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Cordish Dipping Its Development Toe in Riverfront

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2 minute read

By Kevin Collison

Cordish, a major player in the heart of downtown for 20 years, is dipping its toe in the riverfront, responding to a Port KC development solicitation that calls for a 1,000-space garage and combination of residential, retail and/or office space.

The Baltimore-based developer, who’s portfolio includes the Power & Light District, and the One-, Two- and Three Light apartment towers, was the sole respondent along with the Parking Company of America to a request for proposals issued by Port KC.

Port KC issued the RFP last May for a 4.6-acre site across Berkley Parkway from the new KC Current soccer stadium now under construction and scheduled to open next year. What’s called Parcel 9 is between Lydia street and I-29, south of Berkley Parkway.

The RFP calls for a minimum of 1,000 garage parking spaces. Those spaces, combined with 1,070 spaces planned for a recently announced nearby development planned by the co-owners of KC Current, would satisfy Port KC’s parking commitment to the new stadium.

“Proposers are specifically advised that Port KC is party to various agreements with the developer of the KC Current stadium and that those agreements contain various provisions with respect to parking,” according to the RFP issued by the agency.

“There is no scenario under which Port KC will accept a proposal that provides for less than the minimum parking.”

Port KC request for proposals was issued for the site identified as Parcel 9. The new soccer stadium is being built on Parcel 8. (Map from Port KC)

In addition to the parking, the RFP called for the mixed-use project to include one or more of the following: 350-plus apartments; at least 10,000 square-feet of retail; at least 100,000 square feet of office space, and/or a 200-room-plus, boutique hotel.

The Port KC solicitation calls for a development project to commence by this Fall, adding it could be done in multiple phases as long as the garage goes up in a first phase.

Officials at Port KC declined to comment beyond confirming Cordish and the Parking Company of America, a parking management company, were the only development team responding to the RFP.

Cordish officials could not be reached for comment.

The RFP to build a big project on Parcel 9 comes on the heels of a nearby $650 million development plan that is expected to include more than 1,000 apartments in several towers, 210,000 square-feet of office space and 53,000 square feet of retail.

That multi-phase project would be located on several properties totaling 7.5 acres owned by Port KC near the stadium. The master developer is an affiliate of the women’s professional soccer club and its co-owners Chris and Angie Long.

The redevelopment plan, which was unveiled last month, would be built in phases over 10 years and completed in 2034. It’s expected to break ground next year.

The Three Light building (left) being developed by Cordish is expected to begin leasing next month.

The garage proposed for the Parcel 9 site would be obligated to provide transient parking on a first-come basis and charge market rates. The manager of the garage could charge event rates for activities at the soccer stadium.

The garage could be expanded to a minimum of 1,500 spaces to serve the additional mixed-use development conceived for the site, according to the Port KC solicitation.

Cordish has been active building residential projects in the Power & Light District, its entertainment zone that began opening in 2007. It has completed the One- and Two Light towers, and is nearing completion of its 288-unit Three Light Tower.

In addition, it’s begun the renovation of the historic Midland office building into 139  apartments. Cordish also has the necessary approvals to build another residential tower, Four Light, adjoining the Mainstreet Theater at 13th and Baltimore.

In a recent interview, City Manager Brian Platt said Cordish also is contemplating another three residential towers, one across Main from H&R Block headquarters at 13th street, and two flanking Main street across the South Loop near 15th street.

The Baltimore firm obtained sweeping downtown development rights in 2003 from the city to a multi-block area on the south side of the central business district and accompanying incentives as part of a major revitalization effort.

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