City Hires HOK for 18th & Vine Revitalization; Architecture and planning firm providing new direction for District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 8, 2018
The City of Kansas City has selected HOK’s Kansas City practice to work with the 18th & Vine Development Policy Committee, City staff, district residents, business owners, and visitors on the planning, architecture and marketing of the 18th & Vine Historic District.
“When we went looking for a partner to help us fully realize the 18th & Vine District in Kansas City, we knew we wanted a strong, inclusive approach to fit our needs,” Third District City Councilman Jermaine Reed said. “In HOK we have found a collaborative and experienced professional team, and together we continue the work toward a successful and sustainable 18th & Vine.”
Best known in Kansas City for its role in the design of Sprint Center and the Kansas City Power & Light District, HOK’s Kansas City studio has helped revitalize downtown Kansas City by designing more than 8 million square feet of urban space including sports, entertainment, office, mixed-use and civic projects. Named the second-largest architecture firm in Kansas City by the Kansas City Business Journal, HOK is an award-winning global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.
HOK’s Phase One scope of work on the City-led 18th & Vine Improvements Plan includes developing branding and branding guidelines, website development and digital design, market and opportunity assessment, feasibility assessment, cultural district and entertainment destination benchmark research, and assisting with priority projects.
“We’re looking forward to the opportunity to energize one of Kansas City’s most important and historic districts through creative planning and design,” said HOK’s Regional Director of Planning Lynn Hoffman Carlton. “In partnership with District stakeholders, the community, and City staff, the first phase of our collaborative efforts involves establishing criteria for what successful growth and vibrancy in the District moving forward will look like.”
HOK teamed up with several firms for the project, which include:
- Taliaferro & Browne – 18th & Vine District knowledge and civil engineering
- HR&A – real estate and economic development
- Single Wing – website development
- Strata – preservation architecture
- Red Quill Communications – strategic communications
- Parson + Associates – communications and community outreach
“Given our long history and deep involvement at 18th & Vine, we were glad to partner with HOK. We see this as an opportunity to continue to shape the District through planning efforts that augment the current streetscape and infrastructure projects already underway by our firm,” Taliaferro & Browne President Leonard Graham said. “The project team will gather data, interview stakeholders, analyze land use, and review historic conditions, community and retail character, vision, market conditions, and development potential.”
The goal is to re-envision and re-generate the 18th & Vine District; provide positive vision, community engagement, cultural and entertainment destination for citizens and visitors; position 18th & Vine as a live, work, play and entertainment area; and increase the walkability of the district’s future shops, apartments, and entertainment. The project is also expanding amenities for young professionals seeking an urban lifestyle and housing, and a variety of retail. The work is also about improving the three cultural museum destinations and supporting the MLB Urban Youth Academy.
After the 18th & Vine Development Policy Committee was sworn in on June 6, 2017, and selected Councilman Reed as its chair, the committee worked with City staff and determined the City should hire a planning, architectural, and marketing partner. In determining its vision, the committee concluded it would work to develop an inclusive and safe world-class entertainment district, while maintaining the cultural and historic aspects at 18th & Vine.
“There is great excitement among the members of the 18th & Vine Development Policy Committee and a sense that we are in very good hands with HOK,” Committee member and Regional President for Liberty Bank Sidney King said. “Together, we will apply the best of private- and public-sector thinking to deliver projects that do not leave the original community behind and ensure a sustainable district for generations ahead.”
Immediately following the 18th & Vine Development Policy Committee meeting that takes place at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 3, HOK is inviting members of the community to join an after-work, family friendly Community Input Session:
- WHO: Open to everyone
- WHEN: Tuesday, April 3 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
- WHERE: The Atrium of the American Jazz Museum, 1616 E. 18th St.
- WHAT: An update on progress, introduction of topics and concepts, gathering public opinion on issues, and increasing excitement around the District.
“The HOK team’s Community Input Sessions are opportunities to gather public input and feedback,” Carlton said. “We welcome the chance to go into depth with members of the community on important issues for the design of the 18th & Vine District.”
More information is available on the City’s website, where community members can sign up for project updates. Feedback on what the public wants to do, see, and hear in the 18th & Vine District can be shared at KCMOmentum.
For more information, please contact City Communications Director Chris Hernandez, 816-513-3474, City Architect Eric P. Bosch, AIA, 816-513-2517, or City Councilman Jermaine Reed, 816-513-6513.
Legislation was introduced to the City Council in December 2015 and approved in January 2016 directing the City Manager to develop an Action Plan to invest in the 18th & Vine Historic District creating a successful commercial and residential destination, an attraction, with an infusion of bond proceeds, private donations, and other tax incentives. In July 2016 the City approved funding for Phase 1 of a larger $27.6 million, three-phase plan to improve the 18th & Vine Historic District, allocating $7 million for Phase 1 projects. The City and the 18th & Vine Development Policy Committee are currently overseeing multiple projects, and in 2017 construction on several projects commenced. To date completed projects include building restoration and stabilization, property acquisition, and finishing the Outdoor Amphitheater – Great Lawn project. In addition, the City has hired a Leasing Agent Firm and a Property Management Firm.