(Updated Sept. 17: The decision by the Kansas City National Women’s Soccer League to build its $15 million training facility in Riverside eliminated an option that had been considered in July for the downtown Kansas City riverfront.
“We do not anticipate moving forward with a sports training facility as previously reported at this time,” Jon Stephens, Port KC president and CEO said in a statement.
“Our focus at Berkley Riverfront continues to be creating a diverse and exciting neighborhood. We continue to emphasize walkable density and adding affordable and attainable housing units.
That is our focus on Parcel 9 and throughout the riverfront. With the projects under construction, and more on the way, we will be welcoming hundreds of new residents and many more destinations in the coming months.”)
By Kevin Collison
Port KC is pursuing a soccer project coupled with what’s described as corporate office and training facility for its last remaining riverfront development site.
The proposal calls for a 17,650 square-foot building along with a full-size grass soccer field and a smaller practice field to be located on a 4.9-acre site northeast of Berkley Riverfront Park, according to an application with the city.
The riverfront soccer office, training and practice complex proposed by Port KC coincides with the return earlier this year of the National Women’s Soccer League after a four-year hiatus.
The club, temporarily called Kansas City NWSL, began its inaugural season in April at Legends Field in Kansas City, Kan. Its current offices are in a nondescript building in an Overland Park industrial park at 9120 Nieman Rd.
Jeff Husted, a spokesman for Kansas City NWSL, said he was unfamiliar with the Port KC proposal.
The architect listed for the Port KC plan is Generator Studio, a firm with experience developing professional sports venues.
Port KC officials declined to discuss whether the women’s professional soccer club is a potential tenant.
“Port KC is exploring the possibility of a new project just west of I-29 on reclaimed remediated land,” according to a statement from Jon Stephens, Port KC president and CEO.
“We are still determining the viability of the project, and therefore have no further details to share.”
The property, called Parcel 9, was described in the city application as the last unused property in the Berkley Riverfront master development plan. It’s located north of Grand Boulevard and west of I-29, with railroad tracks forming its south border.
“The proposed project on parcel 9 would further invigorate a riverfront that was dormant and ignored for decades,” Stephens said in his statement.
“This project would be a meaningful step towards building a thriving, diverse riverfront community for all Kansas Citians.”
In recent years, the area in and around the Berkley Riverfront Park controlled by Port KC has seen a substantial amount of new development after decades of planning and proposals.
The 410-unit Union Berkley Apartments was completed in 2018 and construction is well underway on the 348-unit CORE apartment project being built by Northpoint Development.
Port KC also is in negotiations with an undisclosed developer for a mid-rise apartment project with 250- to 300 apartments.
In addition to the residential developments, Bar K, a dog park, bar and cafe, has found a large audience and a new public recreation center, cafe and bar to be operated by Bar + Rec is planned for the center of Berkley Park by the sand volleyball courts.
And The Thrash Group, a Mississippi hotel developer, recently confirmed its negotiating with Port KC to build a $30 million hotel across from Berkley Park to be called Origin KC.
“We are committed to making the entire Berkley Park area a neighborhood for all,” Stephen stated.
“Our recent announcements include the new Bar Rec venue, multiple proposed projects dedicated to affordable housing, the KC Streetcar extension, pedestrian improvements, and much more.”
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Im glad to see developments coming along by the riverfront but another soccer park? Kansas City will have to change its nickname from the city of fountains to the city of soccer fields.
This seems like a different kind of facility, too small to be a ‘soccer park,’ more fitting for a team training center eg the NWSL
I’m sorry but this is frankly a poor use of space for what was billed as dense and walkable development. This belongs somewhere in Overland Park. Berkley Riverfront is premier real estate and it’s being wasted for low rise, low quality suburban projects.
Its a travesty the city is wasting money bringing the streetcar to Berkley if this is the type of development we get in return. What’s the point if every project there is surrounded by parking lots? It’s quite clear KC leaders haven’t a clue on how to develop a proper riverfront urban center. I’ve lost faith in this initiative. Cancel the streetcar extension, there are better routes for it.
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