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Roeland Park Cave Redevelopment Concept Presented To City Council

Joel Marquardt
City of Roeland Park

For more than 20 years, limestone caves and an old swimming pool at 48th Street and Roe Avenue in Roeland Park, Kan., have sat vacant.

But city officials are starting to float new ideas about how to use the space.

At a city council meeting earlier this month, Roeland Park Mayor Joel Marquardt showed off conceptual drawings that would change the limestone cave formation into a hub for restaurants and bars. The concept is similar in design to Kansas City’s Power & Light District.

Marquardt acknowledged challenges with the plan, saying the limestone formations would require extensive stabilization. But he said he’s focusing on the area’s potential.

"We don’t really have a downtown area with small shops and gathering spaces," Marquardt said. "If we could put businesses in the caves and potentially build a little bit outside of them, we would have an incredibly unique venue."

The project isn't much more than a concept, though Marquardt remains confident that developers will show interest in the site. 

Cody Newill is part of KCUR's audience development team. Follow him on Twitter @CodyNewill or email him at cody@kcur.org.
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