Developer plans to refurbish historic Pickwick Plaza

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Construction cranes are finally moving again in downtown Kansas City at the site of a new project at 9th and McGee that could offer more living space.

Crews are about to bring the historic Pickwick Plaza back to life which used to be the home of the nation’s largest bus terminal.

Now, after years of sitting empty and dilapidated, it is about to go through a $46 million transformation.

Developer Tom Smith of Overland Park plans to restore and reconstruct the Pickwick into 261 one and two bedroom apartments. They will run up to $1,300, an affordable price point young professionals are looking for downtown.

Christina Boveri with Boveri Realty Group said that kind of real estate is in short supply downtown. She said there is only about a 5 percent vacancy rate downtown.

She said she gets 20 to 30 calls a day from buyers across the country, but in many cases has to turn them away.

The Pickwick, designed for young professionals, will fill up quickly.

“They’re not from Kansas City, but from Chicago, San Francisco, New York,” Boveri said. “There’s been a huge demand in Google Fiber.”

An indoor pool will be inset in what used to be the Pickwick’s bus terminal ramp and the lobby will be restored to the way it used to be in the 1930s.

“We’ll take you back to what it looked like in the glory days,” Smith said.

The Pickwick Plaza should be complete by summer of 2015.

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