Downtown eyesores inch closer to demolition


Wrecking balls beckon two of downtown Kansas City, Missouri’s most hideous buildings.

Last month, the city council approved $150,000 to help pay for the cost of demolishing the Shoppers Parkade at 11th and Grand. A former parking garage with bail bonds offices on the ground floor, the dreary building attracts a rough element. At an Economic Development Corp. board meeting this morning, the agency’s executive director, Jeff Kaczmarek, said he witnessed four drug deals take place in the time it took to snap a few pictures of the dismal facade.

The city is also on the verge of toppling the old Greyhound bus terminal at 12th and Holmes. Its decline has been presided over by tobacco wholesaler and quarry owner Anthony Barber, who bought the building in the mid-1990s. Kaczmarkek described the building, long empty and frequently caked in pigeon poop, as “just an awful, awful place.”

The city filed a condemnation suit against Barber in 2007 in an effort force a sale. City Manager Wayne Cauthen said this morning that the city had acquired the building and was planning to recycle the concrete on the site, which is part of the new JE Dunn headquarters redevelopment.

After the meeting, I asked Cauthen what the city paid, but he wouldn’t divulge the price.

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