The lack of easily accessible parking will probably kill the downtown renaissance

You might remember that when Mayor Funkhouser began his "glorious" reign he promised that the first TIF to come across his desk "darn well better come from the Eastside."

Well, it turns out he was talking about the East side of the downtown loop.

And that's probably okay because it turns out that people (like me & TKC's current favorite obnoxious commenter the paintman) who have been complaining that there is no parking downtown for all of these grand ponzi schemes have now been proved correct.

To wit, the The federal General Services Administration wants to build a 680,000-square-foot office building at 11th and Holmes streets as part of the East Village redevelopment plan bringing 1,600 jobs to Kansas City but there is only one not so simple problem:

There is no parking.

Obviously the way to fix this thing is clear, it's what KC has been doing for more than a decade now . . . The locals are going to have to pony up MILLIONS in tax breaks with the caveat that THIS TIME it's really going to help Kansas City's economy and not just line the pockets millionaires who will profit from development in areas that aren't really blighted.

While that may be true, it's also the same argument that former Mayor Kay Barnes used with each and every TIF she lovingly squeezed through (ew) and it's the EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT MAYOR FUNKHOUSER PROMISED.

Even worse, another hefty TIF for an already over-invested (read: speculated upon) area by Kansas City is probably mandatory given that Federal regulations ban the government form making that kind of investment in parking for themselves.
The GSA wants to include a 1,360-space underground garage in the office project. Officials also want to replace the hundreds of spaces now used by workers at the nearby Bolling Federal Building that would be lost to the planned East Village development.

To accomplish that goal, the GSA wants to build a 2,200-space garage on a block it owns at 12th and Holmes just east of the Bolling Building. That property is currently being used for surface parking.

At a price tag of $20,000 to $25,000 per space, the proposed underground garage could cost from $27.2 million to $34 million and the proposed new Bolling garage approximately $44 million to $55 million. The proposed office building would cost $170 million to $175 million.

Because federal policy prohibits its agencies from paying for parking construction, it’s up to the city to decide whether the tax-increment financing request for parking is beneficial.

An alternative to the Bolling garage being explored by the GSA calls for teaming up with Jackson County to build a garage on property the county owns across Oak Street from the new Sprint Center. That location, between 13th and 14th streets east of Oak, is currently used for surface parking.

County officials say they need at least 500 spaces and would be willing to consider a joint project with the GSA, however no serious discussions have taken place.
Now there are a few major issues that are tied to Kansas City's colossal parking problem and they actually seem to benefit a jerk like me (because they give me something to complain about) but don't bode so well for downtown cheerleaders:

  • Even if the County gets involved with their alternative scheme it's still not gonna solve Kansas City's downtown parking problems . . . More than 1,300 hundred new spaces or even 2000 more spaces aren't gonna be enough when a Midwestern crowd at a typical a ratio one person to one car want to venture downtown to a check out a hockey game that hosts 18,000 fans or maybe check out Electric Avenue and one of the many chain stores that are far more easily accessible in the suburbs.

  • Really, is a suburban housewife with kids in tow going to want to endure a scary downtown parking tower with a bevy of homeless lurking about in order to take her pack to eat the same mozzarella sticks she can get anywhere else?

  • And please don't come at me with that "16,000 people already live downtown!!!" crap because that's a fiction and the low turnout last election and the tumbleweeds downtown after 5 p.m. prove that it's not true.

  • Let's not forget that added downtown parking will be a boon to the homeless inside the loop considering that it will give them even more cars to break into (to grab $2.35 in loose change) so that should also be kind of funny and scare away visitors inside of 6 months.

  • MOST IMPORTANTLY: Private parking companies are poised to make profits hand over fist given the lack of parking downtown coupled with the well documented fact that they can be fascist pricks when it comes to enforcing penalties in and around their lots and just a few of the fines they charge of up to $500 bucks will quickly chase away anybody who wants to go downtown for leisure. Put simply, they don't boot your car at Oak Park Mall.

    All these things add up to a bunch of crushing problems that somebody should have considered before they started construction on all of these schemes to feed the ego of Kay Barnes. And as I've written numerous times before, these problems weren't started by Mayor Funkhouser but they are his to deal with and they require him to break so many of of overenthusiastic and naive campaign promises even if it still won't help the doomed pipe dreams of so many of this town's ignorant construction cheerleaders.

    All things considered, the fact that few people wanted to talk about the reality of where people will place their cars to come downtown has led to a crisis situation that ain't pretty and now that Kansas City is on the cusp of opening the doors to a couple of the risky plans this city is banking on . . . There is no doubt that the lack of parking is a serious problem and will most likely prove to the be the undoing of the well laid plans of the downtown renaissance.
  • Comments

    1. This could very well be the biggest collection of mythology, lies, and assorted imaginary claims you have ever posted.

    2. If KC has no parking problems then why are they desperately building more parking?

    3. Go to St. Louis or Oklahoma City and check out the downtown areas. Not a whole lot of parking either, but both seem to be doing very well. And OKC doesn't even have a serious mass transit system. Bother are within driving distance. Go spend a weekend at each one. Then bitch about his a bit. We haven't even seen an event yet, so how do we know? This is beginning to sound like 'you can't find anything else, the earth is flat!" Poor argument i know, but damn I need some coffee.

    4. Tony, doing his best to make downtown KC fail.

    5. Great Smed had to throw in the "Flat Earth Society" Now we'll never know if Tony can come out of his mom's basement.

    6. If the parking is tied to the GSA building, it will be secured like Fort Knox. I don't see them allowing public parking or event parking in an underground parking garage next to their facility. Just a thought.

    7. I don't think Tony and his new Paintsniffing buddy will be happy until every building and garage downtown and in the Crossroads is demolished and paved over as a single gigantic surface lot even larger than the one at the sports complex. Of course there would then be absolutely no reason for anyone to park there other than for West Siders to cruise and show off their cars on Saturday nights.

      If downtown is such a ghost town as Tony claims, then why aren't the 40,000 parking spaces we already have not enough according to Tony?

    8. Tony, have you ever been to a real city? No truly vibrant, urban district has plentiful parking.

    9. I'm trying to figure this out...

      There's "no parking downtown" but there are "private parking companies poised to make profits hand over fist." What do these private parking companies own exactly if there's no parking?

      "A typical ratio of one person to one car" will be coming downtown but "a suburban housewife with kids in tow" will be coming downtown. Which is it? Are the kids driving in separate cars?

      Let's face it, for events in the Sprint Center, there will be at least 2 people per car (how often do you go to sporting events alone?) which means you need 9,000 parking spots at the most for an event (but it's actually less because downtown residents will walk and many people will take the bus). There are 2500 parking spots going in under the P&L district which are all within a couple blocks. And there are I don't know how many more thousands within a couple blocks on the other side of the Sprint Center. If people can't find parking there, they can go park for FREE in the River Market or Quality Hill and walk less distance than they would for a game at Arrowhead.

      Your argument is so old and without merit. JUST STOP.

    10. And that was all based on if the Arena is sold out. You keep telling us that KC won't support hockey. If that's true and 5,000 people show up for a game at 2 people per car, they can all park under the P&L district. The lack of a problem is solved even more than it was before when there was no problem to begin with.

    11. I see LOTS of empty spots downtown after 5 pm, when most events at the arena will be.

      FYI: There's not too many sporting events at noon on a Thursday, retard. They happen in the evenings, when the people who work downtown go home.

      I live downtown in the supposed "tumbleweeds" unfortunately, I can attest that Tony has an ass full of smoke and apparently has only seen postcards of downtown taken from an airplane.

      Try going there sometime Tony. I'd give you directions, but I don't want to have to explain how parallel parking and one way streets work, so check out Google Maps.

    12. Glad to see the runoff from the KC Rag forum are coming to your site TKC.

      Actually, these nerds don't want to hear anything about the reality of downtown development. They just want to endlessly squawk about how cool a building looks and say that the downtown revival will happen in just one more year "JUST YOU WAIT."

      It's pathetic. They either claim that all of these subpar downtown attractions can survive with no parking OR that there is enough parking and everyone who points out the contrary is just out to thwart the redevelopment of the urban core.

      The fact is that several City Officials, business people and downtown residents have raised concerns about parking but it falls on deaf ears because it's not a problem with an easy fix. And you are 100% correct about the private parking lots. Their actions and ruthless pursuit of profit have evoked plenty of horror stories involving booted cars and unregulated and exorbitant fines.

      I wouldn't say it was a disaster waiting to happen but it's a problem that people are talking about with a lot of concern.

    13. Who on earth is having trouble parking downtown?? Is it just people who can't walk 2 blocks? People who think they need to be in a garage? People who can't parallel park their Tahoe??? Cause I don't get it. I'm downtown everyday, downtown, crossroads, live in the River Market...and I can't think of a time when I couldn't find a place to park. Seriously, am I just lucky?? Maybe on First Friday I have to walk 4 or 5 blocks...but come on, if you can't walk 4 blocks you should probably be staying away from downtown. And after 5 there is block after empty block of parking spaces on the street. Are people going to complain cause they have to walk 4-5 blocks to the Sprint Center? I can see it now. When in reality you walk just as far to get into Arrowhead.

    14. Aric, I understand what you mean about a "real city" but a "truly vibrant, urban district" usually has and efficient mass transit system, which reduces the need for parking.

      No, I don't think a Gondola will help in this case.

      Gee I wish the Governors' Summit Task Force on Mass Transportation would just release the report that it promises to have ready next year. I bet they will figure all this out because the local Chambers of Commerce really care about all of us sooooo much. (mmmmm good kool aid)

    15. Along Broadway in downtown is a happening place, but over by the Sprint Arena is not. Your right people will be walking 5 to 6 blocks away. There are alot of places to park but not close by, like Kemper Arena or the Sports Stadiums. Since Kansas City Planning Department did fock everything up with the parking problem and former Mayor Barnes put Kansas City in a deficit with no help, to supporting to build a 2nd sports arena for Kansas City.
      Maybe our new Mayor can figure this one out. Surely no one from KC Rag can.

    16. Last time I went to a Royals game I had to walk the equivelance of 4 blocks from my car to stadium gate.

    17. That last painted comment was amazingly wrong.

      Take a look at this picture: parking map.

      Red is the arena. Superimposed in blue is the parking lot of the Indepenence Center shopping mall. Superimposed in yellow is the parking lot of the sports complex.

      The green dots? Those are the four supermassive parking structures aready in place (two of them are below-ground which is why people like paintsniffer who never actually get out and look around are unaware of them) that will easily handle the vast majority of the parking needs for any event the Sprint Center has. (The green dot immediately across the street west of the arena is a 7-level underground lot nearly the size of a city block!)

      Count 'em. Is that 5-6 blocks? Looks like 1-2 to me.

      Not only will you easily find parking that is actually closer than you park at the stadiums, you'll probably also pay a hell of a lot less than you pay out there too.

      Next false claim about a lack of parking?

    18. owned by someone named scooter

      that's a double dose of owned

    19. Tony, take a trip to NYC or Chicago and you'll quickly see that KC's downtown parking situation is more of a concern than a crisis. You rail against downtown construction, you rail against the Crossroads movement, you rail against public transportation and you rail against anyone that dares to think that Downtown KC has any value or *could* have any value. I don't understand, my friend.

      Yes, our city's infrastructure needs a ton of help, but that too will be addressed as soon as enough people start getting downtown or driving through the surrounding areas and realize work needs to be done.

      (So, is this the point where you remind everyone that this is a joke blog?)

    20. I've worked the the FOB many to many years and am well aware of the parking problems around the civic square. I won't dare go down here at night. It's too dangerous! Are you aware of all the homeless shelters around here? We, federal employees are always getting our cars broken into. That's doen't include all the assults and robberies. Those are things that don't get reported by the news and very few people know about. This shit happens in broad daylight!
      I got homeless people sleeping behind where I park my car!
      The parking is impossile down here and the rates and penalities keep going up.
      You couldn't pay me to come down here at night!!

    21. I agree with 1:28 pm. I work in the federal office building. It's right across the the Spring Center. I certainily hope things work out for the city down here. But I value my life and know better that the come down here after dark. We've developed a buddy system here to help protect ourselves when walking to the parking lots after dark. Especially to women, it just has gotten to dangerous and the police don't seem to be effective. Have you seen some of the homeless guys around here. They're big and strong enough to play for the Chiefs. But the scary part about them is that they all appear to be on drugs or are mentally ill.

      The second biggest problem is parking. The rates just keep increasing and the "spotters" just give out parking tickets whenever they want. These are the non-city parking companies. They just spot you even driving through thier lot and in 5 days you'll get an $80.00 fine in you mail box. It's not worth going to court to fight those kind of tickets and not worth the bad credit report. I just avoid this civic area whenever possible.
      Citizen KC.

    22. this is for Scooterj after his comment............hahahahahahaaha

    23. Tony, please keep up the scare-mongering about all of the big development projects inside the Loop. I'd love to see them fail, so that the Crossroads and other areas of town can continue to thrive without the interference from the city.

      Sheesh! Those poor JoCo meatheads can't walk two blocks from their Suburbans to the Sprint Center? Perhaps the city should just convince them that they are on a treadmill for 5 minutes.

      Isn't a bit odd that Stretch manages to host large concerts at Grinders and you can still find parking within two blocks of the venue? Maybe the city should hire Stretch to figure out the parking issue instead of jacking him around over parking in the Crossroads.

    24. Crossroads? Is that near the double shooting at 20th and Grand on the 4th of July. Nice area.


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