By Kevin Collison
Developer Matt Abbott’s latest project at 18th and Oak streets has landed two St. Louis-based food and beverage concepts, Mission Taco Joint and International Tap House.
“I’m super-excited about Mission Taco, everyone I talk to in St. Louis knows Mission Taco and loves them,” he said. “iTap will have a ton of local brews and beers.”
The East Crossroads location will be the fifth outlet for International Tap House, which was founded in 2009 in Chesterfield, MO. It’s other locations are in Columbia and the St. Louis area. For Mission Taco, it’ll be its first expansion outside the St. Louis metro.
The two will be located on the first floor of an old two-story building at the southeast corner of 18th and Oak. The building had been empty for years, except for storing some antique cars, and it might have remained that way until a car plowed into its corner during a police chase in November 2014.
“I was at 16th and Locust and I remember super loud sirens with tons of police going past,” Abbott said. “I saw the building got hit and I suddenly got my head around the idea of a cool building, a modern corner on a historic building that would transform that corner.”
The crash prompted the owner of the structure to agree to sell it for what Abbott described as a price he could afford to fulfill his redevelopment idea. He estimated the cost of the project, which was done without incentives, was more than $2 million.
“Even if the car wreck was a catastrophe, it created an opportunity to do something great,” Abbott said.
The second floor has been renovated into 8,200 square feet of office space, no tenant has been identified yet. The Urban Core Group of Kansas City is planning to hold its monthly gathering there on July 26, Abbott said.
His firm, Abbott Properties, has done extensive development work in the Crossroads and other areas of downtown Kansas City.