Published April 20th, 2023 at 10:05 AM
A 40-story apartment and hotel tower on Broadway across from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts?
That’s what a development group has in mind for the first phase of a big proposal that eventually could include a second high-rise building.
But first, the developers – EPC Real Estate Group and Dan Carr – have to persuade the Federal Aviation Authority to allow them to stretch their proposed tower taller.
The Federal Aviation Administration, with an eye toward flight paths at the nearby Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport, recently approved building up to 320 feet on the site.
“We’re still trying to get up to 500 feet ideally,” said Carr.
“We want to build 40 stories or something like that. The city manager (Brian Platt) wants more height there.”
The development group has assembled a roughly two-block stretch of properties on the west side of Broadway from the Interstate 35 off-ramp to next to Los Tules restaurant at 1656 Broadway. The properties include the former Denny’s restaurant site.
Carr said officials at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts have been briefed about their proposal.
If it were to move forward, a high-rise of that size would make a prominent impact on the downtown skyline because of the height of the location. The topography descends significantly from Broadway to the heart of the central business district on Main.
Mike McKeen, CEO of EPC, said the unobstructed views help make the site attractive.
“The site has the easiest access, is most visible and is walkable to downtown and the Crossroads,” he said.
McKeen added the development group still has a lot of community outreach to do and emphasized the conceptual design will likely evolve.
“Before finalizing any conceptual design, the developer would like to meet with the community and stakeholders to see that what is built is best for the surrounding area,” he said.
Carr estimated the value of the first potential project at about $350 million. It could included 250- to 350 apartments and 200- to 250 hotel rooms depending on the eventual height.
He added his group has a letter of intent from a hotelier that’s not currently in the market. The project also would include 18,000 square feet of retail, mostly for restaurants, as well as garage space for tenants and visitors.
As for a potential second high-rise, it could either be office or multi-family, depending on market demand.
While design work already is underway, the timing of construction depends on lining up financing for the development.
EPC also recently developed a 33-unit apartment project at 17th Street and Madison Avenue on the Westside, and is involved with proposals for a 246-unit apartment deal at Third Street and Grand Boulevard in the River Market, and a 300-unit development at 7421 Broadway in Waldo.
The high-rise development proposal on Broadway is the second tall development proposed for downtown in recent weeks. Lux Living is exploring a project at 14th and Wyandotte streets that would include a 20-story apartment building and 10-story hotel.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with additional information from the developer.
Flatland contributor Kevin Collison is the founder of CityScene KC, an online source for downtown news and issues.