Agency Stepping Up Economic Development Role
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) has selected a team to redevelop a downtown park-and-ride. KCATA, in coordination with the Downtown Council, selected a group led by Briarcliff Development Co. to redevelop a 1.8-acre parcel at the northeast corner of Third Street and Grand Boulevard in the River Market area downtown. The Briarcliff team was among five teams that submitted proposals to redevelop the site. The firm now has 90 days beginning Oct. 1 to negotiate a final development agreement with the KCATA.
The land targeted for redevelopment is a surface parking lot with 193 spaces, 30 of which are designated for park-and-ride transit services. The property sits adjacent to the region’s first MAX bus rapid transit line and Kansas City’s new streetcar line, which is expected to begin operating in 2016.
The redevelopment project is a turning point for the agency, establishing a new role for fostering economic development across the region. The Third & Grand project will showcase how the KCATA can collaborate with developers across the region to incorporate transit into the design of their projects.
“This is an enormous opportunity,” said KCATA Chairman Robbie Makinen. “The Third & Grand project makes a defining statement that we can do more than operate buses. It should signal to the entire region that we can contribute to the region’s economic vitality - whether it’s with new development or connecting people to opportunity with public transit.”
The KCATA wants developers to craft a proposal blending retail, office and commercial development, a type of project commonly referred to a “transit oriented development” or “transit economic development.” This kind of development generally includes a combination of office, retail, housing and other amenities that fit into walkable neighborhoods and are located within about a half-mile of public transportation.
Formed in 1994, Briarcliff Development has completed more than $460 million in development, including 630,000 square feet of commercial space and 1,200 single- and multi-family residential units. In 2006, the firm opened Briarcliff Village, which offers an array of mixed-use amenities such as shopping, restaurants and other services.
Other members of the development team include the architectural firm BNIM, whose wide range of projects include, DST headquarters downtown, the renovation of Kansas City Power Light’s headquarters in Kansas City, and the Environmental Protection Agency Region 7 headquarters in Lenexa.
The development group also includes Iconic Development, which specializes in historic renovation and new construction, design firm Clockwork, the investment management firm Jones Lange LaSalle and the engineering firm Taliaferro & Browne.