Major Redevelopment Plan Includes Historic KC Club, Muehlebach Hotel Buildings

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The historic Muehlebach Hotel at 12th and Baltimore would be renovated into 117 apartments in a new development proposal.

By Kevin Collison

A $114 million redevelopment proposal in the heart of downtown that includes renovating the historic former Kansas City Club and Hotel Muehlebach buildings, and erecting a new office and garage project is coming before a city development agency.

Platform Ventures is proposing the redevelopment plan, which would involve much of the city block between Wyandotte and Baltimore from 12th to 13th streets.

The firm already owns and is redeveloping the 14-story former Kansas City Club at 1228 Baltimore into a 144-room hotel that’s expected to be completed this year, according to a report prepared by S.B. Friedman consulting for the KC Economic Development Corp.

Platform Ventures is renovating the historic Kansas City Club at 13th and Baltimore into a 144-room hotel.

A parking lot adjoining the former KC Club on the northeast corner of 13th and Wyandotte also has been purchased for $1.1 million by the Platform Ventures, according to the Friedman report.

The developer also has an agreement with Kansas City Downtown Hotel Group, the owner of the old Muehlebach hotel on the southwest corner of 12th and Baltimore, to redevelop it into 117 apartments.

The famous hotel opened in 1915, but its upper room floors have been vacant for more than 20 years. Other parts of the old Muehlebach, including its historic lobby, were incorporated into the Downtown Marriott hotel in the 1990s.

According to the Friedman report, the developer originally intended to develop a stand-alone garage on the parking lot at 13th and Wyandotte, but was encouraged by the city to redevelop it as a 360-space garage with 70,000 square feet of Class A office space.

Officials at Platform Ventures could not be reached for comment.

The redevelopment plan would include much of the city block between Wyandotte and Baltimore, from 12th to 13th. (Map from S.B. Friedman)

The key components of the redevelopment plan, which is scheduled to be discussed at a meeting of the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority this week:

–A $59.5 million conversion of the former KC Club building into a hotel with 57,000 square feet of event space. The building had been converted into the Baltimore Lofts, a moderately-priced apartment project, in 2002. Platform Venture purchased the building in 2015 and has been renovating the event space into what’s called Brass on Baltimore.

–A $25.6 million conversion of the 12-story Muehlebach building into 117 apartments averaging $1,578 in monthly rent. The planned mix would be eight studios, 76 one-bedrooms and 33 two-bedrooms.

The developer also would agree to set aside 10 percent of the units for households earning 80 percent of the area median income if it receives the requested incentives.

–A $29 million office building and garage. The Friedman report estimates the office building could achieve $28.50 per square foot rents.

The city would be asked to pay $250,000 annually, to be raised 5 percent each year over 25 years, to subsidize the garage. Its spaces would be available to the public after hours and weekends at no cost.

According to the Friedman report, Platform Ventures is seeking tax incentives that include a 25 year property tax abatement from the LCRA, 75 percent for 10 years, 37.5 percent for 15 years.

The developer also is pursuing state and federal historic credits valued at $12.6 million.

The project schedule calls for the hotel project to be completed in 2018, and the garage and office building to open in 2019. No timetable has been set for the Muehlebach conversion.

An office and garage project is being proposed for this parking lot at 13th and Wyandotte immediately west of the Kansas City Club building.

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