By Kevin Collison
The historic Palace Clothing Co. building at 12th and Grand is slated to become a 110-room Canopy by Hilton boutique hotel, the latest entry to the booming downtown hospitality market.
The planned $30 million renovation is being done by Mark Patel, a developer who also redeveloped the historic Gumbel Building into a Hampton Inn in 2015 and is close to finishing the conversion of the Interstate Building into a Holiday Inn Express.
“Ever since I’ve done the Hampton in the Gumbel and the Interstate, I have found a new interest in historic buildings,” Patel said. “They are decorative, ornate buildings so different than today.”
The Palace Clothing Co. building was designed in the Chicago School of architecture by Frederic E. McIlvain and opened in 1924. Its graceful facade was built with terra cotta and brick.
The men’s and boy’s clothing store, established in 1893, was at one time the largest of its kind in the West, according to its National Register of Historic Places application.
The store was built in what was then the premier retail district of downtown. It eventually closed in 1964 and the building was vacant until 1972, when it was modernized with a metal facade and its interior was extensively remodeled.
In 1984, the facade was removed to reveal its historic character and the seven-story building has been used for offices since then.
Most of the office tenants are now out and Patel said limited interior demolition work has begun for the new hotel. The architect for the project is H2B Architects of Kansas City, the interior designer is Mark Zeff of New York.
He anticipated the project would be completed in late 2020.
Patel said the Canopy by Hilton brand is one of the higher end concepts under the Hilton flag. It would be the first Canopy in the metro.
“It’s a lifestyle brand with a luxury twist to it, a boutique hotel. No two Canopies are alike,” he said.
The lobby in the three-level atrium will feature a hotel-operated bar and bistro with free breakfast for guests. There also will be a “transfer lounge” where guests can freshen up if their rooms aren’t ready and a “retreat” space off to the side where they can relax.
The eighth-floor rooftop will have a bar and restaurant that includes a private lounge that can be rented for events. The rooftop will be designed to function year-round with indoor and outdoor seating.
The basement level will have meeting rooms and an event space that can accommodate up to 300 people. There also will be a fitness room on the seventh floor.
Much of the historic interior was lost in the 1972 renovation, but Patel said there will be ornate terrazzo floors and custom-built ironwork installed. Each of the guest rooms will feature custom furnishings and in a namesake touch, a canopy bed.
Patel said he’s bullish about the future of downtown.
“Kansas City is really headed in a positive direction,” he said. “All the development in downtown has taken hold. It’s not a fluke, it’s proven, and we’re excited about the positive momentum downtown has.”
The Canopy by Hilton will be joining a busy downtown hotel scene. Within the past few months, the Hotel Indigo, Crossroads Hotel and 21C Museum Hotel Kansas City (formerly the Savoy) have opened with several other projects in the works including the 800-room Loews Kansas City Convention Hotel.
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