does have its charm and beauty, but as others mentioned before, there is not much besides that when it comes to retail. The restaurants are ok, but I consider them to be special occasion restaurants. I only eat there for a birthday, and maybe for a date maybe 5 times a year. I have begun to hangout more downtown these past few years as the Alamo Draft House, and UpDown have attracted me more so than the plaza. I don't expect the plaza to be a nightlife hot spot, it couldn't hurt, but I feel it does need to change or else its future will be a little less bright.
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Old 02-03-2017, 06:56 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,399,524 times
Reputation: 48621
Quote:
Originally Posted by PA650 View Post
I currently live right next store to the Plaza. I find it to be one of the most attractive parts of the city, but really doesn't crater to my needs as a resident in the area. Frankly, it's became less of a place for nearby residents years ago from what I have read. Interestingly, as others have pointed out about downtown's rise, that's an area I may move to in the future as frankly the Plaza doesn't do much for me beyond bringing out of town friends to (I could walk to a grocery downtown, but must drive to Brookside to get food items).
Totally agree, outside of dining. It never met my retail needs when I was a resident.

I no longer live on the Plaza, but Whole Foods wouldn't ever be my pick for regularly shopped grocery store, so that's not a big draw, either, if I did still live there.
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Old 02-03-2017, 08:36 PM
 
Location: First Hill, Seattle
5,470 posts, read 5,783,610 times
Reputation: 7191
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
Exactly. The plaza needs to evolve into more of a self sustained urban center rather than a regional destination. It will always be regional attraction but will likely never be the regional "retail" attraction it once was.

The development near UMKC with a Whole Foods is exactly the kind of new development the Plaza will need as it evolves. Basic retail for those living in the area and more density at the same time to support that type of retail. The streetcar also needs to be extended to the plaza to help people that choose to live there take advantage of all the new amenities being built in the urban core outside of the plaza.
I think you nailed it. As someone who spent a year on the Plaza after a year in Westport, I lamented the lack of basic amenities of the former that I took for granted in Westport. Not just a grocery store but even like a corner convenience store or 7-Eleven. Closest place is QuikTrip up the hill on Main, basically in Westport. The South Plaza has a CVS but that's about it. For groceries you either have to go to Westport or Brookside, or a really horrible Apple Market by 71 which I think/hope closed.

Restaurants and shopping are great, but it's not really ideal for living as it is. The Whole Foods will help with that but there should be more. I'd love to see more local shops and bars in the area like you have in Westport. I actually really like the small area around the South Plaza with a more neighborhood-y feel, I wish there was more of that around the Plaza proper.

Retail is suffering all over the country, but the Plaza's assets are so much more than that. It can be a really desirable place to live, not just shop. I never got tired of driving past the beautiful architecture on my way to work in the morning or visiting the Nelson-Atkins whenever I felt like it since it was a block away.

Whenever the streetcar gets down there, I think it will be a big catalyst for the type of stuff I was talking about.
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Old 02-03-2017, 11:43 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,821 posts, read 39,399,524 times
Reputation: 48621
Living within walking distance of the Nelson basically erased any other shortcomings, for me.
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Old 02-04-2017, 07:38 PM
 
519 posts, read 468,806 times
Reputation: 325
It's too late to be worried about the plaza. It's not the same Plaza that it was. I heard today that the former Hall's building is getting a Nike Store, that will bring in more nice urban folks to hang out and run around on the Plaza. Sure there will be more panhandler's in front of the old Hall's bldg.
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