$95 million makeover to bring new glory to historic Star building

A food hall, boutique grocer and office complex along 18th Street is planned along with renovation of the historic Kansas City Star building. (Image from 3D Development)

Courtesy, Kevin Collison, CityScene KC

(Update: Development agreement approved unanimously by City Council Thursday)

A $95 million redevelopment plan for the former Kansas City Star property that includes renovating the historic structure, and building a boutique grocery store and marketplace above a 500-space underground garage has cleared its first hurdle at City Hall.

Developer Vincent Bryant laid out his ambitious plan to a Kansas City Council committee Thursday, saying he wanted to make the former Star campus the economic center of the Crossroads area.

In a prepared statement, he said, “We hope this development will be the trailhead of an 18th Street Corridor that extends connection from the Crossroads east to Vine Street.

“Physically and architecturally, these buildings are visual landmarks that offer a nod to Kansas City’s rich history, a history we intend to highlight and build upon for generations to come.”

Bryant and his local ownership group purchased the newspaper building at 1729 Grand last year for $12 million from McClatchy, the Star’s owner.

The historic Kansas City Star building opened in 1911 and was expanded in 1924. Current newspaper employees have been consolidated in the green Press Pavilion building in upper corner. (Image from 3D Development)

Key components of the redevelopment plan which covers the block between Grand and McGee, from 17th to 18th streets:

  • Renovation of the 225,000 square-foot existing building into office, data center and retail space. The historic structure was designed by Jarvis Hunt and opened in 1911. An addition was built in 1924.
  • Construction of a 45,000 square-foot food hall, boutique grocery store and office complex on the south side of the property along 18th Street. It would be separated from the historic building by about 90 feet. The three-level grocery and office building would be on the northwest corner of 18th and McGee, the food hall would be oriented toward the northeast corner of 18th and Grand.
  • Construction of a 500-space, four-level garage beneath the food hall and grocery/office building. Bryant said building underground would avoid blocking views of the historic building.
  • Eventual construction of a three-story office building at the north side of the property at the northeast corner of 17th and Grand.
  • A sports pub with several outdoor sand volleyball courts on the north side of the property at the northwest corner of 17th and McGee.

The project also includes an event hall, dining hall for tenants and guests, and outdoor meeting space.

To read the complete story with more images, go to CityScene KC.