KC transport authority to unveil ambitious office development plan

The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority and Briarcliff Development Co. are working with the city manager of Kansas City on an agreement to move forward with an ambitious office development proposal for the River Market.

One unusual aspect of the project: Briarcliff will seek an anchor tenant but has pledged not to engage in the economic development border war or poach a major company from right over the state line in Kansas.

The City Council’s Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee is set to discuss on Wednesday a cooperative agreement between the city, the transportation authority and the developer on plans to transform a surface parking lot at Third Street and Grand Boulevard. The goal is to build two new office towers along with a multimodal transportation hub, more retail and a new parking structure that could provide some park-and-ride spaces for bus and streetcar riders.

Briarcliff president Richie Benninghoven said the goal is to create a project that’s attractive enough to lure companies not currently located in Kansas City or the immediate metro area.

Benninghoven said the cooperative agreement approval would start a 270-day clock in which the parties hope to identify key anchor tenants and work out the financing details to make the project a reality.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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