From subsidized housing to a saltwater swimming pool and spin classes, the 86-year-old Pickwick Plaza Hotel continues its transformation in downtown Kansas City.
The block-long former hotel and bus station at Ninth and McGee streets, dating to 1930, is midway through a $65 million restoration that will provide 260 apartments and a large fitness center.
A soft opening of 45 remodeled apartments on the north side of the block will be held Dec. 16. The remaining 215 units, in the south tower, are scheduled for a spring 2017 opening.
Also opening in the spring will be City Gym, offering a 6,000-square-foot gym, a 950-square-foot spin studio, a 980-square-foot exercise studio, showers and restrooms, classes and personal training services.
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City Gym will be the anchor tenant on the ground floor, which is marked for about 30,000 square feet of retail use. The fitness center will be a free amenity for building tenants as well as open for business.
Bryan Smith, executive vice president of Gold Crown Properties, the Pickwick’s owner and redeveloper, said the company also is in negotiations with a wine bar and another “national commercial tenant that fits in perfectly with our development plan” to help revitalize the northeast corner of downtown.
Gold Crown bought the vandalized and fire-damaged property in 2010 and was able to start rehabilitation in October 2015. The project includes a seven-story tower on the north end, a 10-story tower on the south end, and a nine-level, 300-space parking garage.
When the Pickwick opens in December it will be the first downtown commercial entity to have a contract with Zipcar in Kansas City. Initially, it will have one Zipcar available for tenants. It plans to add a second when the south tower is ready for occupancy.
The redevelopment is being accomplished by HarenLaughlin Construction, Helix Architecture + Design, Krudwig Structural Engineers, Plasterkraft & Mural Masters and other building trade professionals.
Financing came from UC Funds of Boston, and FAST Preferred Equity of Denver. Metropolitan Capital Advisors of New York and MR Capital Advisors of Kansas City assisted with the project.
Gold Crown also obtained a 10-year, 100 percent property tax abatement on the added value of the redevelopment through Kansas City’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority. The company will continue to pay about $100,000 a year in property taxes, and has agreed to a 2 percent annual increase in payments in lieu of taxes.
William Hayes, a Gold Crown executive, told a recent tour group that the renovation also wouldn’t have happened without historic tax credits.
“It’s too expensive. These projects would never happen,” Hayes said.