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Old 01-23-2014, 04:18 AM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
3,572 posts, read 6,967,784 times
Reputation: 2589

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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
If you moved to KC long after Barnes, you have no idea how bad that area of downtown was. The vast majority of the money spent on the P&L district was not to build the restaurants and nightclubs. It was used to acquire extremely blighted structures and surface parking lots, relocate and rebuild underground utilities, remove and rebuild streets, traffic signals, streetlights, landscaping, build parking garages (which also serve Sprint Center and other downtown venues).

Basically work that needed to be done anyway. KCMO completely removed and rebuilt a large portion of its downtown, a part of Downtown that had not been touched in many decades that had nothing but half used parking lots, haunted houses and vacant structures. KC actually had haunted houses that were used one month out of the year in the middle of its downtown central business district, I don't think people realize just how bizarre that is for a major metropolitan city to have such a poorly looking and performing area in the middle of a downtown. There would likely be no Sprint Center, no renovated Midland Theater, no grocery store, no renovated President Hotel, no Kauffman Performing Arts Center and much of the renovated and proposed projects (condos, hotels etc) that have occurred in the area would not have happened.

KCMO invested in a MAJOR downtown infrastructure project and an entertainment district was then constructed on this new portion of downtown. Whether you like or support the P&L district or not (yes it caters to tourists and suburbanites, big deal), that project single handedly saved downtown from being the only major city save Detroit to remain a complete disaster into the 2000's.

Yes, it was expensive, but the money was well spent.

And once again, I will never EVER understand why a project like the P&L district gets so much negative attention by locals while suburban greenfield projects like Village West and Prairie Fire which get FAR more public money that goes strait to the actual developers rather than urban infrastructure improvements are completely justified. I will never understand KC area residents mentality.
This is a great and informative post and completely accurate. Kay Barnes was an awesome mayor and because of what she and her administration did to transform downtown ... well, that's the reason downtown is on such a roll today. If it weren't the the P+L district and Sprint Center package, downtown simply wouldn't be where it is today. That was the spark. I think that spark is also responsible for the amount of improvement and development we're seeing in midtown, the River Market, on the west side, and in Union Hill/Longfellow/Beacon Hill. Downtown truly is so much different today than it was pre-Power and Light/Sprint Center and the turn around of the entire urban core has been tremendous.
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Old 04-28-2014, 12:13 PM
 
Location: Florida and the Rockies
1,553 posts, read 1,656,870 times
Reputation: 2264
Had a relevant conversation last night on a flight to KCI. Husband-and-wife passengers seated near me who relocated from California to KC in the 2000s. Live at 159/ Nall. Have zero reference to KC's historical boundaries, etc.

Both travel for work extensively (>100k miles annually, about what I travel). Both are part of companies where there is a core group of 50-100 heavy travellers. All or nearly all of their travelling co-workers live in what I used to call "frontier" Johnson County -- that is, greater than 25 miles from downtown KC (and >40 miles from KCI).

If this trendline continues, then in the next decade, there will be commercial service at New Century or at a yet-unbuilt-airport somewhere south of 135th street. I simply do not see KCI maintaining its commercial air monopoly over the region when a large plurality (if not majority) of its users are concentrated in a clustered work/ live location almost 50 miles away. Some airline will start service to New Century because the customers will demand it.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,010 posts, read 20,836,478 times
Reputation: 6055
^ disagree. Look at other cities. Even from South JoCo, KCI is not that far away due to an uncongested freeway system and considering it's only at about half capacity and the KC market is ranked in the mid 30's market size, the idea of another commercial airport in KC is a complete pipe dream.

Denver's airport is super far from the front range sprawl of I-25. Denver has a very busy airport and a million more people. They are not getting another commercial airport. StL airport is not that close to most of the metro other than North County. Cincy's airport is clear out in Kentucky while most of suburban Cincy is on the opposite side of the metro. I can go on and on.

Doing business in JoCo and having to drive to KCI will remain the norm in KC for my lifetime as well and my kids lifetimes, period.

Plus, there is a good chance that the Northland (which is already 75% of the size of JoCo) will rival or even exceed JoCo in growth over the next generation. You have to remember most of the growth in JoCo occurred in just a few decades while the Northland has only been growing at extreme rates for less than ten years. At the very least, the gap will continue to close.

Personally, I see just the opposite. People are not going to want to office at 200th and Nall and not only be 90 minute from KCI, but an hour or two from anything in KC. People will not want to live that far from places and it makes no sense to do so in KC when there are so many other options. JoCo growth to the south will not stop, but it will slow considerably. KC is not Houston or Atlanta (talk about long drives to airports). If JoCo wants to continue to grow at the rate it has, there is only one way it will be able to. Start growing back north and building infill projects using transit oriented development (not easy with zero transit there), mixed use etc. This is why the Galleria project at 435 and 69 has resurfaced. Too bad it resurfaced as the same old 1980's college blvd sprawl that is so prevalent in JoCo. A Chipotle at the base of an four story apartment building next to an office park is not mixed use.
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Old 04-28-2014, 01:38 PM
 
Location: Florida and the Rockies
1,553 posts, read 1,656,870 times
Reputation: 2264
We will see what happens.

I do think that the city should reconsider the Richards Gebaur site if/ when the current-location KCI redevelopment plans fall through.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:24 PM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
10,532 posts, read 7,277,612 times
Reputation: 11451
Quote:
Originally Posted by westender View Post
We will see what happens.

I do think that the city should reconsider the Richards Gebaur site if/ when the current-location KCI redevelopment plans fall through.
So I guess the annual air shows in KC are gone? I used to enjoy the Thunderbirds or Blue Angels almost every year when I lived there.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:31 PM
 
12,191 posts, read 11,469,731 times
Reputation: 4890
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
I've seen these numbers before and there is nothing new in them.

I have not done the math, but is there a big difference between the percents of people people from KCMO vs OPKS? Looks like both cities have a similar percent of people using the airport. And OP+Shawnee+Olathe is probably pretty close to the same population of KCMO so I would imagine their numbers combined would be similar to KCMO as well and affluent suburbanites in general use airports more often than people in poor parts of cities, so places like Lee's Summit, Blue Springs and Liberty will also have a slightly higher percent use than KCMO alone.

From what I have seen the actual metro area users that use KCI break down almost exactly with the population of the metro area, so about 55-60% from MO and the remainders the KS side. KCK doesn't use it much and JoCo uses it a little more than average.

The reason KS has more overall users than MO is because KCI is the primary airport from most of the rest of the populated portions of the state as well. From Lawrence to Topeka to Manhattan and even many in Wichita (which severely lacks flights and they are more expensive). Missouri on the other hand has another major airport and most people that live equal distance between KC and StL choose StL.

So these stats make perfect sense.

What does not make perfect sense is building a new airport, anywhere else in the metro (not just JoCo). I mean, the people that don't want to spend a billion dollars on a new terminal can't possibly be the same ones that would even remotely think that building a whole new airport makes an iota of sense. It would be an absolute colossal waste of money to build new airport in a different location.

The new terminal and parking garages would cost 1.5-2 billion. Three new 10k foot runways will cost close to a billion dollars each. The cost of the land to build a new airport would probably approach a billion dollars plus all new infrastructure. Even the airport fire station, control tower etc all add up to many hundreds of millions.

A new terminal at KCI (even at a new location other than terminal A) would cost a few hundred million to tie the terminal to 152 and I-29, an area already built up with highways and ramps. If you build a new airport in the south metro it would have to be WAY south like in northern Miami County or the southern JoCo county line and it would require probably a billion dollars of highway upgrades to build a major airport out there with all new infrastructure, not just for the terminal, but all of it. A new airport in some field 50-60 miles from downtown KC and 20-30 miles form the core of Overland Park would cost 5-6 billion at the very minimum and it would be just as far away from most of developed JoCo as KCI is.

Then you have all the other problems. Like it would take decades to build up a decent amount of hotel rooms around the airport and it would kill KC's chances of ever being a convention destination again and OP Convention Center will never be a national convention center, ever. It's a state convention center, and people living in Kansas don't need to fly to OP. KCI is only 15 minutes from Downtown KC, a southern location would put it nearly an hour if not more away from downtown and northern suburbs may as well drive to Omaha.

Then you have this giant airport in the northland that you have to find a new use for which would be impossible and tearing out all that relatively new concrete would be asinine.

But would JoCo or KS try? Probably. They originally wanted New Century to be a commercial airport and quickly found out that there was zero interest by the airlines.

So there you have it. My thoughts on the issue.

KCI sucks though, I hope the people in KC that like to "save" everything don't screw things up because the airport needs a new terminal.

And I must say the photo below is comical. I have been in lines like this at KCI and they take FOREVER and that's before you get locked into a cattle pen of a gate with nasty little bathrooms and no basic amenities and you hope and pray your flight is not delayed for even ten minutes so you can get to a more civilized and modern place although you may need that delay depending on the TSA and baggage wait times. KCI can be a terribly in-efficient and painful airport.
Three new 10k foot runways will cost close to a billion dollars each. The cost of the land to build a new airport would probably approach a billion.

KCMO closed down RG and it had a 10,000 ft runway supposedly one of 5 in the USA at the time. REAL SMART KCMO.
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Old 04-28-2014, 02:32 PM
 
Location: Olathe, KS
180 posts, read 228,458 times
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I'm young enough to plead ignorance on this one: Did New Century operate commercial services at some point?
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:10 PM
 
Location: A safe distance from San Francisco
10,532 posts, read 7,277,612 times
Reputation: 11451
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProspectiveTransplant View Post
I'm young enough to plead ignorance on this one: Did New Century operate commercial services at some point?
Charters, yes, as they do currently. But no scheduled regular service that I know of.
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Old 04-28-2014, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 24,518,746 times
Reputation: 10428
Quote:
Originally Posted by kcmo View Post
^ disagree. Look at other cities. Even from South JoCo, KCI is not that far away due to an uncongested freeway system and considering it's only at about half capacity and the KC market is ranked in the mid 30's market size, the idea of another commercial airport in KC is a complete pipe dream.

Denver's airport is super far from the front range sprawl of I-25. Denver has a very busy airport and a million more people. They are not getting another commercial airport. StL airport is not that close to most of the metro other than North County. Cincy's airport is clear out in Kentucky while most of suburban Cincy is on the opposite side of the metro. I can go on and on.

Doing business in JoCo and having to drive to KCI will remain the norm in KC for my lifetime as well and my kids lifetimes, period.

Plus, there is a good chance that the Northland (which is already 75% of the size of JoCo) will rival or even exceed JoCo in growth over the next generation. You have to remember most of the growth in JoCo occurred in just a few decades while the Northland has only been growing at extreme rates for less than ten years. At the very least, the gap will continue to close.

Personally, I see just the opposite. People are not going to want to office at 200th and Nall and not only be 90 minute from KCI, but an hour or two from anything in KC. People will not want to live that far from places and it makes no sense to do so in KC when there are so many other options. JoCo growth to the south will not stop, but it will slow considerably. KC is not Houston or Atlanta (talk about long drives to airports). If JoCo wants to continue to grow at the rate it has, there is only one way it will be able to. Start growing back north and building infill projects using transit oriented development (not easy with zero transit there), mixed use etc. This is why the Galleria project at 435 and 69 has resurfaced. Too bad it resurfaced as the same old 1980's college blvd sprawl that is so prevalent in JoCo. A Chipotle at the base of an four story apartment building next to an office park is not mixed use.
I don't see KC having two commercial airports in the next century either. What's the smallest metro area with two commercial airports? Dallas/Ft. Worth has DFW and Love Field. I think Houston has two. Chicago has two. LA metro area has five. Seems like a metro area needs at least 5 million people to support multiple commercial airports.
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Old 04-28-2014, 06:18 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
11,010 posts, read 20,836,478 times
Reputation: 6055
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProspectiveTransplant View Post
I'm young enough to plead ignorance on this one: Did New Century operate commercial services at some point?
Johnson County had high hopes back in the late 1980's that it would become a commercial airport. The airlines wouldn't even entertain the idea long enough to listen to a proposal. The county quickly learned that there was no chance, none and have since given up on the idea.
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