A new hotel designed to cater to Hospital Hill and downtown gained preliminary approval Wednesday from a Kansas City Council committee.
The proposed $13 million, 90-room hotel would be built on the northeast corner of 24th Street and Troost Avenue in the rapidly growing Beacon Hill neighborhood south of Hospital Hill.
The council’s Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee supported a change to the previously approved Beacon Hill development plan to allow the hotel, and the full council votes on it July 14.
“It has taken a very long time for Beacon Hill to get over the hump. It has finally caught fire,” said Taliaferro & Browne engineer Leonard Graham, who is part of a development team that has worked for 13 years on the neighborhood just east of Troost and south of 22nd Street.
Beacon Hill now features University of Missouri-Kansas City student housing, a cluster of townhomes, some historic home restorations and a growing number of new, high-dollar, single-family houses.
Graham said the hotel, with a Best Western Plus flag, should be an added amenity for the area, especially serving patients and others at Truman Medical Center, Children’s Mercy Hospital and other parts of Hospital Hill, as well as downtown.
Some Beacon Hill neighbors had expressed fears about traffic and worried about a questionable hotel clientele, but no one spoke in opposition to the project on Wednesday.
Jason Swords of the Sunflower Development Group said the project has been redesigned a number of times to alleviate neighborhood concerns. He said the Best Western Plus will be well run, like similar properties in Olathe and near Kansas Speedway. Rooms will average about $130 or more per night. It will have a first-floor coffee shop and other retail that will be open to the neighborhood.
It will also have a surface parking lot with 72 spaces and only one entrance and exit on Troost, reducing fears of increased traffic on 24th Street. It meets city code, and a traffic study showed it shouldn’t add significantly to congestion in the area.
Construction could begin this fall, and the new hotel could open in about 15 months.