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Kansas City Council Committee Advances Renovation Of Historic Pendergast and Pabst Buildings

A boutique hotel is planned for the Pendgergast Building and old Pabst brewery.

What may have been the headquarters of Boss Tom Pendergast's bootlegging operations during the prohibition era is slated to be reborn as a boutique hotel.

Pendergast was smart enough to cover those tracks, if the bootlegging rumors were accurate. Officially, the building  at 2101 Central St. housed his non-alcoholic beverage businesses.

The building and the industrial-style building adjacent were build for the Pabst Brewing Company in the early 1900s.

The Kansas City Council Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee on Wednesday approved zoning and preliminary plans for them to be joined as a 124-room hotel. 

Kansas City architects El Dorado, Inc., will handle the renovation.

Steve Salzer of the firm told the council committee that he is hoping to be able to create a rooftop garden atop the taller of the two buildings to serve as what he called “low-key hangout space.”

“There is a great view, when you get up to the rooftop, north to the performing arts center and downtown and also just to the south and kind-of to the east you have the Liberty Memorial and Union Station,” said Salzer

The type of rooftop facility that is finally created depends on structural factors, the architect said.

The restoration will comply with National Parks standards, preserving as much of the original look of the buildings, he said.

Developer Aparium Hotel Group of Chicago will be eligible for Missouri Historic, and may also qualify for other incentives previously approved for the Crossroads area.

Steve Bell is the afternoon newcaster for KCUR 89.3. You can reach him at steveb@kcur.org.

Eds. note: An earlier version of this story did not include the exact location of the buildings.

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