In a major win for a proposed redevelopment, Kemper Arena has been granted National Register of Historic Places status.
For years, Kemper Arena–the longtime Kansas City venue that was once home to the Kansas City Kings–has been mired in discussions over its future, with various redevelopment and demolition concepts discussed. The most recent movement toward preserving the arena comes from Foutch Brothers, who want to renovate the arena and convert it into a sports tournament facility.
Earlier this summer Mosaic Life Care purchased naming rights to the venue–which would now be called Mosaic Arena–to help facilitate a $25 to $30 million project that will add a second floor to the arena, while Mosaic’s partnership would lead to the development of an on-site clinic.
Having the historic preservation status intact is a major win for Foutch Brothers. The project will now be eligible for certain tax credits, thereby providing a clearer financial outwork as the plan continues to be pitched. More from the Kansas City Star:
“This is a major milestone for the project,” Steve Foutch, CEO of Foutch Brothers, said in an email Saturday night. “There are many hurdles to get over for this project, but this was by far the biggest one of them all.”
Saturday’s press release reflected a City Hall glee for a promising avenue toward securing the money that could give the old arena a second life.
“This is a transformative project for the youth of Kansas City that is moving forward step by step. ” [city councilman Scott] Taylor said in the press release. “We have a strong track record of historic preservation in Kansas City.”
He said the project will save taxpayers Kansas City $1 million a year they’re required to pay for upkeep at Kemper and spare the city the possibility of the estimated $10 million it would cost to demolish it.
The project’s completion is currently scheduled for 2018. Kemper Arena first opened in 1974, hosting the Kings through 1985. It was also home to the 1988 NCAA Men’s Final Four.
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