Historic Kansas City Claims Church Tear Down Violates Plaza Plan

Because this town's MSM is far too sympathetic to developers, the hacks they employ and so many sketchy suits . . . We take a pause to consider a recent treatise from activists working to preserve this town's history.

Here's the word from Historic Kansas City . . .

Broad Coalition of Community Members Expresses Deep Concern About Proposed Cocina47 Development

Stakeholders Say the Development Violates the Midtown Plaza Area Plan and Plaza Bowl Overlay Plan
Kansas City, Mo. (March 9, 2022) A broad coalition of neighborhood leaders, historic preservationists, the Country Club Plaza landlord, property owners and tenants have joined together in opposition to a proposed development at the corner of 47th and Pennsylvania on the famed Country Club Plaza.

Drake Development has shared with some members of the community plans for Cocina47 that directly violate the Midtown Plaza Area Plan and Plaza Bowl Overlay District ordinance. Both were designed to preserve the character and integrity of the Plaza.

Historic Kansas City (HKC), Friends of the Plaza (FOP), and Plaza and Midtown neighbors have joined with Country Club Plaza owner Taubman Realty Group and Block Real Estate Services to oppose the project, in its present form.

The Cocina47 plan, as shared by Drake Development, far exceeds height restrictions required by the Overlay District. It also has no onsite parking plan, which is required.

Statement from Historic Kansas City:
“The proposed Cocina47 development is flatly incompatible with the Midtown Plaza Area Plan and the Plaza Bowl overlay. The departures cannot be accommodated with minor tweaks to the plan and zoning. City approval of this development could set in motion a hodge podge of proposed development projects in and surrounding the Plaza. It could lead to a collapse of overlay ordinances in Kansas City neighborhoods and is a threat to area planning.

Of significant concern is the developer’s lack of parking for the project. Tenants and property owners have invested millions of dollars in the creation, maintenance and security of parking facilities in the area for the convenience of their customers and employees and the preservation of surrounding residential neighborhoods. The zoning ordinance requires ten spaces for every 1,000 sq. ft. of restaurant space. We strongly oppose the development’s current plan and have expressed our concerns to the City.”
Statement from Taubman Realty Group:  
“Kansas City’s longstanding governing ordinances, those put in place by the zoning code, the Midtown Plaza Area Plan and the Plaza Bowl Overlay District ordinance, are the standards to which all Kansas City real estate owners and developers, including Taubman, must conform. These rigorous and practical standards well serve the business community because they create the unifying roadmap for all to follow who strive to take the City into its future, but who are also committed to honoring and respecting its iconic past.
The Plaza project proposed by Matthew Pennington and Drake Development purposefully ignores this roadmap by significantly exceeding the permitted height limitations. Further, though the developer is legally required to add a substantial number of new parking spaces, Drake Development intends to use the Plaza’s dedicated parking, which is owned and maintained by Taubman and funded by Taubman, its tenants and their customers, with no authorization from Taubman to do so. The unprecedented poaching of Plaza parking will be a direct detriment to Plaza tenants and their customers and the sustainability of the Plaza.
Drake Development can lobby for its project with City officials using outrageous, unfounded conjecture regarding the Plaza’s alleged demise as its platform, but the truth is that the Plaza successfully met the challenges faced by the changing retail environment and the pandemic head on. It is strong, and it is well positioned to thrive. We call on the City to hold Drake Development to the same standards, and transparency, as other developers and real estate owners; otherwise, the future and quality of new developments in Kansas City and existing developments is seriously in question.”
Statement from Block Real Estate Services:
“The Midtown Plaza Area Plan and Plaza Bowl Overlay ordinance are the result of years of community engagement. They are designed to preserve and protect the unique charm and appeal of the Country Club Plaza in perpetuity. These standards ensure that all new projects are respectful of the Plaza design aesthetic that dates back to 1923. This proposed development far exceeds height restrictions and forces its visitors to seek on-street parking in the nearby residential neighborhood and parking spaces that have been purchased and maintained by neighboring property owners. We strongly oppose the project in its current form and urge the City to reject it.”
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Developing . . .