Beacon Hill soon could be joining Kansas City's downtown hotel boom.
On Wednesday, the City Council Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee endorsed plans for a $13 million, 90-room hotel project at 24th and Troost in the Beacon Hill redevelopment area. It would operate as a Best Western Plus.
The master plan for the area, created when Emanuel Cleaver was mayor, focuses on affordable housing, principally town homes. But Leonard Graham of design firm Taliaferro and Browne says the hotel is consistent with the original goal.
Graham told the committee that after 13 years of struggle, Beacon Hill “has finally caught fire, so to speak.” He cites UMKC student housing, townhome projects and some higher-dollar homes as instrumental in the growth.
Jason Swords, a principal in Sunflower Development, says changes to the hotel's original design have been made to satisfy neighborhood concerns. He estimates that more than half the occupants of the 90 hotel rooms would not have cars with them and would be staying there in connection with business or patients at Truman Medical Center and Children's Mercy Hospital.
Swords says the reputation of previous hotels on Troost was something developers had to overcome. "But we're a Marriott franchise and we're a Hilton franchisee, and we would not put our name on a product like that in this town.”
The committee endorsed the plan and sent it to the full City Council for a final vote. The hotel could be open by the fall of 2017.
Steve Bell is afternoon newscaster and business news reporter for KCUR. He may be reached at 816-235-5173 or by e-mail as firstname.lastname@example.org