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Meeting Hints at New Owners’ Plan for Country Club Plaza Deal Expected to be Completed This Week

Country Club Plaza holiday lights The Country Club Plaza holiday lights. (Courtesy | Visit KC)
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2 minute read

After months of negotiations, Kansas City’s iconic Country Club Plaza is finally getting new owners. 

The Texas-based HP Village Associates is expected to complete a deal on Friday and hold a press conference on Monday to formally announce the purchase. HP Village Associates is buying the landmark shopping district from a joint venture of The Macerich Co. and Taubman Centers that in May 2023 defaulted on $295.2 million in debt.

An affiliated company, HP Village Partners, operates Highland Park Village in the Dallas area, an upscale outdoor shopping center with multiple luxury retailers such as Carolina Herrera, Chanel, Dior, Fendi, Harry Winston, Hermès, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch and Valentino.

To hear more details on the sale, more than 60 people attended the Plaza District Council meeting Tuesday morning at Made in Kansas City Marketplace on the Plaza — shop owners, office tenants, area residents and longtime fans of the Plaza.

The Plaza District Council is a nonprofit formed to advocate for the Plaza and surrounding neighborhoods in the areas of growth, vitality and inclusion.

District officials said they are “bullish” about the new ownership. The message they are getting from HP Village is that their intent is to be “legacy owners” who will “preserve, protect and enhance” the Plaza and not deviate from its famed architectural charm. 

Here are a few things the Plaza might expect under the new owners:   

  • More local retailers and restaurants. 
  • An early focus on the development of a long-vacant lot at the west edge of the Plaza. The site was previously home to two restaurant spaces, a bank and a movie theater. They were demolished in 2019 to make way for a new 122,000-square-foot Nordstrom department store. But that deal later fell through when Nordstrom decided not to relocate from Oak Park Mall in Overland Park.
  • New landscaping, signage, beautification projects.
  • Additional housing development. With more residents, the Plaza could bring back a grocery store and other services. 
  • New facades for some buildings. 

Plaza District Council officials said naysayers to any proposals should first ask, “What’s the upside?”

Country Club Plaza Saga

While real estate sources said there has been talk of redeveloping the block housing such tenants as The Classic Cup Cafe and Potbelly (along with a closed Starbucks), Plaza District Council officials declined to comment. 

Attendees also asked about the future of the Plaza Tennis Center but it is owned by the Kansas City Parks and Recreation Department.

The Plaza District Council also is working to make the area more pedestrian-friendly for the new KC Streetcar stop, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and other points of interest to visitors.

Flatland contributor Joyce Smith covered local restaurants and retail for nearly 40 years with The Kansas City Star. Follow her on X and Facebook at #JoyceKC, and Instagram and Threads at #joyceinkc.

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