MAC Properties tries again to demolish buildings


MAC Property Management has rehabbed about two dozen historic buildings on Armour, but was stymied when it tried to demolish some for one new construction project.

Now the developer is appealing action that blocked  construction of a 40-unit apartment building.

The Kansas City Historic Preservation Commission in September blocked demolition of four historic buildings that must be destroyed for the new building.

MAC is now asking the Board of Zoning Adjustment to allow the demolitions of the vacant, blighted buildings from 100 to 118 W. Armour.

Peter Cassel, director of the company, said Tuesday it is arguing it would not be financially viable to renovate them.

The preservation commission did not decide that issue, he said, and the law specifies that economic hardship can allow for variance from other standards.

“You cannot impose on an owner at a cost so high as to make the property unusable,” he said.

The issue revolves around 24 apartments in four small buildings that he admits are historic, but said the company could not get funding to restore them.

The buildings designed in 1903 were early works by architect John W. McKecknie, who later designed the Kansas City Club and the Gumbel Building.

Marty Phillips, president of the Old Hyde Park neighborhood, has led efforts to block the demolition.

He says MAC has done good work on Armour but is not finished and must complete the four buildings that are a gateway into the area.

In September, Greg Allen, Historic Kansas City Foundation vice president, told the preservation commission, “It is not always math that governs these issues,” that their job is to protect buildings.

The BZA hearing is scheduled for Jan. 14.

One Comment

  1. ESalt says:

    Why must it always be up to a developer to rehab these wonderful buildings? Tons of people are out of work, housing needs are at an all-time high – and Kansas City is blessed with Armour Boulevard. Armour Boulevard is one of those world-class streets, lucky enough to still have fabulous buildings and a street-scape that is human scale. Public transportation, public services, amazing architecture. MAC has the skill, the contacts. The government would save so much of our the urban quality of life by paying for rehab of the whole street. People cite increases in crime and try to blame it on people moving into section H apartments – they ignore the economic melt-down that dated from the exact same time period and act as if adding people is what increases crime. I believe that removing people is what increases crime. When we separate ourselves from each other – that is when each person becomes more vulnerable. KC could take hundreds of people off public assistance, establish a builder’s apprenticeship program with onsite trainers who work in tandem with MAC contractor. Keep the buildings, add more people, make this city vibrant again.

Leave a Comment