KCDC gets us closer to Plan B

The Kansas City Design Center announced the winner this week of its urban design competition focusing on Transit-Oriented Development options for a revised light rail route through the city. BNIM Architects‘ winning proposal is available here [14.6Mb PDF]. The Kansas City Star’s take is here.

Before you dismiss this as another “me too!” announcement, rest assured the final revised route you will vote on in November 2008 will be very close to what you see here, based solely on the panel of judges: North Kansas City Mayor Gene Bruns, Kansas City’s 2nd District-at-large Councilman Ed Ford, KCATA Senior Engineer Dick Jarrold, MoDOT Assistant District Engineer Linda Clark, and Brad Scott of the U.S. General Services Administration.

First and foremost, we offer kudos for addressing the design abortion that is officially named Midtown Marketplace, though locals refer to it lovingly as The Glover Plan.

Winning aspects of the BNIM plan, from the KCDC website:

  • “Midtown Marketplace at Linwood and Main could convert its large parking areas to other uses, including local retail, offices and apartments, arranged along a re-established grid of streets.
  • Air rights development above a former railroad just north of Washington Square Park could support a new mixed-use development above a transit concourse connecting Grand Blvd. to Union Station.
  • A downtown transportation hub could be constructed over the I-670 freeway adjacent to the Sprint Arena as an intermodal station for buses, light rail and a downtown ‘circulator streetcar.’
  • The forgotten Harlem neighborhood could serve as the landing point for light rail on the north bank of the Missouri River, and be re-developed as a high-density, mid-rise and high-rise neighborhood, complete with a central ‘Great Street’ and a spectacular view across the river to the downtown skyline.”

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