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Padlocked Kansas City Club files for bankruptcy

A bankruptcy filing by the shackled Kansas City Club says its receipts from operating had dipped below $1 million last year.
A bankruptcy filing by the shackled Kansas City Club says its receipts from operating had dipped below $1 million last year. The Kansas City Star

The Kansas City Club, after padlocking its doors last month, has filed for bankruptcy with no plan to reorganize.

Declining membership, bank debts and pension obligations prompted the 133-year-old organization to submit its out-of-business claim under Chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code.

Many traditional city clubs’ finances have been strained in recent years, with the Kansas City Club seeing its receipts dip below $1 million last year, the filing showed. It had taken in $293,804 this year before closing in late May.

“I was disappointed, as was my wife, that … a lot of the businesses that existed downtown didn’t get behind the club,” said Stephen Franke, president of Midwest Gloves & Gear in Chillicothe, Mo., about 90 miles northeast of Kansas City.

Franke said he saw the club face competition from restaurants, fitness clubs and other venues. The Frankes were longtime members, though as distant residents they were able to use its facilities only a few times a year and for special events.

“We have a lot of good memories of being members there for almost 30 years,” Franke said.

In a statement last month, the club said it had survived in recent years through the “personal time and often the personal funds” of members and its board of directors.

Documents in the filing show the club, at 918 Baltimore St. since a merger with the University Club in 2001, owes $1.17 million on its building to three lenders.

Security Bank of Kansas City, Kan., is owed the most at $582,683.19, according to the filing. Two individuals each are owed about $300,000. All three loans are secured by the building, which the club says is worth $1.9 million.

The club had said previously that it hoped to sell the building and restart in a less expensive site.

Unsecured creditors, from Canteen Refreshment Services in Boston to the Fiddly Fig in Kansas City, are owed an additional $253,567.17, the filing said.

Combined, the club’s debts of $1.45 million are less than its assets, which consist mostly of the building.

To reach Mark Davis, call 816-234-4372. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter @mdkcstar

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