News about Burns & McDonnell's strategic push into the design-build market topped MetroWire Media's list of the 18 most clicked stories of 2018. Below are the other top stories that caught our readers' attention.
Rosin Preservation will close out 2018 with a string of high-profile projects despite uncertainty surrounding Missouri’s historic tax credit program. In October alone, four of the firm’s Downtown Kansas City historic preservation projects will open, beginning with Foutch Brothers LLC’s $39 million redevelopment of Kemper Arena into HyVee Arena, a youth and amateur sports hub.
With $1.6 billion in completed projects over the past 20 years, CEO Elizabeth Rosin said that securing a historic designation for the 1970’s-era venue was among the most challenging projects the firm has undertaken. Although construction took about a year, it took over three years to secure the arena's place on the National Registry of Historic Places.
“The building is less than 50 years old, so we had to figure out why it was historically significant other than its architecture and engineering,” Rosin said. “We ended up talking about its importance as a cultural and social icon for Kansas City because of the wide range of events held there for an entire generation. Everybody has a memory of Kemper Arena, whether it’s Big 12 Basketball, the American Royal, a concert, circus, convention or some other sporting event.”
The redevelopment of the iconic and beloved Savoy Hotel into the 21c Museum Hotel, replete with curated gallery spaced and art installations, was equally challenging. Rosin said the Savoy, which reopened in July, was in much rougher shape than most people realized.
“There are always surprises when you get into a building, and this one-- because of its age-- had a few more surprises so there were plenty of questions to deal with on the fly,” Rosin said. “A big part of our job was making sure that the elements that contributed to the Savoy’s sense of history and the character of the building were preserved.”
The hotel was constructed in five stages between the 1880’s and 1917, which meant it had several types of molding and doors that needed attention and preservation.
“The challenge was helping people understand what all those elements were and what needed to be protected and why-- and then figuring out how to meld that into the building,” Rosin said.
Additional Rosin Preservation projects completed this month include the renovation of the former Brookfield Building into Hotel Indigo, the former Pabst and Pendergast Buildings redeveloped into the Crossroads Hotel, and the old Jensen Salsbery Lab transformed into the new headquarters of Centric Projects and Superior Bowen.
This fall, the old Downtown Lee’s Summit Post Office reopened as the Bridge Space co-working facility, and Rosin also is working on renovating and restoring the Longview Mansion and barns.
The good news for Rosin and those in the business of preserving historic buildings is that although lawmakers have scaled back funding for Missouri’s historic tax credit program from $140 million to $120 million a year, it remains intact for now. However, it’s unclear how new guidelines will affect the program.
“The bill also included a requirement that DED (Missouri Department of Economic Development) evaluate the ‘net fiscal benefit of applications,’ and we are still waiting to find out what that means,” Rosin said.
Rosin Preservation has completed over $1.6 billion in historic tax credit construction nationwide. Additional noteworthy projects include the Oklahoma State Capitol and the Empire State Building in New York City.
Photo Credit: Brad Finch, f-stop Photography
The stabilization of four historic buildings at Lee’s Summit’s Longview Farm has been completed, setting the stage for full restoration of several structures central to the former show farm’s future redevelopment.
“These buildings serve as a historic cornerstone for Lee’s Summit’s New Longview development area and its $80 million in ongoing housing and commercial projects,” said Mark Moberly, Director of Development with Sunflower Development Group.
The stabilization project included structural repairs and weatherization related work to prevent further deterioration of two red-roofed barns, a farm house, a dairy manger house, and the show farm’s signature arch on the north end of the property.
The City of Lee’s Summit, along with Mariner Real Estate Management, now called Platform Ventures, and Sunflower Development Group, used tax-increment financing to cover costs of the stabilization effort. Full restoration projects will be completed with assistance from TIF district revenues to fund the additional improvements.
The City of Lee’s Summit worked with developers to inspect, plan and design the stabilization work, which will help ensure responsible redevelopment of both Longview Farms and the New Longview area, according to Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads “Because historic redevelopment can be complicated and costly, the City was mindful of not over-investing in these structures. The goal was to stabilize, weatherize and shore up the buildings in anticipation of future investment,” said Mayor Rhoads.
In December, Sunflower Development Group announced it would complete $3 million in renovations to the 101-year-old Longview Mansion, 1200 SW Longview Park Dr., by late 2018.
Sunflower Development Group is known for historic restorations of several downtown Kansas City properties, including conversions to hotel, housing and other commercial uses.
Sunflower will secure private financing for the restorations, but public financial support is still needed to cover the extraordinary costs associated with stabilizing and rehabilitating the unique structures, according to Moberly.
“Working with the City of Lee’s Summit, State of Missouri and National Parks Service to secure the TIF and historic tax credits is extremely important due to the financial gap that exists with rehabilitating each property,” Moberly said.
While work on the Mansion began in February, the timeline for full rehabilitation of the remaining structures is uncertain due to the need for significant new construction commercial projects in the TIF, like a new theater, to happen first.
Sunflower Development Group maintains ownership of buildings it restores and leases them to tenants.
**Picture provided by Sunflower Development Group
An entity of Sunflower Development Group has purchased the historic Longview Mansion in Lee's Summit and plans to begin a historic rehabilitation of the 102-year old property in early 2018.
Developers call the restoration project a "gentle facelift" that will prepare the historic property at 1200 SW Longview Park Dr. for new life as a regional event venue and destination.
"After several years working with the City of Lee's Summit and residents of the New Longview area, we were able to create a rehabilitation plan that addresses structural, roof, mechanical, electrical and plumbing issues that have plagued the mansion for years," Sunflower Development Group Director of Development Mark Moberly said.
Work is expected to be completed in the fall of 2018. Rau Construction Company will serve as general contractor for the project, and Rosemann & Associates, PC will lead architecture and design efforts.
The rehabilitation will utilize state and federal historic tax credits, proceeds from the area TIF plans, financing from OakStar Bank, and private capital.
In December, Longview Mansion's longtime operators Jeanne Marshall, Jenny Gale and Hunter Gale, moved from the premises.
"Their dedication to the Mansion, commitment to the Longview neighborhood, and support of the Lee's Summit community has been unwavering over the many years," Moberly said. "As the new owners of the property, we are thankful for the care they have taken to keep the historical property a hallmark of Kansas City during that time."
All events currently booked at the Mansion will continue as planned, and bookings beyond September 2018 are being accepted. For details, call 816-761-6999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.