Loews CEO calls for decking South Loop at DTC luncheon

Jonathan Tisch, CEO & Chairman of Loews Hotels, shares plans for the Loews Kansas City Hotel with Jeff Jones, President & CEO, during the Keynote Conversation with the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon audience on Thursday.

Story courtesy of Kevin Collison, CitySceneKC.com

“Loews Hotel Chairman Jonathan Tisch strongly backed an ambitious plan to cap part of the South Loop where it slices through Downtown at the Annual Luncheon of the Downtown Council on Thursday.

“When I think about a big idea, it’s right outside this convention center and that is a cap over the highway,” Tisch told the audience in the Kay Barnes Ballroom at Bartle Hall. “That is a project that needs to happen.”

Tisch and Jeffrey J. Jones II, President & CEO of H&R Block, participated in a “keynote conversation” at the Downtown Council event. More than 900 people attended, and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson also addressed the audience.

Tisch also said Kansas City will have to step up its marketing game to capitalize on its investment in the 800-room Loews Convention Center Hotel now under construction and the 1,600 additional hotel rooms recently completed or in the pipeline.

He described Visit KC, the area’s primary tourism and convention business generator, as being “underfunded.”

A rendering of how a park above the South Loop might look. (HNTB)

“There has to be a commitment to understanding the competitive nature of this business and making sure that Visit KC has the resources available to get the kinds of groups that want to be in Kansas City, that view this as a great destination,” Tisch said.

“There have to be more resources for VisitKC. It’s an important, essential partner of how this city has to grow in this industry.”

In a recent interview with CityScene KC, Jason Fulvi, the new CEO and president of Visit KC, also said his agency’s budget needed to be increased significantly.

During his presentation, Tisch also revealed a virtual reality video tour of the $322.7 million hotel now under construction at 17th and Wyandotte. It’s slated to open in spring 2020.

The governor repeated the themes of his recent State of the State speech at which he said rebuilding Missouri’s infrastructure and improving workforce development would be his primary goals.

Supporters of Downtown revitalization were pleased Parson attended the gathering. His predecessor, Eric Greitens, was considered anti-city after he vetoed state funding for the proposed UMKC Downtown Conservatory, essentially killing the endeavor.

Gov. Mike Parson congratulates Mayor Kay Barnes on her selection as the Kirk Award winner during the DTC Annual Luncheon on Thursday.

Parson also saluted former Mayor Kay Barnes, who received the Downtown Council’s J. Philip Kirk Jr. Award this year. The award is named after the late leader of DST Realty, and honors leaders who have helped revive Downtown.

“Fourteen years ago, I was at Kay’s house,” Parson said. “She was talking about her vision for Kansas City and telling me as a young legislator how important Downtown was and her vision of where this town was headed. Fourteen years later, those visions are coming true.”

Under Barnes leadership, several of the most important initiatives that helped redevelop downtown were launched including the Power & Light District, new H&R Block headquarters and the Sprint Center.

The former mayor praised Phil Kirk, noting he had been the best man at her first wedding.

“Keep up the good work,” she told the audience. “We live in a great city so let’s continue to grow and be even stronger in the future.”

Also honored at the event were four individuals who received the Downtown Council Urban Hero Awards: Chris Goode, founder and CEO of Ruby Jean’s Juicery; Christopher Harris, founder of the Harris Park Midtown Sports & Activity Center; Cheryl Kimmi, executive director of KC Creates, and Kite Singleton, an long-time rail-transit advocate.

This years Urban Heroes were from left: Christopher Harris, Cheryl Kimmi, Kite Singleton and Chris Goode.

The proposal to build a cap with a park above the South Loop advocated by Tisch has been receiving strong attention over the past year.

Last March, a study by HNTB commissioned by the Downtown Council estimated a four-block section of the freeway could be decked and landscaped for $139 million, significantly less than the previous $200 million estimate.

Last summer, officials said they’d approach the Missouri Department of Transportation to seek funding assistance and had scaled back the proposal to three blocks.

As recently as two weeks ago, City Manager Troy Schulte cited the ambitious proposal during a luncheon meeting.

Tisch observed the city has benefited from good leadership in recent years and hoped the city would continue that trend in the upcoming mayoral election.

“We all have to be careful of who we elect to office,” he said. “When I think about the leadership that Mayor James and his predecessors have salvaged to get Kansas City where it is today, that is dynamic. Enlightened elected officials make a difference.”’

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For more coverage of the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon, follow this link to the Kansas City Business Journal

Annual Luncheon to elevate momentum of Downtown KC

Downtown Kansas City’s ascension into becoming the region’s leading destination for visitors, tourists, conventioneers and businesses will be the main course of the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon on Thursday at the Kansas City Convention Center.

The annual event Destination Downtown KC is expected to attract more than 1,000 business, civic and philanthropic leaders who will learn first-hand and celebrate Downtown’s progress, accomplishments and fiscal health.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson

Gov. Mike Parson will address the Downtown Council (DTC) audience on Thursday, his first appearance at a major Kansas City business gathering since taking office on June 1, as well as since delivering his first State of the State address on Jan. 16.

The Governor will speak immediately following a State of Downtown report and video delivered by William Dietrich, DTC president & CEO. The State of Downtown represents a statistical portrait of the health and trajectory of Downtown Kansas City, coupled with video images and testimonials from Downtown stakeholders.

Headlining the annual event will be a Keynote Conversation with Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., and Jeffrey J. Jones II, president and CEO of Kansas City-based H&R Block. They will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead to maintain and accelerate the growth of Downtown KC.

Loews Kansas City Hotel – the $325 million convention hotel currently under construction at 1534 Baltimore – is due to open in spring 2020. It will be located a short walk from the H&R Block World Headquarters at 13th & Main. The H&R Block move to Downtown in 2006 has long been considered a critical turning point in the early stages of Downtown’s renaissance.

Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., will join Jeffrey J. Jones II, president and CEO of H&R Block, in a Keynote Conversation at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon on Thursday.

The Downtown Council’s annual event – this year, Destination Downtown KC – will illustrate how Downtown’s remarkable renaissance is attracting residents, conferences,  visitors, employers and workers to a thriving arts, cultural and business scene.

Downtown’s emerging role as a leading destination was underscored this week, when National Geographic Traveler selected Kansas City, Mo. as one of eight cities worldwide on its listing of 28 Best Trips Around the World that appears in its current edition.

“Most visitors to this Midwest outpost come for the barbecue and that jazz, but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance,” the magazine reported.

The Destination theme also serves as a platform to showcase an urban hotel boom that is currently unfolding in Downtown, including a 200 percent increase in hotels (from eight in 2015 to 24 by 2020) and an 85 percent increase in rooms (from 3,414 to 6,415), including the 800-room Loews hotel.

Destination Downtown KC will celebrate progress and accomplishments; present awards; explore the trajectory of Downtown Kansas City for the long-term; and, enjoy the largest urban networking event of the year. The luncheon is set for 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursday in the Kay Barnes Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Former Mayor Kay Barnes

Additional luncheon highlights

  • Presentation of the J. Philip Kirk Jr. Award in Recognition of Downtown Stewardship & Community Vision to Kay Barnes. The former mayor will be the 17th recipient of the Kirk Award, presented annually to leaders whose vision, guidance and commitment have helped set Downtown on a path for revitalization.
  • Presentation of the 2018 Urban Hero Awards honoring individuals who impact Downtown on the grassroots level. The Urban Heroes also will be honored during a reception on Wednesday evening outside of the Kay Barnes Ballroom. This year’s heroes include:
  • Presentation of the inaugural Harvey Fried Award for outstanding service by a Community Improvement District Ambassador to Daniel Moon, a Downtown CID Safety Ambassador.
  • Immediately before the luncheon, guests will participate in the Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit. More than 50 booth spaces will highlight new developments, creative businesses and the arts of Downtown.

The Annual Luncheon will feature three honorary co-chairs, including Paul Neidlein, Midwest Regional President, JE Dunn Construction; Jeffrey J. Jones II, H&R Block; and Brenda Tinnen, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Sprint Center.

The Downtown Council appreciates the support of the luncheon’s Presenting Sponsor, JE Dunn Construction; our Platinum Sponsors, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Park University and Sprint Center. Click here to learn about our other corporate sponsors.

Luncheon planning chairs include Jerry Riffel, Attorney, Lathrop Gage, and 2019 chair the Downtown Council Board of Directors; Julie Pierce, Vice President / Director of Kansas City Operations, Henderson Engineers; and Nate Orr, Partner, Spencer Fane, and immediate past chair of the DTC Board of Directors.

To reserve your seats, visit https://www.downtownkc.org/2019-luncheon/  or contact Ann Holliday, ann@downtownkc.org, or Ashley Broockerd, abroockerd@evenergy.com.

 

Gov. Parson to address Downtown Council Annual Luncheon

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will deliver remarks at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 24.

Gov. Mike Parson is coming to Kansas City next week to address Downtown business, civic and philanthropic leaders at the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

On the heels of his first State of the State address yesterday in Jefferson City, the Governor’s office confirmed with the Downtown Council (DTC) this morning that Parson will make remarks in the luncheon program that begins at noon Thursday.

The annual event is expected to attract more than 1,000 business, civic and philanthropic leaders who will learn first-hand and celebrate Downtown’s progress, accomplishments and fiscal health.

The Governor will deliver his remarks immediately following a State of Downtown report and video delivered by William Dietrich, DTC president & CEO. The State of Downtown represents a statistical portrait of the health and trajectory of Downtown Kansas City, coupled with video images and testimonials from Downtown stakeholders.

“We are delighted to welcome Gov. Parson to the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon,” Dietrich said. “Our members and stakeholders are eager to learn more about his core legislative priorities of workforce development and infrastructure, and the critical roles they play in the future of Kansas City and the state of Missouri.”

The Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon – this year, Destination Downtown KC – will illustrate how Downtown’s remarkable renaissance is attracting residents, conferences, visitors, employers and workers to a thriving arts, cultural and business scene.

The annual event will celebrate progress and accomplishments; present awards; assess the trajectory of Downtown Kansas City for the long-term; and, embraces the largest urban networking event of the year. The luncheon is set for 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Kay Barnes Ballroom at the Convention Center.

“Downtown’s emerging role as a leading destination was underscored this week, when National Geographic Traveler selected Kansas City, Mo. as one of eight cities worldwide on its listing of 28 Best Trips Around the World that appears in its current edition.

“Most visitors to this Midwest outpost come for the barbecue and that jazz, but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance,” the magazine reported.

The Destination theme also serves as a platform to showcase an urban hotel boom that is currently unfolding in Downtown, including a 200 percent increase in hotels (from eight in 2015 to 24 by 2020) and an 85 percent increase in rooms (from 3,414 to 6,415), including the 800-room Loews Kansas City Hotel at 1534 Baltimore. The 800-room Loews hotel is expected to open in spring 2020.

Additional luncheon highlights

  • Keynote Conversation between Jonathan M. Tisch, chairman and CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., and Jeffrey J. Jones II, president and CEO of Kansas City-based H&R Block. They will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead to maintain and accelerate the growth of Downtown KC.
  • Presentation of the J. Philip Kirk Jr. Award in Recognition of Downtown Stewardship & Community Vision to Kay Barnes. The former mayor – considered the architect of the revival of Downtown – will be the 17th recipient of the Kirk Award, presented annually to leaders whose vision, guidance and commitment have helped set Downtown on a path for revitalization.
  • Presentation of the 2018 Urban Hero Awards honoring individuals who impact Downtown on the grassroots level. The Urban Heroes also will be honored during a reception on Wednesday evening, Jan. 23.
  • Immediately before the luncheon, guests will participate in the Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit. More than 50 booth spaces will highlight new developments, creative businesses and the arts of Downtown.

The Annual Luncheon will feature three honorary co-chairs, including Paul Neidlein, Midwest Regional President, JE Dunn Construction; Jeffrey J. Jones II, H&R Block; and Brenda Tinnen, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Sprint Center.

To reserve your seats, visit https://dtcluncheon.eventbrite.com or contact Ann Holliday, ann@downtownkc.org, or Ashley Broockerd, abroockerd@evenergy.com.

Keynote to feature Loews Hotels, H&R Block CEOs

Downtown Kansas City’s progress in becoming the region’s leading destination for visitors, tourists and conventioneers will be the main course of the Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 24 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Headlining the annual event will be a Keynote Conversation with Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., and Jeffrey J. Jones II, president and CEO of Kansas City-based H&R Block. They will discuss opportunities and challenges ahead to maintain and accelerate the growth of Downtown KC.

Loews Kansas City Hotel – the $325 million convention hotel currently under construction at 1534 Baltimore – is due to open in spring 2020. It will be located a short walk from the H&R Block World Headquarters at 13th & Main. The H&R Block move to Downtown in 2006 has long been considered a critical turning point in the early stages of Downtown’s renaissance.

Jonathan Tisch, chairman and CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., will join Jeffrey J. Jones, president and CEO of H&R Block, in a Keynote Conversation at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon on Jan. 24.

The Downtown Council’s annual event – this year, Destination Downtown KC – will illustrate how Downtown’s remarkable renaissance is attracting residents, conferences,  visitors, employers and workers to a thriving arts, cultural and business scene.

Downtown’s emerging role as a leading destination was underscored this week, when National Geographic Traveler selected Kansas City, Mo. as one of eight cities worldwide on its listing of 28 Best Trips Around the World that appears in its current edition.

“Most visitors to this Midwest outpost come for the barbecue and that jazz, but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance,” the magazine reported.

The Destination theme also serves as a platform to showcase an urban hotel boom that is currently unfolding in Downtown, including a 200 percent increase in hotels (from eight in 2015 to 24 by 2020) and an 85 percent increase in rooms (from 3,414 to 6,415), including the 800-room Loews hotel.

Destination Downtown KC is expected to attract more than 1,000 business, civic and philanthropic leaders to celebrate progress and accomplishments; present awards; explore the trajectory of Downtown Kansas City for the long-term; and, enjoy the largest urban networking event of the year. The luncheon is set for 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 in the Kay Barnes Ballroom at the Kansas City Convention Center.

Additional luncheon highlights

  • Presentation of the J. Philip Kirk Jr. Award in Recognition of Downtown Stewardship & Community Vision to Kay Barnes. The former mayor will be the 17th recipient of the Kirk Award, presented annually to leaders whose vision, guidance and commitment have helped set Downtown on a path for revitalization.
  • Presentation of the 2018 Urban Hero Awards honoring individuals who impact Downtown on the grassroots level. The Urban Heroes also will be honored during a reception on Wednesday evening, Jan. 23. This year’s heroes include:
  • Annual State of Downtown update by William Dietrich, president & CEO of the Downtown Council.
  • Immediately before the luncheon, guests will participate in the Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit. More than 50 booth spaces will highlight new developments, creative businesses and the arts of Downtown.

The Annual Luncheon will feature three honorary co-chairs, including Paul Neidlein, Midwest Regional President, JE Dunn Construction; Jeffrey J. Jones II, H&R Block; and Brenda Tinnen, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Sprint Center.

We appreciate the support of our Presenting Sponsor, JE Dunn Construction; our Platinum Sponsors, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Park University and Sprint Center. Click here to learn about our other corporate sponsors.

Luncheon planning chairs include Jerry Riffel, Attorney, Lathrop Gage, and 2019 chair the Downtown Council Board of Directors; Julie Pierce, Vice President / Director of Kansas City Operations, Henderson Engineers; and Nate Orr, Partner, Spencer Fane, and immediate past chair of the DTC Board of Directors.

To reserve your seats, visit https://www.downtownkc.org/2019-luncheon/  or contact Ann Holliday, ann@downtownkc.org, or Ashley Broockerd, abroockerd@evenergy.com.

 

Downtown KC rings out 2018 with growth, optimism

The Loews convention hotel is scheduled to open in April 2020 (Image from Cooper Carry architects)

Courtesy, Kevin Collison, CityScene KC

“Downtown Kansas City ended 2018 on a strong note with new apartment and hotel projects seemingly announced every other week and finally, after much talk, a couple of significant office developments, notably a 25-story project planned for the Power & Light District.

It also saw a growing street scene of new retailers, micro-breweries and restaurants.

In particular, the East Crossroads and Delaware Street in the River Market are emerging as the kind of fun, walkable districts that make the city a much more vibrant and appealing place.

There are warning signs heading into the new year though.

As apartment rents ratchet up closer to levels long experienced in places like Minneapolis and Denver, the call for more affordable housing is prompting City Hall to become proactive in encouraging–or forcing–developers to set aside part of their projects to meet that need.

It’s an important conversation to have, but it also has been accompanied by exaggerated fears among some people of gentrification and a growing backlash about the use of tax incentives in general to help revitalize greater Downtown.

All political fodder for the upcoming mayoral election.

Construction is underway on a nine-story research tower at Children’s Mercy Hospital’s downtown campus.

It’s important to remember that a healthy, growing greater Downtown is not only critical if Kansas City is to compete nationally with places like Nashville and Austin, but it’s also a major source of accessible jobs for people living in nearby East and West Side neighborhoods.

A prime example is the huge investments underway in the Hospital Hill medical complex which are providing both good jobs and stimulating new residential investment along Troost Avenue.

It’s not a case of Downtown vs the East Side as some people would like to frame it.

So here’s a list of notable greater Downtown news from the year gone by as covered by CityScene KC in its first full year of operation:

Downtown Kansas City – 2018

  • Jan. 4: Plan announced for a bookstore and cafe at 304 Delaware called Our Daily Nada, opens in August. Kicks off a big year of new businesses opening along a historic stretch of Delaware Street in the River Market.
  • Jan. 15: Children’s Mercy begins work on a 9-story research building following a record $150 million in donations. Hospital Hill continues to grow as major job source and development trigger for nearby Troost Avenue.
  • Jan. 18: City warns of looming affordable housing crunch downtown as tax credits begin to expire on previous affordable housing projects, number of units could decline from 2,759 to 1,140 units over next five years.
  • Jan. 19: Corrigan Station announces $11 million office expansion at the northeast corner of 19th and Main.
  • Jan. 24: Milhaus buys about two blocks in East Crossroads at 19th and Oak for apartment project, first major construction in area. By year’s end, planning well underway for a 338-unit, $72 million project.
The UMKC Conservatory originally was proposed for a site at 17th and Broadway across from the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
  • Jan. 25: Plans for a new UMKC Downtown Conservatory across from the Kauffman Center are dealt a mortal blow when the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation withdraws its $20 million pledge. In September, UMKC makes it official when it decides to no longer pursue a downtown location for the facility.
  • Feb. 6: Casual Animal opens a brew pub at 1725 McGee, the latest addition to the growing “neigh-brew-hood” of micro-breweries in the East Crossroads.
  • Feb. 22: Crossroads Academy, downtown’s K-12 charter school, finds a new home for its high school in the historic Thayer Building at 816 Broadway. Classes began in August.
  • March 2: A groundbreaking ceremony is held for the 24-story Loews Kansas City Convention Hotel at 17th and Wyandotte. The $322.7 million project is expected to open in late April 2020.
  • March 5: An ambitious proposal to deck the South Loop with a park comes back with a cost estimate of $139 million, $60 million less than previously estimated. By year’s end, discussion were continuing.
  • March 8: Tribe, a restaurant featuring street food from around the world, opens at 316 Delaware, part of a wave of new places opening along in that historic River Market street.
  • March 12: Mildred’s, the venerable Crossroads cafe, announces its expanding into new space across the street at 1901 Wyandotte.
  • March 14: Construction kicks off on a 232-unit apartment project called The Yard in the West Bottoms, first major new construction in that area.
  • March 19: Plans announced for Parlor at 1707 Locust in the East Crossroads, part of a national food hall trend.
David Friesen decorated the new Betty Rae’s Ice Cream in the River Market with some of his vintage, ice cream-themed album covers. (Photo by Kate Collison)
  • April 17: Betty Rae’s ice cream announces it plans to join the River Market cafe scene on Delaware. It opens its second outlet at 412 Delaware in August.
  • May 4: Two Light, a 296-unit luxury apartment project opens in the Power & Light District.
  • May 9: Developers say a plan to renovate the historic Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City building at 925 Grand into a 321-room Embassy Suites hotel is still on track with a mid-2020 opening envisioned.
  • May 18: MAC Properties proposes a $78 million redevelopment plan for the four corners of Armour and Troost that would add 450 apartments, part of an wave of new investment along Troost after decades of neglect.
  • May 19: The Buck O’Neil Bridge closes its southbound lane for a six-month repair job. Bigger news, a new replacement bridge with a vastly improved connection to I-35 is in the works with an expected completion in 2023.
  • May 22: The Crossroads building housing YJ’s Snack Bar is sold, a milestone moment in the evolution of the area. YJ’s owner, artist and entrepreneur David Ford, later finds a new home for the cafe at 128 W. 18th St.
  • May 24: Plans for Three Light, a 300-unit luxury apartment project in the Power & Light District, are approved after heated debate at City Hall over city tax incentives for the project; as part of the deal, the Cordish Co. promises to renovate the historic Midland Building into affordable housing units.
The Platform Ventures redevelopment plan includes an office building and garage at the northeast corner of 13th and Wyandotte . (Image from Hoefer Wysocki)
  • May 29: Platform Ventures reveals a $132.5 million plan to redevelop the block east of Barney Allis Plaza with a 100,000 square-foot office building and garage, and renovating the historic Kansas City Club into a 144-room hotel and the upper floors of the historic Muehlbach Hotel into 190 apartments.
  • June 1: Church of the Resurrection opens a new church at 1601 Grand, the first new church to be built downtown in more than a century.
  • June 20: Plans to extend the streetcar from downtown to UMKC along Main Street advance when voters living in the Transportation Development District approve local funding. By year’s end, the Streetcar Authority was awaiting word on its application for $151.6 million in federal funding for the project.
  • June 22: The 221-unit Crossroads Westside apartment project opens between the Broadway and I-35 viaducts.
  • June 22: Copaken Brooks announces a plan for a 14-story, $40 million apartment tower with 132 units at 18th and Walnut streets.
  • June 27: The 410-unit Union apartment project opens near Berkley Riverfront Park, the first new development along the riverfront since cleanup began in the 1970s.
  • June 29: The Downtown Community Improvement District, whose workers in their black and yellow uniforms are a familiar downtown feature, is renewed through 2034.
  • July 1: The first Bird electric scooters arrive downtown.
  • July 2: Former Mayor Kay Barnes, a major force in revitalizing downtown in the early 2000s, is recognized by having the Grand Ballroom at the Convention Center named after her.
  • July 18: The 120-room 21c Museum Hotel opens in the historic Savoy Hotel and Grill following a $47.5 million renovation.
  • July 25: Plans are announced for a 13-story, 153-room Hyatt House Hotel at Ninth and Broadway.
A food hall, boutique grocer and office complex along 18th Street is planned along with renovation of the historic Star building. (Image from 3D Development)
  • July 26: Developer Vincent Bryant reveals his $95 million plan to renovate the historic Kansas City Star building into an office and data center project, the plan also includes a 500-space underground garage and new food pavilion. Earlier in the month, Kansas City Star employees leave their century-old home for new digs across McGee Street in the production building.
  • Aug. 19: Bar K, a dog park, bar and cafe, opens along the riverfront near the Union apartments.
  • Aug. 22: Longtime downtown retailer Bob Jones Shoes announces its closing at 1914 Grand.
  • Aug. 29: Work begins on a $16 million, 92-room LaQuinta Hotel at 24th and Troost.
  • Sept. 12: An ultra-luxury, 145-room hotel is proposed across from the Kauffman Center on Wyandotte; it faces a tough reception in its request for tax incentives in the new year.
  • Sept. 14: The $76.8 million City Club Apartment project at 20th and Main breaks ground after several years of planning, the 283-unit development includes the renovation of the historic Midwest Hotel.
  • Sept. 28: Afterword Tavern, a new bookstore and cafe, opens at 19th and Grand.
  • Oct. 8: Hy-Vee Arena opens in West Bottoms following a $39 million renovation of the former Kemper Arena into an amateur sports center that includes a dozen basketball courts and 350-meter indoor track.
  • Oct. 17: The 131-room Crossroads Hotel opens at 2101 Central, a post-industrial chic renovation of a former bottling plant and warehouse in the historic Pabst and Pendergast buildings.
  • Oct. 23: Drury Hotels drops a plan to build a $50 million, 242-unit hotel on the site of the vacant Board of Eduction building, saying the incentive package offered by the city was not enough to make the project financially viable.
  • Nov. 12: The historic Traders National Bank at 1125 Grand reopens following a $65 million renovation into a 201-unit luxury apartment project called The Grand.
Afterword Tavern and Shelves features a custom-built bar and small bookstore.
  • Nov. 19: A groundbreaking is held for the $35 million renovation of the historic Lyric Theater into a new, 62,000 square-foot Downtown YMCA that will include a swimming pool, indoor track fitness center and other health-related services. It’s expected to open in Spring 2021.
  • Nov. 29: Plans are announced to renovate the historic 23-story Mark Twain Tower building at 11th and Baltimore into a 202-unit apartment project at cost of $51.9 million.
  • Dec. 13: A 25-story office project called Strata is proposed for the Power & Light District at 13th and Main. The $132 million spec office building is intended to help downtown attract more private jobs.
  • Dec. 19: A plan to build a $40 million, 248-unit apartment project at 25th and Troost is announced, bringing the number of new apartments in the works along a several block stretch of Troost to almost 1,000.
  • Dec. 24: Thou Mayest, the popular East Crossroads coffee house and tavern, closes after operating four years at 419 E. 18th St. Its owners plan to find a new Downtown location in the new year.”

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Kay Barnes to receive Downtown Council’s highest honor

Former Mayor Kay Barnes was honored by the City in June with a special ceremony at the Kansas City Convention Center. A sculpture by local artist Tom Corbin was unveiled and the Grand Ballroom was dedicated in Barnes’ name. Both honor Barnes’ leadership from 1999 to 2007 that catalyzed the revival of Downtown. (Photo courtesy of The Kansas City Star.)

Former Kansas City Mayor Kay Barnes will receive the Downtown Council’s highest honor at its Annual Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 in the Kay Barnes Ballroom of the Kansas City Convention Center.

Barnes is considered the architect Downtown’s renaissance. Serving as mayor from 1999-2007, she championed the rebirth of Downtown around three complementary initiatives – the relocation of the H&R Block headquarters, and the establishment of the Sprint Center and the Kansas City Power & Light District.

The former Mayor has long been dedicated to paving the way for women in Kansas City business and civic circles. She is currently serving as a leader at Park University, where she was named senior director for university engagement on July 1.

“Kay Barnes set the stage for this city’s revival that we are seeing continue to flourish,” Mayor Sly James said in June, during a ceremony that marked the dedication of the Kay Barnes Ballroom at the convention center. “If it wasn’t for what she did, we wouldn’t have this situation that we have now. It’s just that simple.”

The Downtown Council Annual Luncheon – this year titled Destination Downtown KC – will shine a spotlight on Downtown’s remarkable renaissance that is attracting meetings, residents, visitors, employers, workers and riders to a thriving arts, cultural and business scene … in addition to honoring Barnes and other urban heroes.

Jonathan Tisch, Chairman and CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., will join Jeffrey Jones, President and CEO of H&R Block, in a keynote conversation at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon on Jan. 24.

Downtown’s emerging role as a leading destination was underscored in early December, when National Geographic Traveler selected Kansas City, Mo. as the only U.S. city on its listing of 28 Best Trips Around the World.

“Most visitors to this Midwest outpost come for the barbecue and the jazz, but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance,” the magazine reported.

The Destination theme also serves as a platform to showcase an urban hotel boom that is currently unfolding in Downtown, including a 200 percent increase in hotels (from eight in 2015 to 24 by 2020) and an 85 percent increase in rooms (from 3,414 to 6,415), including the $325 million Loews Kansas City Hotel that will open 800 new convention hotel rooms in two years.

The luncheon will feature a keynote conversation between Jonathan Tisch, Chairman & CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., and Jeffrey Jones II, President and CEO of H&R Block. Tisch joined city leaders in August, at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the convention hotel.

“Kansas City is a vibrant destination which has experienced significant growth over the past several years,” Tisch told the Downtown Council. “We look forward to investing in and becoming an integral part of the Downtown community with our new hotel, Loews Kansas City, opening in May of 2020.”

Destination Downtown KC is expected to attract about 1,000 business, civic and philanthropic leaders to celebrate progress and accomplishments; present awards; assess the trajectory of Downtown Kansas City for the long-term; and, embraces the largest urban networking event of the year. The luncheon is set for 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 in the aptly named Kay Barnes Ballroom.

Luncheon Highlights:

    • Keynote Conversation: Jonathan Tisch, Chairman & CEO of Loews Hotels & Co.,  and Jeffrey J. Jones II, H&R Block, will discuss the challenges to maintain or even accelerate the growth of Downtown.
    • Presentation of the J. Philip Kirk Jr. Award in Recognition of Downtown Stewardship & Community Vision to Kay Barnes. The former mayor will be the 17th recipient of the Kirk Award, presented annually to leaders whose vision, guidance and commitment have helped set Downtown on a path for revitalization.
    • Presentation of the 2018 Urban Hero Awards honoring individuals who impact Downtown on the grassroots level. The Urban Heroes also will be honored during a reception on Wednesday evening, Jan. 23. This year’s heroes include:
  • Annual State of Downtown update by William Dietrich, President & CEO of the Downtown Council.
  • Immediately before the luncheon, guests will participate in the Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit. More than 50 booth spaces will highlight new developments, creative businesses and the arts of Downtown.

The Annual Luncheon will feature three honorary co-chairs, including Paul Neidlein, Midwest Regional President, JE Dunn Construction; Jeffrey J. Jones II, President & CEO of H&R Block; and Brenda Tinnen, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Sprint Center.

Luncheon planning chairs include Jerry Riffel, Attorney, Lathrop Gage, and 2019 chair the Downtown Council Board of Directors; Julie Pierce, Vice President / Director of Kansas City Operations, Henderson Engineers; and Nate Orr, Partner, Spencer Fane, and immediate past chair of the DTC Board of Directors.

To reserve your space at the luncheon, visit https://www.downtownkc.org/2019-luncheon/  or contact Ann Holliday, ann@downtownkc.org, or Ashley Broockerd, abroockerd@evenergy.com.

All aboard for 2019 Annual Luncheon: Destination Downtown KC

Kansas City Mayor Sly James addressed the 2018 Downtown Council Annual Luncheon full house audience early this year.

Downtown Kansas City’s ascension to becoming the region’s leading destination for conventions, visitors, and business and leisure travelers will be the main course of the next Downtown Council’s Annual Luncheon on Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

“Today, Kansas City can be said to have actually achieved the elusive dream of scores of proud old American cities that have seen better days: It has a revised downtown, which now skews closer to “bustling” than “desolate” many nights,” The New York Times reported in July.

“You can see what is arguably the single best embodiment of the phenomenon for yourself” – the KC Streetcar – “at regular intervals as you stroll along – or even stand still – on Downtown’s Main Street.”

The Downtown Council’s annual event – this year, Destination Downtown KC – will illustrate Downtown’s miraculous renaissance that is attracting meetings, residents, visitors, employers, workers and riders to a thriving arts, cultural and business scene.

Downtown’s emerging role as a leading destination was underscored this week, when National Geographic Traveler selected Kansas City, Mo. as the only U.S. city or destination on its listing of 28 Best Trips Around the World in the December/January edition.

“Most visitors to this Midwest outpost come for the barbecue and that jazz, but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance,” the magazine reported.

Jonathan Tisch, Chairman & CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co., will deliver the keynote address at the Downtown Council Annual Luncheon next month.

The Destination theme also serves as a platform to showcase an urban hotel boom that is currently unfolding in Downtown, including a 200 percent increase in hotels (from eight in 2015 to 24 by 2020) and an 85 percent increase in rooms (from 3,414 to 6,415), including the $325 million Loews Kansas City Hotel that will open 800 new convention hotel rooms in two years.

The keynote address will be delivered by Jonathan Tisch, Chairman & CEO of New York-based Loews Hotels & Co. Tisch joined city leaders in August, at the official groundbreaking ceremony for the convention hotel.

“Kansas City is a vibrant destination which has experienced significant growth over the past several years,” Tisch told the Downtown Council, as he accepted this speaking invitation. “We look forward to investing in and becoming an integral part of the Downtown community with our new hotel, Loews Kansas City, opening in May of 2020.”

Destination Downtown KC is expected to attract about 1,000 business, civic and philanthropic leaders to celebrate progress and accomplishments; present awards; assess the trajectory of Downtown Kansas City for the long-term; and, embraces the largest urban networking event of the year. The luncheon is set for 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 24 in the Kay Barnes Ballroom.

Luncheon Highlights

  • Keynote speaker Jonathan Tisch, Chairman & CEO of Loews Hotels & Co., will identify the challenges to maintain or even accelerate the growth of Downtown, and then discuss the challenges ahead.
  • Presentation of the J. Philip Kirk Jr. Award in Recognition of Downtown Stewardship & Community Vision to Kay Waldo Barnes
  • Announcement of the 2018 Urban Hero Awards honoring individuals who impact Downtown on the grassroots level. The Urban Heroes also will be honored during a reception on Wednesday evening, Jan. 23
  • Annual State of Downtown update by William Dietrich, President & CEO of the Downtown Council.
  • Immediately before the luncheon, guests will participate in the Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibit. More than 50 booth spaces will highlight new developments, creative businesses and the arts of Downtown.

The Annual Luncheon will feature three honorary co-chairs, including Tim Dunn, Chief Investment & Treasury Officer, JE Dunn Construction; Jeffrey J. Jones II, President & CEO of H&R Block; and Brenda Tinnen, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Sprint Center.

Luncheon planning chairs are Jerry Riffel, Attorney, Lathrop Gage, who also currently chairs the Downtown Council; Julie Pierce, Vice President / Director of Kansas City Operations, Henderson Engineers; and Nate Orr, Partner, Spencer Fane.

To reserve your space at the luncheon, visit https://www.downtownkc.org/2019-luncheon/  or contact Ann Holliday, ann@downtownkc.org, or Ashley Broockerd, abroockerd@evenergy.com.

 

Vote YES on Prop D: Safer Roads, Safer Streets

The Downtown Council supports new funding for safer roads and bridges in Missouri, and encourages a YES vote on Prop D. The election is set for Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Prop D is a statutory change allowing a 2.5-cent tax increase on gas and diesel annually for four years, resulting in an overall dime-per-gallon motor fuels tax increase. The new funding will provide money to be spent on construction and maintaining safe highways and bridges.

Today’s blog – written by Downtown Council board member Warren Erdman – is designed to explain why the DTC Board of Directors voted to support Prop D in this important election. Vote YES for safer roads and safer streets on Nov. 6.

Proposition D on the November 6 ballot is vitally important to Kansas City and to Missouri.  It would raise the motor fuels tax in Missouri by 2.5 cents per year for four years, and make over $400 million a year available for state and local roads and bridges across Missouri, including $55.3 million in state funds for transportation projects in the Kansas City region and $14 million for local county and municipality transportation projects in our area.

Over its four-year phase-in and when fully implemented, the extra 10 cents per gallon will help fix our roads and bridges, create jobs and pump hundreds of millions of dollars into our local communities for roads and bridges. The new money will allow Missouri to move to the front of the line to return federal tax money we have already paid to Washington, to fix our roads and bridges back home. If we don’t provide the matching money, other states will and receive our money.

Missouri hasn’t raised our state motor fuels user tax since 1996. Inflation has eaten away at this 17 cents tax, which only has 7 cents of purchasing power today. While steel, concrete and asphalt have doubled and tripled in cost over the last 22 years, the state motor fuels user tax has lost 60 percent of its value.

MoDOT has cut overhead spending and has its house in order.  Its leadership is committed to prudent stewardship of this constitutionally protected, regularly audited road and bridge money.

This infrastructure funding is badly needed in Missouri and the Greater Kansas City region to address our transportation infrastructure, highways and bridges.

Missouri Governor Parson, Lieutenant Governor Kehoe and other state leaders across Missouri strongly support this modest, overdue initiative for our highways and bridges.

Kansas City needs to do its part to help pass Proposition D this November.

Please join me in voting YES on Proposition D on November 6.

– Warren Erdman, Kansas City

Save the Date – 2019 Downtown Council Annual Luncheon

Save the Date for the 2019 Downtown Council Luncheon:  Destination Downtown KC

Join the Downtown Council of Kansas City on Thursday, January 24, 2019, as we celebrate Downtown and kick off the new year with our theme of “Destination Downtown KC.”

If you have walked around Downtown Kansas City lately, then you know Downtown has evolved into a popular, visitor-friendly destination.

We already knew people wanted to live Downtown – today’s population of 27,500 marks a 41 percent increase since 2000. Downtown’s first high school in decades, the Crossroads Preparatory Academy, will reach full capacity in 2020. And, people want to work Downtown – with more than 90,000 employees and counting.

Well, these days, visitors are joining us in growing numbers and frequency in Downtown hotels, restaurants, shops, conferences, art galleries and performance halls. And, not just occasionally. Visitors are part of the Downtown scene and on board the KC Streetcar every day.

During the Annual Luncheon, we will honor both civic and grassroots leaders through our Kirk and Urban Hero Awards.  We’ll start things off with the Spirit of Downtown KC Exhibition and update you on the State of Downtown.  Stay tuned for more information about speakers and expert panelists, who thrive in the world of growing an urban core with locals, visitors, residents, workers from all walks of life.

Visit https://www.downtownkc.org/2019-luncheon/ to learn more about the annual event or to register. Sponsorships range from $10,000 to $500. Individual tickets start at $125.

Contact Ann Holliday (ann@downtownkc.org) or Ashley Broockerd (abroockerd@evenergy.com) with any questions.

And, mark your calendar for lunch on Thursday, Jan. 24. You won’t want to miss a thing.

 

Downtown Office Summit expects full house Wednesday

The Downtown Council is expecting a sold-out audience for its highly anticipated Downtown Office Summit from 2-5 p.m. Wednesday at BNIM at Crown Center, 2460 E. Pershing Road, #100.

The Hon. Sylvester James, Mayor of the City of Kansas City, Missouri, will serve as the keynote speaker for the event, which will focus on the hottest element of Downtown’s escalating revitalization, the commercial office marketplace.. The Summit has attracted more than 250 community and civic leaders, real estate developers, building owners and future Downtown office tenants.

“Downtown’s renaissance has entered the critical third wave of revitalization,” said Nate Orr, chairman of the Downtown Council Board of Directors and Partner at Spencer Fane LLP. “After revitalizing the residential sector and making major investments in visitor amenities, the rebirth of the office market is paramount to sustaining the momentum.

“This third wave is an economic game-changer that will elevate momentum at creating jobs, attracting talent, unlocking value and engaging private investment in Downtown.”

The Office Summit is designed to provide a better understanding of the Downtown Office Market today and to chart a course to greater success tomorrow, according to Gib Kerr, co-chair of the event and Director of Capital Markets in Kansas and Missouri for Cushman & Wakefield.

“Downtown Kansas City is one of the fastest growing downtowns in America,” Kerr said. “And, that means we are in the thick of competing for businesses – and the talent to elevate those companies – with large and small cities all across the country.”

The Downtown Office Summit will feature three components at BNIM on Wednesday:

  • 2 p.m. – Office Summit Expo – a networking opportunity to learn more about the commercial office marketplace and the people who represent Downtown properties, opportunities and trends.
  • 3 p.m. – Office Summit Program – a series of speakers and panel discussions that illustrate the challenges and opportunities facing Downtown Kansas City in light of the rapid growth of commercial businesses marketplace, along with residents and visitors in Downtown. Kevin Collison, editor of CityScene KC, will serve as the event moderator. Highlights include…
    • Keynote address by Mayor Sly James
    • Market overview by Summit co-chairs Michael Klamm, Managing Director of CBRE and Gib Kerr of Cushman & Wakefield
    • Development panel featuring experts from Platform Ventures, 3D Development, Crown Center, Lathrop Gage, AREA Real Estate Advisors and EPOCH.
    • Tenant panel with leaders to share insights about the Downtown marketplace from Benton Lloyd & Chung, Centric, ACI Boland, BNIM, Big Brothers Big Sisters and Park University.
    • Summary & closing remarks by Julie Henderson of Henderson Engineers, and chair of the Business Attraction and Retention committee for the Downtown Council.
  • 5:30 p.m. – Cocktail reception and networking to follow.

The event is a virtual sell-out. To place your name on a waiting list, you are encouraged to email Julie Shippy at the Downtown Council at jules@downtownkc.org.

The Downtown Office Summit is produced by the Downtown Council of Kansas City in partnership with the City of Kansas City, Missouri and the Economic Development Corporation. The summit is presented by Bank of America, BNIM, Crown Center and Lathrop Gage LLP.

LaunchKC tops $2 million in grants to tech start-ups

2018 LaunchKC grant recipients share $500.00.

LaunchKC judges awarded $500,000 in grants to nine tech start-up businesses on Friday, following a months-long competition designed to attract and retain tech entrepreneurs in Kansas City.

This year’s grants competition elevated LaunchKC to the $2 million mark in grants to 38 different entrepreneurs over four years.

“This is a tremendous milestone as we demonstrate our commitment to attracting, growing and retaining startup businesses in Downtown Kansas City,” said Mike Hurd, spokesman for LaunchKC, an initiative of the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation.

The nine winners, including five from Greater Kansas City were selected Friday afternoon from a pool of 20 finalists. Each of the final 20 presented their business pitches that morning to LaunchKC judges and the Techweek Kansas City audience at Union Station.

Grant winners were announced Friday afternoon at a special LaunchKC / Techweek Kansas City awards ceremony at No Other Pub in the Power & Light District.

Ag Voice from Atlanta, GA, was only the second, $100,000 grand prize recipient in LaunchKC history. It is a mobile voice-interaction service designed for food and agriculture professionals to capture insights on the go. By using proprietary analytics and processing of raw voice files including captured time stamps and location data, users can improve productivity and workflow management, increase documentation accuracy, and gain valuable insights to optimize the use of resources in crop and animal production for a sustainability and environmental impact.

Another $400,000 was awarded on Friday in $50,000 parcels to eight entrepreneurs, including:

Drew Solomon, right, begins the LaunchKC awards ceremony on Friday afternoon at No Other Pub In the Power & Light District.

“Each of the 20 finalists were very strong contenders for LaunchKC’s grants, as well as for building strong, economically successful businesses,” said Drew Solomon, senior vice president for business job development at the EDC and chair of the LaunchKC competition.

Today’s announcement marks the culmination of weeks of application reviews and scoring by a panel of more than 35 business and financial leaders, who volunteered their time to thoughtfully narrow the field from 586 applicants – up 32 percent from 2017 – to the 20 finalists who competed on Friday.

“LaunchKC attracted more than 2,000 applications from throughout the nation and the world in our four years of competition with tech entrepreneurs,” said Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council. “This year’s awards mean we have reached $2 million mark.

“We believe in entrepreneurship and we believe these start-ups have a better chance to success in Kansas City,” Hurd said.

In addition to cash grants, the nine winning applicants will receive a network of support, industry-specific mentor teams for each grant recipient; and opportunities to meet and learn from industry and entrepreneurial leaders in and around Kansas City – all designed to elevate their efforts to build high-growth, tech sector businesses and jobs in KCMO.

“LaunchKC is an economic game-changer in Kansas City through its support of start-up businesses. It creates jobs, attracts talents, unlocks value, and engages follow-in investors,” Solomon said.

LaunchKC is a nonprofit, civic engine in the Kansas City entrepreneurial space. It is an initiative of the Downtown Council and the Economic Development Corporation. The program is fueled each year by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners. For 2018, the sponsor honor roll includes:

STRATEGIC SPONSORS

  • Missouri Technology Corporation and the City of Kansas City, Missouri

VISIONARY SPONSORS

  • The Cordish Companies / Power & Light District; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City; and the William T. Kemper Foundation

CONTRIBUTING SPONSORS

  • Husch Blackwell; KCP&L; and the State of Missouri, Department of Economic Development

EMERGING SPONSORS

  • Adknowledge; American Century Investments; BalancePoint; J.E. Dunn Construction; Google Fiber; ITEN; Lathrop Gage; LightEdge Solutions; Metropolitan Community College, Parson & Associates, RubinBrown; and Spring Venture Group

DOWNTOWN CIRCLE

  • Academy Bank; Country Club Bank; Generator Studio; Helix; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Park University; and the UMKC Bloch School of Management.

www.launchkc.org * @Launch_KC

NASA leader & LaunchKC Pitch Day are on tap for Friday

Kira Blackwell, NASA.

An executive from the National Aeronautical and Space Administration (NASA) will “launch” the annual LaunchKC Pitch Day with an opening keynote address on Friday, Oct. 12 at Union Station.

Kira Blackwell, Program Executive, Office of the Chief Technologist, NASA will speak to the audience at 8 a.m. Friday, immediately before the start of the LaunchKC Pitch Day in the Extreme Screen Theatre at Union Station.

Blackwell will share insights into NASA iTech, a year-long effort to find innovative ideas that address challenges and fill gaps in five critical areas identified by NASA as having a potential impact on future exploration, including big data and data mining; artificial intelligence and autonomous robotic capabilities; revolutionary concepts for communications; medical breakthrough; and x-factor innovations.

The NASA-inspired keynote falls on the fifth and final day of the Techweek Kansas City conference. Friday is primarily focused on LaunchKC, the the final round of the fourth annual grants competition for tech startups that has been a part of the Techweek KC experience, since its first local conference in 2015.

“We are delighted to welcome Kira Blackwell and NASA to ‘launch’ the Pitch Day events,” said Drew Solomon, senior vice president of business and job development for the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, and competition chair for LaunchKC.

The LaunchKC Pitch Day marks the final day of the annual grants competition. Beginning at 9 a.m. on Friday, the 20 LaunchKC finalists will make their  business plan presentations to a panel of LaunchKC judges AND the Techweek Kansas City audience. Solomon said Blackwell has agreed to join the panel of judges.

“NASA iTech and LaunchKC are cut from the same innovative cloth – both are showcases for entrepreneurs who are looking to change the trajectory of the world through their innovative thinking and business plans,” Solomon said.

NASA iTech is a program within NASA’s Space Technology Mission Directorate and works in collaboration with The National Institute of Aerospace (NIA) in support of the Agency’s Mission. This collaborative effort identifies and fosters innovative solutions that aim to solve challenges on Earth and also have the potential to solve some of NASA’s challenges agency-wide.

LaunchKC is a national grants competition designed to attract tech entrepreneurs to compete for non-dilutive grants and the opportunity to build their new and emerging tech businesses in Kansas City, Missouri.

“LaunchKC has attracted more than 2,100 applications from throughout the nation and the world during our four years of competitions,” said Mike Hurd, marketing officer for LaunchKC and the Downtown Council.

LaunchKC judges worked for six weeks to narrow the 2018 field of entrepreneurs from 586 applicants to the final 20, who will compete on the big stage this Friday, including:

  • AgVoice – Atlanta, Ga. – Ag Tech
  • Bluepoint2 – Leawood, Kan. – Health Tech
  • Boddle Learning – Kansas City, Mo. – Ed Tech
  • Bungii – Overland Park, Kan. – Mobile Technology
  • Case Helper – Kansas City, Mo. – Cloud Services
  • Digs – Chicago, Ill. – Fin Tech
  • Erkios Systems – Kansas City, Mo. – Network Security
  • Just Play Sports Solutions – Lawrence, Kan. – Cloud Services
  • Listing, LLC – Kansas City, Mo. – Real Estate Tech
  • MindSport – Overland Park, Kan. – Health Tech
  • Motega Health – Lawrence, Kan. – Health Tech
  • OpenCities – Kansas City, Mo. – Cloud Services
  • PlaBook – Kansas City, Mo. – Ed Tech
  • Project Ray – Yokneam, Israel – Mobile Technology
  • Realquantum – Overland Park, Kan. – Fin Tech
  • Ripe.io – San Francisco, Calif. – Ag Tech
  • SaRA Health – Kansas City, Mo. – Health Tech
  • SmartBridge – Bethesda, Md. – Health Tech
  • Strayos – St. Louis, Mo. – Data Analytics
  • Venture360 – Lee’s Summit, Mo. – Fin Tech

The LaunchKC / Techweek Kansas City schedule on Friday in the Extreme Screen Theatre at Union Station will look like this:

  • 8 a.m. Keynote address by Kira Blackwell, NASA
  • 9 a.m.-12 p.m. LaunchKC Pitch Day of all 20 competition finalists
  • Noon-3 p.m. Judges meet in private to score presentations and decide who will receive grant money
  • 3:30 p.m. LaunchKC to announce winners of 2018 grant competition

Tickets to the LaunchKC Pitch Day – including Blackwell’s keynote address – are part of the Techweek Kansas City ticket package, and are available right here.

Also, make sure you download the Attendify app to view the entire week’s schedule and see the location of every session. We will have multiple sessions in multiple areas of Union Station. The Attendify app is the best way to confirm the location and time of the session you wish to attend. Link to App: https://attendify.com/app/nmy2xr/

See below for a summary of the complete Techweek 2018 schedule.

 

LaunchKC is an initiative of the Downtown Council of Kansas City and the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City. It is fueled each year by the visionary support of corporate, public and philanthropic partners. For 2018, that honor roll includes:

 STRATEGIC SPONSORS

  • Missouri Technology Corporation and the City of Kansas City, Missouri

VISIONARY SPONSORS

  • The Cordish Companies / Power & Light District; Downtown Council of Kansas City; Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City; William T. Kemper Foundation; and Techweek

CONTRIBUTING SPONSORS

  • Husch Blackwell; KCP&L; and the State of Missouri, Department of Economic Development

EMERGING SPONSORS

  • Adknowledge; American Century Investments; BalancePoint; J.E. Dunn Construction; Google Fiber; ITEN; Lathrop Gage; LightEdge Solutions; Metropolitan Community College, Parson & Associates, RubinBrown; and Spring Venture Group.

DOWNTOWN CIRCLE

  • Academy Bank; Country Club Bank; Generator Studio; Helix; Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation; Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Center; Park University; and the UMKC Bloch School of Management.

For more information, contact Mike Hurd at mike@downtownkc.org or visit www.launchkc.org and www.techweek.com.