Much to the delight of those living in Kansas City’s Historic Northeast neighborhoods, demolition crews took down the Royale Inn March 20, clearing the way for continuing development of the Paseo Gateway Project.
Under the nearly $12 million Paseo Gateway Project plan, the Independence Ave. and The Paseo intersection will be realigned to improve traffic and pedestrian safety, enhance connectivity to downtown, Historic Northeast and other eastside neighborhoods and improve future development opportunities. Other improvements include new sidewalks, on-street bike lanes and new streetlights.
Sitting on the corner of Independence Avenue and The Paseo for more than a half a century, the Royale Inn had, in recent months, become a neighborhood eyesore. But that wasn’t always the case.
According to The Northeast News newspaper, the motel opened in February 1965 as the Northway Inn and was affiliated with the Best Western motel chain. The then-modern facility had 60 rooms, an outdoor heated pool, and a snack bar and was home to the very popular Lantern Lounge. In 1968, the motel was bought by the Prom Motor Hotel group, which also owned the Prom Sheraton downtown (6th and Main). Plans were made to expand the Northway Inn by doubling the number of rooms and adding meeting and dining rooms, but expansion apparently never happened. In 1971, the hotel was renamed the Ramada Inn Downtown. It became the Royale Inn in the late 1980s and was remodeled to its current configuration.