Development

Interstate Building downtown is slated to become a hotel

The Interstate Building opened in 1915 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building probably derives its name from an early tenant, the federal Interstate Commerce Commission, according to the historic register application.
The Interstate Building opened in 1915 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building probably derives its name from an early tenant, the federal Interstate Commerce Commission, according to the historic register application. Ink

The nearly 100-year-old Interstate Building, across from the Jackson County Courthouse, appears to be headed toward conversion into a Holiday Inn Express.

Kansas City developer Matt Abbott owns the vacant, seven-story downtown building at 417 E. 13th St. He said he was awarded the Holiday Inn Express franchise earlier this year and is working with an architect on a design for redeveloping the property.

Abbott estimated it would cost $12 million to convert the building into a 76-room hotel.

But he also said the ownership of the building, along with the franchise rights, could change before any work begins.

Abbott said he has a contract to sell the property to Kansas City developer Mark Patel, who would also take over the hotel project.

Patel is redeveloping the historic Gumbel Building at 801 Walnut St. into a Hampton Inn. That hotel is scheduled to open in spring 2015.

Both developers acknowledged that a final sale agreement is expected by the end of November. One issue involves Holiday Inn agreeing to a transfer of the franchise rights to Patel, Abbott said.

“It’s an awesome building,” Abbott said. “Both of us have the same, exact vision” for the property.

If the sale falls through, Abbott said he is prepared to move forward on his project. Work would begin in January, he said, and be completed by the end of 2015.

The 40,542-square-foot building has six full floors and a seventh-floor penthouse. The property, just east of the Sprint Center, also has a surface parking lot with more than 50 spaces.

Abbott bought the building in 2008 but said the weak economy put development plans on hold until last fall.

The Interstate Building opened in 1915 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building probably derives its name from an early tenant, the federal Interstate Commerce Commission, according to the historic register application.

Over the years, the building has housed law offices, engineering firms, government agencies and other tenants. Except for a restaurant that occupied space on the first floor, the building has been largely vacant in recent years.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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