Phil Kirk, catalyst in revitalization of downtown KC, dies at 76

Phil Kirk, retired chairman of DST Realty, accepts the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce's Kansas Citian of the Year Award in November 2013. | Courtesy of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce
Phil Kirk  accepts the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce’s Kansas Citian of the Year Award in 2013. | Courtesy of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce

Phil Kirk, the retired chairman of DST Realty Inc. and a key figure in the revitalization of downtown Kansas City real estate, died Thursday. He was 76. Last November, Kirk was recognized by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce as the Kansas Citian of the Year, the organization’s highest honor.

Starting as an antitrust lawyer in Kansas City, Kirk soon turned to his real interest: real estate and the redevelopment of crumbling downtown area. Kirk led DST to implement the West Side Strategy, which included the historic rehabilitation and new construction of 38 buildings, 2.3 million square feet of office space and 7,495 parking spaces downtown’s west side.

Kirk also worked on various charitable causes after he retired, including the expansion of the American Cancer Society’s Hope Lodges.

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