Development

New plan would redevelop Power & Light Building as an apartment building

Updated: 2014-01-24T01:56:02Z

By KEVIN COLLISON

The Kansas City Star

Another developer is taking a bite at the iconic Kansas City Power & Light Building and has it under contract for redevelopment as a possible apartment project.

The 36-story historic skyscraper at 14th Street and Baltimore Avenue would be converted into more than 200 apartments, according to Gib Kerr of Cassidy Turley. He could provide no additional details Thursday.

Kerr is the broker representing Gailoyd Enterprises, the entity representing the New York family that has owned the building since 1964.

Kerr could not identify the potential developer, citing a confidentiality agreement. Spencer Thomson, the attorney representing Gailoyd, confirmed a new contract had been reached on the property for potential apartments but also could not provide further information.

There has been strong interest in redeveloping the 1931 art deco skyscraper for more than a decade, but no developer has been able to pull together a financially viable plan. It has been considered for renovation as either a residential or hotel property several times.

It’s been mostly empty since its namesake tenant, Kansas City Power & Light, moved out in 1991. The only remaining tenant is BNIM Architects, which occupies the first three levels, including the ornate lobby.

One plan that fell through, pushed by local developer Ron Jury in 2009, called for it to be part of a convention hotel complex that would have included a new tower on its west side. Sherman Associates, a Minneapolis firm, struck a $13.75 million deal with Gailoyd to convert it to 200 apartments, but that deal collapsed in late 2012.

The Cordish Co. was the most recent unsuccessful suitor. The Baltimore firm also had a contract to convert it into apartments as part of a plan that called for Omni Hotels & Resorts to put a hotel on the west side, but that contract expired in December.

Kerr said the new contract with the potential buyer includes the historic building and the vacant property to the north along Baltimore to 13th Street. The lot west of the old tower, long considered a potential hotel site, is still on the market.

To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to kcollison@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at kckansascity.

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