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Event and Commercial Uses Planned for Longtime Eyesore Buildings on Grand

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2 minute read

By Kevin Collison

The last major blighted properties along an approximately four-block stretch of Grand Boulevard between 19th Street and Truman Road are slated for redevelopment as luxury event space and commercial uses.

Matt Abbott, a prolific Crossroads Arts District developer, plans to convert the deteriorated building at 1616 Grand into an event complex he’s calling The Bardot.

The building next door at 1612 Grand will have retail space on the first floor and offices on the second and third floors.

“Those have been probably two of the most blighted buildings along Grand since I got to Kansas City,” Abbott said. “It’s exciting for us to develop those properties.

“We’re ramping up to begin as soon as possible.”

His redevelopment plan was approved for a 20-year tax abatement by the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority board last week. Abbott expects to complete the renovation by June 2019.

It’s been more than 15 years since the buildings, which once housed the historic Maxwell Briscoe Garage, a showroom for the defunct Maxwell automobile, were approved for previous redevelopment plans that fell through.

Since then, that stretch of Grand has blossomed with new businesses including Messenger Coffee, Kobi-Q Korean barbecue, The Record Bar, Songbird Cafe and the Church of the Resurrection, which recently opened a new worship center at 1601 Grand.

The blighted buildings that once housed the historic Maxwell Briscoe Garage are slated to be redeveloped as a luxury event space.

But the Maxwell Briscoe property continued to decline until now.

Abbott is planning a $6.75 million redevelopment that will feature two floors for events and a 5,000 square-foot rooftop deck that will offer views of the downtown skyline.

The project also will have 112 surface parking spaces either on site or nearby, Abbott said. There also is potential for some underground parking to be added.

Among the recent Crossroads projects done by his firm, Abbott Properties are The Abbott, an event space at 1901 Cherry, the soon-to-open Hotel Indigo at 2020 Grand, the building housing the International Tap House and Mission Taco Joint at 18th and McGee, and a commercial building at 1701 Locust that houses a dance and fitness center.

“While developing The Abbott, we realized a voice and need for a smaller event space that could accommodate smaller events with luxury finishes and amenities,” Abbott stated in his proposal to the PIEA.

He added, “there’s a lot of nice event spaces in downtown and the Crossroads, but we look to bring something unique to every project we do…our intent with the Bardot is to create a luxury event space with unique features including a rooftop deck on Grand.”

The Bardot event center will include a rooftop deck with downtown views. (Image from Abbott Properties)

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