Published December 30th, 2020 at 8:22 AM
Mac Properties has acquired the southwest corner of Main Street and Armour Boulevard where the US Bank building is located and is planning a substantial mixed-use project including apartments and retail.
The two-acre site, which is at the planned Armour streetcar stop, was purchased by the Chicago-based developer this month. Although plans are still preliminary, the firm intends to build a large project there that could include more than 300 apartments.
“We see this as a very significant site that will command a pretty significant investment,” said Peter Cassel, Mac director of community development.
“It’s one of Kansas City’s great intersections.”
The property covers about two-thirds of the block. It’s in the middle of a 15-block corridor stretching along Armour from Broadway to Troost where Mac has developed more than 1,700 apartments over the past decade, most by renovating historic buildings.
The firm recently completed the renovation of former Red Cross building at 211 W. Armour into 62 apartments and is nearing completion of a new 110-unit project at 520 E. Armour.
It also broke ground recently on the first phase of its Armour Crossing development at Armour and Troost. When completed, it will add 340 apartments in four buildings at each corner of the intersection.
Cassel said the Armour and Main development plan calls for the demolition of the three-story building housing US Bank and a commercial building at 3540 Main where the Poncho’s restaurant is located.
The bank branch and other tenants will be allowed to remain on extended leases until the development plan is finalized, Cassel said. The 60,000-quare-foot bank building opened in 1973.
While he declined to go into detail, he emphasized his firm will pursue a development plan that merits the large site.
“It’s a very significant parcel near a lot of buildings we own,” he said.
“We see a significant residential component and beyond residential, what we need is a commercial and retail concept that meets the needs of that intersection and the neighborhood in the urban core.”
Mac has demonstrated it is capable of major developments. The firm recently completed a 36-story, 316-unit apartment tower in the Central West End neighborhood of St. Louis called 100 Above the Park.
Cassel declined to discuss the scale of what might occur at Armour and Main.
“If we knew what the plan would look like, we’d say it,” he said. “It will take some time as we work through a plan.”
The corner Mac has acquired is at one of the planned stops for the Main Street streetcar extension that recently was approved for full federal funding.
“I think the streetcar boosts Midtown and we hope that will be echoed in our retail interest to invest in Midtown and residents to live in Midtown,” Cassel said.
Main Street is seeing a resurgence in anticipation of the streetcar’s arrival.
The future Mac development is four blocks from the recently completed renovation of the historic Netherland and Monarch buildings into 144 apartments and a restaurant with a rooftop bar.
The site also is near the Kansas City National Guard Armory at 3620 Main, which is slated to be renovated as a boutique hotel and food court.
Kevin Klinkenberg, the executive director of Midtown KC Now, the organization charged with keeping the Main Street and Broadway corridors attractive and secure, said the Mac development is another signal the city’s investment in the streetcar is yielding dividends.
“We’re very excited to see people who want to develop and repopulate midtown,” he said. “There’s no question, the streetcar is a major factor for the confidence developers have in midtown.”
Flatland contributor Kevin Collison is founder and publisher of CityScene KC, an online source for downtown news and issues. Liam Dai contributed to this report