What does it take to rebuild a castle? Just under $20 million. Developers have unveiled renderings and an outline for the Kansas City Workhouse Castle — an abandoned historic building at 21st Street + Vine Street.
The Workhouse sits behind a chain link fence after 50 years of neglect. Other than an art gallery, the remaining block north of 21st Street is vacant.
Development + investment company UrbanAmerica owns most of this block with local businessman Vewiser Dixon.
UrbanAmerica’s plan proposes preserving the castle as an event, retail, and open community space — utilizing 18,700 sqft. Renderings suggest rooftop amenities with views of downtown.
“The castle is one of the top tourist attractions in Kansas City [...] What we’re doing is we’re preserving the old, but we’re making sure we’re introducing the new,” — Robert Farmer, with UrbanAmerica, said.
A 60-room boutique hotel will be attached to the south side of the castle. Developers expect this addition could serve as onsite lodging as well as hosting weddings + corporate events itself.
On the hill to the east of the castle, UrbanAmerica looks to build ~60 net-zero houses — equipped with energy efficient systems + solar panels. The community would be called The Views — and check out that view.
The rest of the plan
This is just phase one of a larger plan dubbed Enterprise Village Ecosystem. EVE would create a tech-friendly village — complete with an educational campus — on what is mostly vacant land in the Wendell Phillips neighborhood.
“We’ve spent a lot of time and capital on this project,” Robert said. “That’s what we do [...] We redevelop the underserved communities in America.”
Developers will go to the City Planning Commission next for the right to build + they hope to begin work this year.