SomeraRoad’s KC office in Firehouse No. 1, next to The Ship. | Photo by KCtoday
The West Bottoms is an eclectic neighborhood of artists, antique stores, food, drink, and entertainment. While many buildings sit empty and abandoned, several plans are seeking to pump up the area as a place to live, work, and play.
Real estate investment firm SomeraRoad wants to redevelop a large swath of the neighborhood north of 12th Street. City Council approved the $500 million preliminary plan, which includes building ~1,250 new apartments, retail, and public spaces over the next decade.
The first phase begins with razing the Weld Wheel Building (933 Mulberry St.), which could start this summer. KCMO leaders pledged $2 million to the demolition, which will prepare the site for a five-story apartment building.
Additionally, the Moline Plow Company Building (1015 Mulberry St.) and others along Union Avenue will become mixed-use apartments. The Avery “Poe” Building (1100 Santa Fe St.) will become a 50-room hotel, and a public square will replace a nearby parking lot.
Phase 1 covers the most land as shown in this map. Phases 2-5 will follow in the years to come.
Other apartment projects
The second phase of the West Bottom Flats (1501 W. 9th St.) is scheduled to deliver 94 apartments come August — that’s in addition to the 265 already available. The same developer also just won tax incentives on redeveloping the Midwest Building (911 Wyoming St.) into 77 reduced-price apartments + retail.
More housing is underway in the Stockyards District. The Yards II will be a four-story, 224-unit complex along the Kansas River (northwest of the Hy-Vee Arena on the Kansas side).
Rock Island Bridge
Oh, and next to The Yards? That’s where the Rock Island Bridge project just kicked off construction. Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced a $4 million state grant — the largest source of public funding for the project to date. Leaders hope to open next year.
Chats for Change KC | Wednesday, May 24 | 5:30-7:30 p.m. | Casual Animal Brewing Co., 1725 McGee St., Kansas City, MO | Free | Join other environmentally active citizens to spur conversations and address questions with the Missouri Coalition for the Environment — with your first drink included.
Wine Down Wednesday | Wednesday, May 24 | 6-9 p.m. | PNC Plaza, 56 E. 14th St., Kansas City, MO | Free entry | Expect live music, wine, cocktails, and beer in the heart of downtown Kansas City.
Cirque Du Soleil Corteo | Thursday, May 25-Sunday, May 28 | Times vary | T-Mobile Center | $49-$159 | Join this joyous and over-the-top festival parade as imagined by a circus performer.
Friday, May 26
Mutts & Merlot | Friday, May 26-Sunday, May 28 | Times vary | KC Wine Co., 13875 S. Gardner Rd., Olathe, KS | Free entry | Take a stroll on the farm + explore the vineyards with your four-legged friend.
Fourth Fridays Art Walk | Friday, May 26 | 5-8 p.m. | Downtown Lee’s Summit, MO | Free | Check out artist pop-ups and showcases inside Downtown Lee’s Summit businesses.
Saturday, May 27
The Flavors of Central Tour | Saturday, May 27 | 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m. | Bethany Park, 1120 Central Ave., Kansas City, KS | $35-$45 | Volunteers will help you explore culinary creations along the Central Avenue corridor’s many restaurants.
1“Journal of Retirement Study Winter” (2020)”.The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, do not reflect actual investment results, and are not guarantees of your future results. Please follow the link to see the methodologies employed in the Journal of Retirement study.
Lulu’s Thai Noodle Shop officially opens its new Overland Park location today at 11 a.m. — at 7921 Santa Fe Dr. The restaurant will offer its traditional menu with a boosted cocktail list, like its Thai Tini with ginger + lemongrass. It’s the company’s third restaurant location.
When KCMO voters said yes to $175 million in bonds last November, one of the big improvement plans was for the KC Convention Center. Now, work is underway. As crews replace flooring and make other upgrades, the city confirmed to us that this project is funded by voter approval.
Port KC is asking for your input in a new Riverfront Connectivity Study. With all the development along the banks, leaders want to remove barriers and increase neighborhood connections. How do you get around Berkley, Columbus Park, and the surrounding area? Let them know.
One North, a mixed-use plan southeast of I-29 + Armour Road in North Kansas City, plans to add an aerial park entertainment venue and a grocery store. State funding was approved for the aerial park, and the store awaits federal financing. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Local children’s musician Jim Cosgrove — aka Mr. Stinky Feet — just dropped a new album commemorating 25 years. In celebration of “Scoops of Love,” Jim will host a free concert + CD release on Thursday, May 25 at Leawood City Hall Amphitheater. (Shawnee Mission Post)
Did you know you can schedule an emergency room appointment online? InQuickER allows Kansas Citians to reserve an appointment time and wait from the comfort of their homes before getting treated for non-life-threatening emergencies. See how it works.^
Turn misplaced keys into a thing of the past with the Apple AirTag. The button-sized tracking device can give you step-by-step directions to your lost keys (or phone…or wallet…) and has a battery life of one year. Pro tip: Put one in your checked luggage and never worry about lost baggage again.*
Disney’s 1938 roo (left), the first official Kasey (1963), and 2019’s Fighting Roo (right). Did you realize it’s a girl? | Illustrations via UMKC
How did the University of Missouri-Kansas City land on a kangaroo for its mascot? Let’s hop back in time to find out.
The University of Kansas City (UKC) was founded in 1933. Three years later, the debate team was getting ready to compete, and they wanted a mascot — and we know how persuasive they can be.
The students picked a kangaroo after Jigger the kangaroo, who had just arrived at the Kansas City Zoo. The mascot rhymed with KCU and even made the cover of the year book.
In 1937, students formed the Kangaroo Party to push for official mascot adoption. That fall, Kasey Kangaroo (later renamed KC Roo) was born.
Then in 1938, Walt Disney responded to a student request to illustrate the mascot for a magazine. Students began replicating it, and university historians ultimately credit this drawing with the mascot’s lasting effect.
A while back, City Editor Bella wrote about her favorite espresso martinis in KC, and you told her you wanted to hear about old fashioneds next. I have a few favorites of my own, but I want to know: Where’s your favorite spot to sip this timeless whiskey cocktail? Let me know for a chance to get featured in Friday’s newsletter.