More than 100 people turned out Wednesday night to tour Kemper Arena, and many in the crowd endorsed Foutch Brothers’ proposal to convert the mothballed public building into a regional hub for amateur youth and adult sports.
“I am so appreciative of this,” Northland resident Louise Jones said of the city’s recommendation that Foutch Brothers be allowed to acquire and repurpose the West Bottoms relic.
The plan is far from a done deal, and many financial details still must fall into place, acknowledged Steve Foutch, managing partner of the development company that specializes in historic renovations. But City Council members said they were hopeful this is the right solution for Kemper Arena, which as recently as last year seemed destined for the wrecking ball.
“This is one important step closer to the preservation of this historic local landmark,” said Councilwoman Katheryn Shields, a member of the selection committee that chose Foutch over Wichita-based Steven Brothers Sports Management Co.
If all goes as hoped, the new Foutch facility could be redeveloped by the end of 2017 at an estimated cost of $25 million to $30 million.
Read more: Kansas City Star