“We are starting to bring Broadway back”


The MGE Building at 34th and Broadway would be converted to housing under a redevelopment proposal.

The City Council has lent its support to a redevelopment idea that could bring 500 new residents to Midtown around 34th and Broadway.

The proposal is to convert the seven-story MGE Building into 100 apartments and add mixed-use development, retail and office space. It also includes plans to build two new 54-unit apartment buildings on Washington Street and 20 townhouses on Pennsylvania.

Following the same action by the City Plan Commission earlier in the week, the council approved expanding a Planned Industrial Expansion Authority district next to the property to include the site. That makes the project eligible for tax abatement and allows mixed-use development on the site.

The council heard results of a blight study that determined the age, structural deterioration and broken/cracked sidewalks  “has led to economic liability and underutilization” of the site.

According to the Kansas City Business Journal, the MGE Building will be converted to 86 two-bedroom, two-bath units and 15 three-bedroom/three-bath units. The plan also calls for a 16,000 square foot retail/office building south of the MGE Building.

“Developers are anticipating the streetcar someday going down Main Street,” Council member Jan Marcason said.

Council member Jim Glover told the council the proposal shows a strong demand for living in Midtown, already apparent in the redevelopment of the Ambassador and redevelopment along Armour Boulevard and on Union Hill.

He said that for many years, population in Midtown has been declining and that has made it hard to get retail businesses to locate here.

“It’s a very good sign for the city,” he said.  “We’re starting to bring Broadway back.”

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