FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Sept. 12, 2016
The plan to convert Kemper Arena into a regional mega-center for amateur youth and adult sports is gaining momentum now that the National Park Service is adding the iconic venue to the National Register of Historic Places.
City officials made the formal announcement today in front of the 42-year-old arena, praising the listing and introducing Mosaic Life Care as the named sponsor for the renovation.
Foutch Brothers, a development company which specializes in historic renovations, will develop the arena for future use. Steve Foutch, managing partner for the company, said the rebranding process is well underway as is the search for other major tenants to occupy space in the arena.
Kemper Arena has been used sparingly since 2007, but this listing qualifies it for historic tax credits, a key part of the financing for the visionary plan to repurpose Kemper for a host of regional sports events, including indoor soccer, basketball, gymnastics, volleyball and dance.
“I think we have a good win-win option for the community,” City Councilman Scott Taylor said at today’s press conference. “The development of the West Bottoms is absolutely on the rise and this should only make that process happen quicker.”
Rick Birkner, president of the Kansas City, Missouri, market for Mosaic, said the on-site health clinic will be one of the major community amenities for West Bottoms citizens and business owners.
“This aligns well with our vision of transforming community wellness into an active part of people’s lives,” Birkner said.
The move means taxpayers also will benefit because the City will no longer have to absorb the $1 million annual maintenance expense nor the estimated $10 million cost to demolish the arena, which means that money can be allocated for other city services.
Please contact Councilman Taylor with questions at 816-835-7041.