Children’s Mercy Hospital is seeking permission to build a research tower that would change the skyline of Hospital Hill.
The nine-story tower would be one of the tallest buildings on the medical campus south of downtown Kansas City.
Children’s Mercy spokeswoman Lisa Augustine said the tower would support the Children’s Research Institute the hospital established in 2015 to coordinate and expand its research portfolio.
“This is a home for it, really,” Augustine said.
Augustine said an official announcement about the project is coming next month and the hospital “looks forward to sharing more details in early 2018.”
The tower is proposed to be built above an existing hospital parking garage on the northwest corner of Hospital Hill. The facade would be constructed of blue glazing glass, some of it reflective.
Voters approved a ballot question last month to give up about a half-acre of city park land at East 23rd Street and Locust Street to make way for the project.
Heidi Markle, a spokeswoman for Kansas City Parks and Recreation, said the land is currently a street easement with nothing on it.
The current proposal would also require turning a portion of East 23rd Street into a one-way, westbound street.
City staff have recommended the project be approved and it’s on the agenda for the planning commission’s Tuesday meeting.
The project would be funded in part by $125.6 million in bonds from the Missouri Health & Educational Facilities Authority.
Children’s Mercy has been pushing to increase its profile as a research institution in recent years. After administrators started the research institute last year, they brought in biologist Tom Curran, the former deputy scientific director of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, to lead it.
The hospital has participated in groundbreaking gene therapy trials for leukemia and also entered into an agreement this year to join the University of Kansas Medical Center and the Stowers Institute for Medical Research as partners in KU’s National Cancer Institute-designated cancer research center.
The Hospital Hill campus also includes Truman Medical Center and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine, School of Dentistry and School of Nursing and Health Studies.
Those institutions joined with city, county and state medical agencies to form the UMKC Health Sciences District in May.