KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- The old Kansas City Public School headquarters is being demolished, but it’s been a very slow process.
Demolition of the historic buildings started quietly inside the building as the pandemic hit the metro like a wrecking ball back in March. The more visible deconstruction started in June.
Sean O’Byrne, Vice President Of Business Development for the Downtown Council Of Kansas City, said the old building was long past its prime and refurbishing it wasn’t a viable option.
“We’re excited to get this thing down. It’s been an eyesore,” he said.
The development company who owns the property, Copaken Brooks, told KCTV5 News the demolition should be complete before the first of November. They want to turn the space into a temporary surface parking lot.
“But in downtown every parking lot is a development site,” O’Byrne said.
The site comprises an entire city block right next to the Jackson County Courthouse, adjacent to City Hall, and right across the street from the T-Mobile Center.
“It could be a corporate headquarters, it could be another office complex, it could be residential. It could be anything,” O’Bryne said.
Preston Cain owns a building directly across the street from the demolition, which includes the Zoo Bar, which he also owns. He doesn’t really care what new development ends up there in the future.
“I’ll just be glad when they get it down. It’s such a mess. A lot of noise. A lot of dust,” Cain said.
Cain is hopeful a temporary public parking lot will attract new customers to his bar.
But Josh Boehm, Vice President for Planning And Development with the Downtown Neighborhood Association, hopes the space can temporarily be used for more than just temporary parking.
“We’d love to see it used for something a little bit more active,” Boehm said. “There are a lot of food trucks that can serve the courthouse nearby and could be that it becomes a food truck park occasionally.”
No one thinks the site will be a parking lot for long. Even during the pandemic, downtown development is still strong.
“Right now in downtown Kansas City, even during the pandemic, we have $500 million worth of development in process right now. With another $2 billion in the pipeline coming down the road,” O’Bryne said.