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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 8:24 AM
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KC Power & Light District, an entertainment district built from the ground up

This is the Power and Light District in KCMO.

This entire area was surface parking lots and vacant buildings only a few years ago and now it is a thriving entertainment district.

It's only about halfway done. So far it is mostly dining and night clubs, but retail, a hotel, condo towers and a movie theater are on the way. A theater was restored and has become a major venue for concerts and other acts. The movie theater will restore an another art deco theater that has been closed for decades. The district is right between the convention center and the Sprint Arena.




























































































































































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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 12:04 PM
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One of the best looking developments in the country IMO.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 12:22 PM
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From a physical standpoint, this development looks great with a nice mix of amenities. But it certainly does not appear to appeal to a particularly diverse crowd. I can literally count the number of non-white faces in all of these pics on one hand. That's fine, because it is what it is. But I know this would not be a place I would enjoy hanging out.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 2:08 PM
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Most convention/tourist districts are loaded up with ultra white United States of Genericans. It was designed to bring in the suburbadroids and it did just that. Cordish pulled off what they were asked to do and downtown now has an energy it hasn't seen in 50 years.

For diversity/earthy people, Xroads and City Market and SW Blvd of outer downtown are for the rest of us, which gives downtown different mixes of vibes for most anyone. This component was needed for mass appeal and it worked. It's ultimately a very small part of downtown, which fortunately has many other personalities.

But yeah, this is the opposite of organic development. It's what happens when you try to do an entire district at once. Feels fabricated. The new grocery store is an exception as it's pretty unique with quality prepared foods. Most re-emerging downtowns would kill to have such a store.

Last edited by ignatius; Jan 29, 2009 at 3:38 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 2:43 PM
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Nice development, but it looks kind of mallish. Just the way a lot of the buildings look and the presence of what seems to be mostly chain restaurants.
Good way to get people into the city, but I don't know. Has a fake look to it to be honest.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 2:49 PM
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Cutesy.

Reminds me of Old Town Pasadena and Downtown LA.
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 4:04 PM
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I really like the Sprint Center, the College Basketball Experience, H&R Block HQ and renovated theaters and other buildings.

I do not like the chain restaurants and cheesy phony Irish pubs and other "concept" restaurants. IIRC, one of the restaurants there was a chain BBQ place...in Kansas City, the best BBQ city in the country.

We're supposed to get P&L District East (right down to the glass-enclosed congregation area) at Ballpark Village here in St. Louis, but Cordish has proved to be pretty incompetent at getting anything built. I wish the Cardinals' owners would just fire them and sell off the land to multiple developers to let the area build up organically instead of as a forced entertainment district that will just sap customers from other downtown establishments.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 4:47 PM
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Very impressive town..nice shots

Going to visit KC this summer......Its so Under-rated
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 4:57 PM
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Well, the district is what it is. It’s a “canned” entertainment district that primarily caters to suburbanites and tourists, but also does well during lunch hour and the LIVE block pretty much goes nuts on weekends.

The chain places are there sure, but there are many local dining places as well. The Peachtree, The Bristol etc.

If you want bbq in KC, you don’t go to Famous Dave’s and that place is already struggling and the latest is that it will be replaced by a pizza place. No local BBQ favorite wanted to close an existing location to move to the P&L. There are tons of authentic BBQ places around downtown and for five bucks, any cab driver should know where to go.

This place really added a convenience and safety factor to people attending events downtown. The Sprint Center, Midland, AMC theaters, Music Hall, Muni Auditorium, Bartle Hall and soon to the 425 million dollar Performing Arts Center should keep the district full of people that are just not interested hunting down the more local places in the urban areas surrounding downtown.

The P&L District has added something to the urban core that was desperately needed. It’s become a gathering spot for major events, the new year’s bash was like something I’ve never seen in the Midwest. There are few places with such a controlled night club scene. Downtown KCMO on Friday and Saturday nights looks like something I could never have imagined a few years ago. It’s a thriving city with people and taxis everywhere.

So, it’s fake and all, but It’s a little bit of everything. Downtown now has one of the nicest urban grocery stores in the country, at least for a city this size. Theaters, live concerts in the LIVE block, at the Midland or in the surroundings venues and arenas.

KCMO still has the River Market, the Crossroads, Midtown and the Plaza and now we have this. I think the city’s urban core really has a lot going for it now and offers any sort of urban experience one could imagine and it keeps getting better.

We still have these nearby developments coming as well:







Plus, another theater is opening back up:



All of this filled a giant hole on the south side of Downtown that was nothing but small vacant or underused buildings and surface parking lots.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 9:31 PM
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That restored theatre looks absolutely beautiful. This reminds me a lot of the Arena District in Columbus.... even has a lot of the same tenants (Ted's, Gordon Biersch, a theatre, an irish pub). This seems to be a very popular trend throughout the US right now of building urban playgrounds downtown in traditionally suburban cities. We even have this happening in LA in our LA Live development. For what this is, it appears to be executed very well.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 9:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LAsam View Post
traditionally suburban cities


You might want to check out this thread...
http://forum.kcrag.com/index.php?topic=2788.0

KC was pretty urban before the concept of suburbia existed. The city had substantial population before cars existed, well enough to have an urbanized area with a large streetcar/cablecar system.

Cablecar system in red lines...
http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/serv...ter-Kansas-Cit
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Last edited by ignatius; Jan 29, 2009 at 10:26 PM.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 10:15 PM
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All of this filled a giant hole on the south side of Downtown that was nothing but small vacant or underused buildings and surface parking lots.



I couldn't agree more!! I have been a part of this area for most of the 40 years of my life. You actually had to see it to understand what this district means to downtown KC. I remember back in the 80s when I was in high school visiting haunted houses that used to occupy the otherwise unused buildings that used to be here. Everything was dead and empty. I remember the Hotel President standing nearby; dark, dreary, depressing, empty, and downright scary. Now it's a place that I hope to get to spend the night in someday if I get a chance!! I agree with miketoronto about the mallish and somewhat fake concept that it has, but I will take that over what it used to be by a longshot. Well done Kcgridlock!!
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 10:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeBaliviere View Post
I really like the Sprint Center, the College Basketball Experience, H&R Block HQ and renovated theaters and other buildings.

I do not like the chain restaurants and cheesy phony Irish pubs and other "concept" restaurants. IIRC, one of the restaurants there was a chain BBQ place...in Kansas City, the best BBQ city in the country.

We're supposed to get P&L District East (right down to the glass-enclosed congregation area) at Ballpark Village here in St. Louis, but Cordish has proved to be pretty incompetent at getting anything built. I wish the Cardinals' owners would just fire them and sell off the land to multiple developers to let the area build up organically instead of as a forced entertainment district that will just sap customers from other downtown establishments.

Couldn't agree more. I hope our version has less cheese. Like the amc though.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 11:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moorlands View Post
Couldn't agree more. I hope our version has less cheese. Like the amc though.
Yea, cause a city that has a giant dirt patch between their new ballpark and the core of downtown can really be picky!

Considering that there are no vacant hotels and theaters on that dirt patch that are waiting to be restored and blended into the Ballpark Village, I can guess the StL development will have far more “cheese” than the P&L District, that is if anything ever gets built there.
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Old Posted Jan 29, 2009, 11:43 PM
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absolutely beautiful.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 1:22 AM
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Great shots as usual. Looks like a nice place to spend the weekend.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 2:57 AM
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Certainly nice to see all that activity so close to downtown. I think it's a fine development, and it certainly carries out its intended purpose successfully.

Great pictures, too.
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Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 3:07 AM
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Well done.
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Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 3:28 AM
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While I agree that the district may have a slight over-abundance of chains, the truth is that the development is an unquestionable success. The idea is to bring people downtown, this does that, absolutely. I was there last August during an absolutely brutal 100+ degree week and this place was hopping every night. I also noticed a decent sized lunch crowd from the nearby office buildings.

I will say that the entire area would be quite enhanced by a streetcar that serves the River Market, Downtown, P&L, Crossroads and Crown Center (and even out to Westport and the Plaza). I know there's a bus, but I assure you that the convention crowd at Crown Center has little interest in it. A trolley? A train? I could totally see that working.

While it is a little homogenized, I think it totally has its place in the city. If it gets people downtown, and as a result they also wander into some of the cool galleries and restuarants in the nearby Crossroads area, how can it not be a good thing? It may not be organic, but it is an appropriately scaled catalyst development. Too many cities get caught up in trying to do this attached to some mega-type project that also includes all kinds of other uses. That's OK, but honestly it just doesn't work (there are countless examples).

BTW Gridlock, fantastic photos.
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Old Posted Jan 30, 2009, 3:48 AM
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There was a wig store and a couple acres of parking lots before this was here. This is the best possible scenario for this kind of development, in my opinion. Theres lots of places for the cool kids north and south of this development, which downtown kc needed. Its great for suburbanites who want something more casual than the plaza and conventioneers who need to be told "you can't miss it."
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