In 2015, a devastating and deadly fire reduced the northwest corner of Independence and Prospect Avenues to rubble, leaving behind a vacant lot and a neighborhood in ruin. Since that time, one local developer had their plan for a commercial-only building turned down by city council in a decision that spoke to the aspirations of the community and their need for a more positive and progressive revitalization plan.
The client, BA Property LLC, had previously hired another contractor to submit a proposal. However, their proposed site plans did not meet certain criteria required by the surrounding neighborhoods. As a result, they received heavy pushback from local residents and stakeholders, prompting the client to reach out to B+A to craft a new proposal.
In addition to development management, architectural engineering consultation, financial, and general contracting services, one of their site plan must-haves was a memorial for the two firefighters, Larry Leggio and John Mesh, who lost their lives in the fire.
The mixed-use retail, restaurant, and residential building would stand to elevate the quality of life for area residents and give this historic bedroom community new life and energy.
Because of the fire and the tragedy surrounding it, the project attracts a great deal of attention from the neighborhood and the media. Our team needed to present a proposal to several different related groups and organizations to collect feedback and consensus so we could propose solutions that would please everybody.
Due to the property location, the development proposals needed to meet various standards, including Kansas City Ordinances, Historic Preservation Standards, Independence Corridor Overlay District Standards, Kansas City Boulevard, and Parkway Standards.
The project involved two separate land lots with different zoning, both commercial and residential. To proceed with the development, the lots needed to be combined and then rezoned.
Meeting the Needs of The Community
The previous one-story proposal that was submitted by the other firm did not meet specific criteria and experienced a great deal of pushback from various interest groups, including the resident’s association and the city. Our team was tasked with submitting a proposal for a new two-story mixed-use development that included both commercial and residential spaces.
The area under development is currently blighted and requires the demolition of the existing foundation and improvement of exterior landscape, which will add to the complexity of the job and increase construction costs.