April 5th ballot to feature KCPS & Earning Tax votes

Kansas City voters will go to the polls in 11 days to cast ballots on one widely known issue – Continuation of the Earnings Tax – and one much less publicized vote – openings on the School Board of the Kansas City Public Schools. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, April 5.

ballot

Earnings Tax

Voters will be asked, Shall the earnings tax of 1%, imposed by the City of Kansas City, be continued for a period of five (5) years commencing January 1 immediately following the date of this election? YES NO

The Downtown Council endorses and strongly supports the 2016 Kansas City’s 1% Earnings Tax Renewal. The tax generates approximately $230 million for basic services including fire, ambulance, and police services and it represents a major component of the City’s general fund.

The DTC believes that non-renewal would have major negative impacts on those and other basic services, and that an effective regional taxing mechanism is needed to sustain the positive momentum of Kansas City’s development and to grow a healthy and diverse economy. Earnings tax revenues have enabled Kansas City to experience growth in business, housing and citizen satisfaction.

KCPS School Board

Three school board seats – Sub-Districts 1, 3 and 5 – will go before the voters on April 5.  None of the seats have candidates on the ballot, but one Downtown leader is running as a write-in candidate for the Sub District 3 seat in northern Downtown.

John Fierro, President/CEO of the Mattie Rhodes Center,  wants to apply his passion and experience to building a better Downtown and Kansas City, Missouri. Fierro has chosen to run as a write-in candidate for the Sub-District 3 seat that expires in 2009. Voters will have to write-in (literally) the correct spelling of John Fierro and fill in the oval space next to his name in order to validate the vote.

“The School Board needs new members who are willing to refocus the KCPS administration on the mission of educating students, providing the appropriate resources for our administrators and teachers, as well as convening the support of our surrounding community,” said Fierro, a resident of the Westside. “If I am elected to the School Board, I will do that.”

Fierro says he would elevate the school board discussion in order to build bridges and empower business and property owners, managers and residents with this important opportunity.

Election Day

Registered voters in Kansas City, Missouri, may cast ballots  from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, April 5.

 

Woof! Mission accomplished at River Market dog park

The River Market Off Leash Area is open at 5th & Locust from sunrise to sunset daily.

The River Market Off Leash Area is open at 5th & Locust from sunrise to sunset daily.

Downtown KC’s newest dog-friendly space – the River Market Off Leash Area (RMOLA) at 5th & Locust – is inviting local pups (and their faithful owners) to take off the leash and run free!

The new RMOLA is a product of the River Market Community Improvement District (RMCID) and the River Market Community Association (RMCA). They have advocated for the new fence, off-leash area in the River Market. The RMCID manages and maintains the OLA on property which is leased from the Missouri Department of Transportation.

“The River Market OLA provides a place where people and their well-behaved dogs can socialize and exercise in a clean, safe environment, without endangering or disturbing people, property or wildlife,” said Mark Rowlands, director of the RMCID and chairman of RMCA.

The OLA is open from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free.

“Thank you to all the generous supporters who contributed and helped make this much needed amenity happen.,” Rowlands said. “The fence is up, dog stations are stocked, and benches and trash receptacles installed. Come down and enjoy your RMOLA today.”

And, be sure to join the RMOLA Facebook page and post your favorite photos of your pooch(es) socializing and blowing off some steam.

One Light apartments make a statement for Downtown

Sean Ray (foreground) and R.J. Stebbins (to the left of Ray) admired the view of downtown from one of the penthouses on the 26th floor during a party Tuesday to officially open the One Light apartment building. Ray and Stebbins will become roommates in One Light next month.

Sean Ray (foreground) and R.J. Stebbins (to the left of Ray) admired the view of Downtown KC from one of the penthouses on the 26th floor during a party Tuesday to officially open the One Light apartment building. Ray and Stebbins will become roommates in One Light next month.

Sean O’Byrne, vice president of the Downtown Council of Kansas City, strained to be heard over the party din: “A few years ago, this very spot was the dumpster entrance to the former Jones Store,” he said in today’s Kansas City Star.

The Star’s story by Diane Stafford continued: And that, as several speakers noted Tuesday afternoon at the opening celebration for the 25-story One Light apartment tower at 50 E. 13th St., shows how far Downtown Kansas City has come.

Speakers also heaped praise on the vision of the Cordish Cos., developer of the Power & Light District and the shiny, glass-walled tower that has changed the Kansas City skyline.

“Instead of us trying to be like other cities, they’re trying to be like us,” said Mayor Sly James, who admitted to a few “knock-down-drag-outs” with the development team before the public/private partnership reached fruition. James particularly applauded former mayor Kay Barnes for pushing downtown redevelopment forward despite political opposition.

“People talk about how much Power & Light is costing,” James said. “I say, ‘But look at what was going on before. Look at this downtown now. It’s a victory for all of us.’ 

In the modern, glitzy lobby, where performers with Quixotic added a celebratory air, a crowd celebrated the first new high-rise construction within the freeway loop since the H&R Block headquarters opened in 2006. It’s also the first new residential tower built in or near downtown Kansas City since San Francisco Tower opened in 1976 in Crown Center.

Blake Miller, a principal with Think Big Partners, moved into One Light two weeks ago and is among the first 90 residents.

“I signed up when I first heard the plans,” said Miller, who works four blocks away. “ I gave up my car in January and I walk everywhere, or use Uber, and will use the streetcar.

“I wanted the lifestyle, the amenities, the proximity. I’ve lived downtown since 2008, but I wanted to be a part of helping grow this community.”

For Miller, One Light “is the city living that we need to compete with other cities that are growing. We need it to attract and retain the people our businesses need to prosper.”

One Light, an $80 million, 315-unit building, broke ground in 2014 and held a topping-out ceremony in May. With floor-to-ceiling windows, tenants are able, depending on location, to look down on the Power & Light District or take in broad city vistas.

Power & Light official Nick Benjamin said the tower is 80 percent leased and all of its studio units have been rented. Remaining one- and two-bedroom apartments — about 55 units in all — rent for between $1,500 and $2,250 a month.

“We’ve been moving in people at the rate of about four units a day since Nov. 23,” said Marnie Sauls, who holds the unusual title of community manager for the apartment building. “We’re 30 percent occupied and 80 percent leased. The freight elevator has been very, very busy.”

Benjamin said the tower’s units on the top two floors were the first to be leased, renting for between $3,000 and $3,750 a month. Those 24 apartments range in size from 950 to 1,350 square feet.

The new construction is part of a residential boom, mostly in rehabilitated office buildings since 2012, in downtown Kansas City. O’Byrne said 21,000 residents now live downtown, and 7,500 more are expected to be added by the second quarter of 2016.

Cordish also is continuing to prepare for Two Light, a 24-story, 300-unit apartment towerplanned for nearby at Walnut Street and Truman Road, now a parking lot. Construction on that $105 million project is expected to start next year, with occupancy in 2018.

The city committed about $8 million for the One Light apartments, plus $12 million to $14 million for the One Light garage. The tower is getting a 25-year, 50 percent property tax abatement. The public commitment for Two Light has been announced at about $17 million so far.

To read more, click here.

 

River Market is raising $$ for an Off Leash Area for dogs

The River Market is working to raise the money necessary to create an Off Leash Area for dogs in the neighborhood.

The River Market is working to raise the money necessary to create an Off-Leash Area for dogs in the neighborhood.

The River Market is going to the dogs … in a good way.

The River Market Community Improvement District (RMCID) and the River Market Community Association (RMCA) are working to raise $32,000 to build a fenced, Off-Leash Area (OLA) for dogs.

Presently, residents of the River Market and Columbus Park have few options in the area when it comes to places to safely and respectfully exercise their dogs, according to Mark Rowlands, a spokesman for both nonprofit organizations. Rowlands is the executive director of the RMCID and is the current president of the RMCA.

The River Market OLA, located at 5th and Locust Streets, will provide a place where people and their well-behaved dogs can socialize and exercise in a clean, safe environment, without endangering or disturbing people, property or wildlife, Rowlands said. In the meantime, some dog owners let their pups run off leash, despite City ordinances requiring dogs to be on a leash at all times … unless in a fenced in enclosure or building.

The RMCID will manage and maintain the OLA which will be on property leased from MoDOT. The creation of an OLA will foster an increased sense of community by encouraging social interaction among citizens within the area while reducing encounters with citizens who are apprehensive of off-leash dogs in other public parks.

The River Market Development Fund has pledged $15,000 in matching funds to the project, Rowlands said. To date, $11,100 has been either donated or pledged for the construction of the OLA.

“We only need to raise $4,100 to make this Off Leash Area a reality,” Rowlands said.

Tax deductible contributions may be made to the Downtown Kansas City Civic Ventures, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation.

Checks should be payable to the Downtown Kansas City Civic Ventures (with RM OLA in the memo line) care of: Mark Rowlands, 1000 Walnut St., Suite 200 Kansas City, MO 64106.

For more information, call Mark at (816) 979-1081 or email at mark@downtownkc.org.

 

 

Open letter – on First Friday – by the Mayor

An open letter on the arts and ArtsKC by Mayor Sly James.

An open letter on the arts and ArtsKC by Mayor Sly James.

Last fall, I wrote An Open Letter to America addressing the many assets Kansas City has to offer. It came on the heels of our Kansas City Royals playoff run, but it wasn’t about baseball. Instead, the letter was intended to draw attention to our elevated profile across the U.S. and to highlight all the ways in which Kansas City is winning.

The Kansas City Arts Community is a large part of our rising profile – and rightfully so. Our Arts are incredibly vibrant and we are being recognized as a leader in many disciplines including fashion, theater, jazz, song and dance – just to name a few! In fact, we are one of only a handful of cities across the country that have all four of the major arts – opera, repertory theater, symphony & ballet. As we continue to build our reputation as a world-class city, the Arts are truly making us shine.

This Friday (today) our regional arts council, ArtsKC , will launch their annual digital giving campaign – #timetogive. This important campaign is essential to the vibrancy and vitality of Kansas City’s world-renowned arts scene.  By contributing to the ArtsKC Fund, you are funding grants to artists, arts organizations, and arts programs from all over the region.

Accessibility to the arts should be open to everyone and ArtsKC does that by funding grants that support transportation and education programming in diverse and underserved communities, and by working with organizations to provide free events throughout our five-county region.

I love this City and I find more reasons to appreciate & celebrate it every day. As we continue to see our name landing on Top 10 lists, our Arts will continue to propel us straight to the top. I hope you’ll consider making a contribution – yes, right now – consider it a significant investment in your City.

Sincerely,

Mayor Sly James, Kansas City, Missouri

Power & Light District unveils plans for Two Light luxury apartments

The Kansas City Power & Light District announced plans last night for the 24-story, 300-unit, $105 million Two Light luxury apartments.  This marks The Cordish Companies' second market-rate, high-rise apartment building in history of Downtown Kansas City. It will create 1,500 full-time construction Jobs and produce an economic Impact of $45 million.

The Kansas City Power & Light District announced plans last night for the 24-story, 300-unit, $105 million Two Light luxury apartments. This marks The Cordish Companies’ second market-rate, high-rise apartment building in history of Downtown Kansas City.

 

The City of Kansas City and The Cordish Companies announced plans Thursday for the eagerly-awaited $105 million, 300 unit Two Light Luxury Apartments, the second of four planned luxury high-rise apartment buildings in the Power & Light District and yet another substantial investment along the soon-to-be-complete streetcar line.

Two Light brings the total of streetcar-related investment in Downtown to more than $1.1 billion and brings the total of market-rate new construction Downtown apartments announced since the beginning of construction of both the streetcar and One Light Luxury Apartments to more than 3,300.

“The announcement of Two Light builds on the momentum that is driving a lot of what is great about Kansas City these days,” Mayor Sly James said. “Clearly, KC Streetcar, an influx of technology businesses, greater appreciation of the arts in the city and much more are all making a difference. Two Light is a frosty addition to the trend.”

Two Light will be located on North Truman Road, between Walnut Street and Grand Avenue in the heart of the Power & Light District and across the street from the Sprint Center. It will rise 24 stories, with a 6-story garage including 499 parking spaces, a luxury amenity deck with infinity pool, bar, demonstration kitchen and theater room directly above the garage and 18 floors of studio, 1 bedroom, 2 bedroom and penthouse apartments. Select penthouse units will be two stories and include their own private terraces.

The apartments will include quartz countertops, luxury flooring and cabinetry, tile bathrooms and state-of-the-art appliances. Like its sister building One Light, Two Light will feature floor-to-ceiling windows in every living room and bedroom.  The first floor of the building will include 15,000 sq. ft. of office space and 3,100 sq. ft. retail space.

Two Light will create more than 1,500 full-time jobs and will bring another 450 full-time residents Downtown, with a 25-year tax benefit to the City of more than $45 million. It will also bring a 2nd tower crane to the Power & Light District and a 4th to Downtown, emblematic of Kansas City’s accelerating growth and a symbol to developers nationwide.

“The importance of the continued residential renaissance in Downtown cannot be understated,” said Bill Dietrich, president and CEO of the Downtown Council of Kansas City.  “One Light and Two Light are setting the new standard for luxury urban living in our region.

“Two Light will have an amenity package second-to-none, and it will build upon and leverage our prior investments in revitalizing Downtown by adding much-needed density.”

Construction on Two Light, which is only the second market-rate, new construction high-rise apartment building in the history of downtown (One Light was the first) is expected to begin in early 2016 and complete in early 2018.

Downtown Kansas City has been on quite a roll recently as a result of a variety of factors including the residential development explosion, the impending completion of the streetcar, nationally televised watch parties for the World Cup and the Royals’ World Series run, the recent opening of one of the region’s best department stores at Halls Crown Center, the announcement of Techweek Kansas City in 2015 and a growing litany of other positive developments.  The country has taken notice, with Kansas City seemingly on every national hot list for places to visit and millennials to move.

The announcement of Two Light represents another positive milestone for the Power & Light District, which recently topped 90 percent occupancy while welcoming new tenants Onelife Fitness, Visit KC, Cleaver & Cork and Yard House. One Light Luxury Apartments is now seven months from completion, with unprecedented pre-leasing velocity. Move-ins are scheduled to begin in November.

The early success of One Light along with the symbolic import to other developers of new construction high-rise development has led to a flurry of announcements of other neighboring apartment projects; bringing an influx of nationally renowned multifamily developers and many hundreds of millions of dollars into the Kansas City market.  The announcement of a second high-rise apartment building will accelerate that momentum.

“Kansas City is a great American city that can compete on its merits with cities like Nashville, Portland, Austin and Dallas,” said Nick Benjamin, executive director of the Kansas City Power & Light District. “We are extremely excited to put another crane up Downtown and to offer Kansas Citians another option, just one short block from the streetcar line, to experience the quintessential urban lifestyle.  We greatly appreciate the City’s support and vision as we work together to take Kansas City to the next level.”

KC ranks as top choice for twentysomethings

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BuzzFeed – the online news and information service – rates Kansas City, Missouri as one of “29 cities all Twentysomethings should pick up and move to.”

KC — which appears at the top of the BuzzFeed list is — “Literally the coolest city to live in according to Huffington Post. Living costs are low and it’s continuously growing!” The KC nomination was advanced by Naidni Yxes, Facebook.

Kansas City joins Seattle and 18 other U.S. cities, along with Prague and either of international cities on the BuzzFeed list.

 

Licensing program ushers in streetcar apparel

All-new KC Streetcar apparel will makes its debut on Friday.

All-new KC Streetcar apparel will makes its debut on Friday.

The Kansas City Streetcar Authority (KCSA) officially launches its Community Licensing Program this week and welcomes RAYGUN (1803 Baltimore Ave.) as the first vendor of officially licensed KC Streetcar apparel.

“We are thrilled to be partnering with RAYGUN and other Downtown businesses to creatively and jointly promote the coming streetcar. This community program leverages and supports our amazing local talent and is a clear win-win for all involved,” said Tom Gerend, KCSA Executive Director.

The KC Streetcar Community Licensing Program provides the opportunity for local businesses and artists to license the KC Streetcar brand free of charge to create and sell KC Streetcar products. The Community Licensing Program also provides an additional creative outlet for Kansas Citians.

“When we were looking to expand RAYGUN into Kansas City back in 2013, the proposed streetcar project was one of the things that attracted us to the Crossroads district,” RAYGUN’s owner Mike Draper explained. “Rail projects not only look nice and welcome use, they also convey a sense of permanence for people looking to invest in an area. We’re happy to see the streetcar coming and happy to be a part of it.”

RAYGUN’s KC Streetcar t-shirt will be available for purchase at their Crossroads store beginning on Friday, a/k/a, First Friday.

Additional information on the KC Streetcar Community Merchandising Program can be found under the “Media” tab on streetcar website, www.kcstreetcar.org. The KC Streetcar is a modern system currently under construction in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. It is anticipated to open to the public in early 2016.

 

Crossroads Academy: Enroll students by March 31

Do you have school age children and live Downtown?  Then you may be interested to know that the Crossroads Academy of Kansas City, located at 1011 Central in Downtown Kansas city, is enrolling grades K-8 for the 2015-2016 school year. Open enrollment lottery deadline is March 31.

Applications can be found at www.crossroadsacademykc.org. All enrolling families must live within the KCMO public schools boundaries. Of these families, those that live or work in the Greater Downtown Area receive priority in our admissions lottery.

Crossroads Academy of Kansas City is a tuition-free charter school located in Downtown Kansas City, Missouri. Their mission is to prepare students to excel in high school by providing an academically rigorous K-8 education. The school opened in 2012 with 190 students in grades K-5 and will eventually grow to serve 370 students in grades K-8. Their mission is to develop graduates who are scholarly, culturally literate and service- oriented individuals who will pursue their dreams relentlessly and have a positive impact on their family, their community and the world.

Immersed in the civic, artistic, financial and historic heart of Kansas City, Crossroads Academy embraces the exceptional learning opportunities of our urban setting.

City considers a ‘road diet’ for Grand Boulevard

At seven lanes across at its widest, Grand Boulevard is Kansas City’s fattest Downtown thoroughfare, according to a story in The Kansas City Star on Thursday.

Now it’s about to go on a “road diet” that could become a model for other broad city streets that operate under capacity.

Road diet is urban-planner speak for squeezing motor vehicle traffic into fewer lanes, dedicating more asphalt to bicyclists and pedestrians.

Kansas City planners are proposing to slim down Grand Boulevard next year — and it would just require a new paint job. The road will go from five traffic lanes to three and will add bike lanes.

Kansas City planners are proposing to slim down Grand Boulevard next year — and it would just require a new paint job. The road will go from five traffic lanes to three and will add bike lanes.

 

The Star’s report continued:

In the case of Grand, which stretches 2 miles from the River Market to Crown Center, city planners are proposing a drastic slimming sometime next year.

No new construction would be required. All it would take is a relatively inexpensive paint job to reduce the number of traffic lanes from five to three — one going each way, north and south, with a shared turn lane between them.

Except at bus stops and intersections, on-street parking would remain on both sides south of Truman Road, with bikes lanes added between the parked cars and the traffic lanes.

For safety, a 2- to 3-foot, zebra-striped buffer would add some distance between each bike lane and the cars, buses and trucks rolling by.

You might think this would lead to rush-hour gridlock. But city planners say Grand has way more capacity than the amount of traffic it carries. Only where traffic turns to get on Interstate 70 does it bunch up.

Many other streets in and beyond downtown also have more capacity than traffic. Which means Grand might not be the only wide street to see traffic lane markings altered in the years ahead.

A committee headed by City Councilman Russ Johnson will consider a resolution next week ordering a citywide road-diet analysis. Its goal: to see how many undivided four-lane streets could be converted to three lanes.

“Compared to most other major American cities,” Johnson said, “Kansas City is the least congested.”

Putting other roads on diets might help city leaders make good on their commitments in the BikeKC plan to add many more miles of bike lanes.

That might also improve traffic safety by slowing traffic to posted speed limits.

“With these wide streets, you basically get a drag-racing effect,” said Eric Bunch, co-founder of the advocacy group BikeWalkKC. “You just drive fast from red light to red light.”

Grand’s heyday

Like many Downtown streets, Grand was designed to handle lots more traffic than it sees today. While downtown remains a major employment center, that’s less so than during its heyday.

It’s been decades, likewise, since Downtown was a retail hub. One by one, the department stores that once drew thousands of customers closed or moved to the suburbs.

The upshot is that, even with the influx of new residents and entertainment options Downtown, there’s overcapacity.

“The streets used to be crowded,” said John Laney, a former city development director and past chairman of the Downtown Council. “We have way less traffic than the streets were designed for.”

In acknowledgment of that, the city has converted some one-way streets Downtown to two-way. Street lights have been replaced with stop signs at some intersections, and diagonal parking was added on some streets in the Crossroads.

Elsewhere, Kansas City has been building new three-lane streets in areas where four lanes would have been the norm a decade ago. So far, that’s worked out, Johnson says.

Grand would be the first major, undivided arterial in the city converted to three lanes.

Local advocates of “complete streets,” which are designed for multiple modes of transportation — not just cars, trucks and buses — are enthused about the project, funded with a $724,000 federal grant.

“I think the road diet is a huge first step,” said Thomas Morefield, a planner at a local architectural firm who lives Downtown and has been pushing for such a change.

In 2012, he helped organize a one-day demonstration of how a three-lane Grand Boulevard might operate during a busy First Friday celebration in the Crossroads Arts District.

Click here to read The Star’s complete story on the Grand road diet

Work begins on Downtown middle school

Crossroads Academy has officially launched construction on its new 21st Century Middle School located at 1009 Central.

During an internal school celebration on Tuesday (Sept. 16), 5th-7th grade students helped jump start demolition as they used sledgehammers and mallets to bring down walls in the newly acquired building.

5th grade students at Crossroads Academy stand ready to begin knocking down walls.

5th grade students at Crossroads Academy stand ready to begin knocking down walls.

Guests on-hand for the school celebration included representatives from DST, Americo Financial Life & Annuity, McCownGordon Construction, BNIM Architects, MC Realty and the Downtown Council.

Companies involved with the construction project 1009 Central include:

During the 14-week construction project, 1009 Central will be transformed into a 21st Century Middle School equipped with Science Labs, Learning Studios, a Multipurpose Room, Common Areas, School Kitchen and Performing Arts Studio.

Executive Director Dean Johnson noted the importance of this new facility during the launch celebration.

“This campus expansion at 1009 Central is an essential aspect of our mission to prepare students to excel in high school,” Johnson said. “This Middle School facility will help ensure our students are ready to achieve in high school as they prepare for the 21st Century workforce.”

Construction is scheduled for completion in December 2014 and will open for students when they return from Winter Break on Jan. 6, 2015.

For more information about Downtown’s charter school, visit the Crossroads Academy website.

Apartments are leading new Downtown boom

Nick Benjamin, the executive director of the Kansas City Power & Light District and a member of the executive committee of the Downtown Council, was profiled recently  in The Kansas City Star Magazine.

Staff writer Cindy Hoedel’s The Conversation featured these excerpts”

“Nick Benjamin is executive director of the Power & Light District, owned by the Cordish Co., a position he has held since 2009. Benjamin is originally from New Jersey. Before moving to Kansas City he practiced law in New York City and then lived in Baltimore, where Cordish is based, for a year and a half. This conversation took place in his office on the 30th floor of Town Pavilion.

Nick Benjamin is the executive director of Kansas City’s Power & Light District.

Nick Benjamin is the executive director of Kansas City’s Power & Light District.

What is different about living here than living on the East Coast?

It’s a cliche, but it’s true: The friendliness of Midwestern people is a really marked difference from the mentality of people in the Northeast. I also really like that Kansas City is dynamic.

Dynamic how?

You have a great view from up here. I’m looking down on the Jones Pool, but it looks like a construction zone. What’s going on over there?

We are three months into construction of One Light luxury apartments. It is the first high-rise market-rate apartment building in the history of downtown Kansas City.

What does that mean?

It means there was one high-rise condo tower built and two other high-rise apartment buildings that had affordable housing components. But there has never been a high-rise luxury apartment building built from scratch in downtown Kansas City.

How many stories will it have?

Twenty-five. There will be 315 rental units, ranging from 580-square-foot studios to 1,100-square-foot two-bedroom units and 1,300-square-foot penthouses. It will open in October 2015.

How much are the rents?

From $900 to $3,400.

Do you think you’ll find enough tenants to fill it?

We had a groundbreaking event in April, and we launched the website, OneLightKC.com, but we haven’t done any marketing yet — we’re getting ready to start a marketing campaign — but so far we have 500 people on a list of prospective tenants.

It’s a great moment for Downtown. The Downtown residential population has quadrupled over the last 10 years, but there’s 98 percent occupancy. There’s a lot more demand than supply right now. Based on the response to the first tower, we are accelerating our plans for a second tower.

How will that influx of residents affect the P&L district?

It’s huge. It’s 450 people that will be buying groceries at Cosentino’s and seeing movies at Alamo Drafthouse, and eating and drinking in the restaurants on the weekend.

We are on the cusp of another explosion in the residential population of Downtown. I believe there are 4,000 units planned that are in development from First Street to 31st Street to open by the end of 2016. There’s a plan to convert the Power & Light Building to residential, and we’ll be building three other towers in the district. Those new residences will create more demand for offices Downtown and continue the virtuous cycle.”

To review the complete Conversation, click here.