Kansas City Council approves two downtown hotel projects despite criticism

Despite protests from a citizens watchdog group, the Kansas City Council on Thursday unanimously gave the green light to public financing plans for two downtown area hotel projects.

Colorado-based Delta Quad Holdings plans to convert the 95-year-old former home of the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City into a 301-room Embassy Suites hotel. In the Crossroads district, Aparium Hotel Group of Chicago and the investment firm Agman Partners plan to turn the historic Pendergast and Pbast Brewing Co. buildings into a 125-room boutique hotel.

The quick approval procedure averted the possibility of a petition drive like the one that toppled the plan by BNIM architects this year to relocate its headquarters into the Crossroads district. No similar effort was proposed to fight these two hotel projects, but critics said the public deserved time to consider that option and blasted the council’s move.

Council member Katheryn Shields said the procedure used to pass the projects was not unusual and has been invoked dozens of times on other ordinances. In this instance, she said, both developers were facing tight deadlines with regard to financing.

Both hotel projects,which aim to bring back like to buildings that have been vacant for years, will receive tax breaks and other government assistance. Both projects were also advanced by the council’s Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Council Committee on Wednesday.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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