by Valerie Verkamp
Landmark assistant editor
The development of a brand new four-story hotel along the I-29 corridor in Platte County took a gigantic step forward Tuesday.
Roger Cassity with Renaissance Infrastructure Consulting sat before the City Plan Commission of Kansas City and requested approval to amend a preliminary plan.
The amendment will change a three-acre lot on the west side of NW Plaza Circle from a two-story office building to a four-story hotel.
The preliminary development proposal recently submitted calls for the construction of a 55,995 square foot hotel with approximately 102 rooms.
The rooms will range in size from a 309-square foot studio to a 592-square foot two-bedroom.
The proposed four-story hotel will be called Towneplace Suites by Marriott.
The hotel and related infrastructure will be located on the east side of Interstate 29, adjacent to Fairfield Inn by Marriott, not far from the airport exit off I-29.
The development plan allows for the construction of 150 parking stalls and a 30-foot easement along the west side of the lot for the construction of the KCI Corridor Trail, tentatively scheduled for construction next year.
The three-acre lot is part of the Gateway Plaza development originally formed in the 1970's for the edifice of approximately 213-acre tract of land on the east of Interstate 29.
Originally, the development planned called for the mixture of office, retail, commercial, and industrial, said Joseph Rexwinkle, a staff planner for the city of Kansas City.
“Over time, the plan has been amended multiple times to change the use designation on certain lots from the development of office or industrial uses to hotel uses,” said Rexwinkle.
Its high visibility location and proximity to the Kansas City International Airport has shown to be an attractive formula leading to the development of many area hotels.
Several lots west of Ambassador Drive, where most of the development lots are located, have been developed as hotels rather than office space as originally designed.
Currently, there are three full service hotels and four limited service hotels along Plaza Circle Drive.
In Platte County, there are 4,308 total hotel rooms and another 32,063 in the Kansas City, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri area.
Previously approved plans for the area in question allowed for the development of 1,224 hotel rooms, 835,920 sq. ft. of office space, 165,000 sq. ft. of commercial use, 1,086,000 sq. ft. of industrial uses, and 2,562 sq. feet of auto service uses.
Rexwinkle said the amended development does not exceed the previously approved number of hotel rooms.
“While the proposal results in an additional office lot being developed as a hotel, the total number of rooms in the development remains the same, therefore staff is supportive of the request subject to conditions,” wrote Rexwinkle in a recent staff report.
The building's exterior will consist of three colors of installation comprised mainly of stucco and fiber cement siding.
In its meeting at City Hall in downtown Kansas City Tuesday morning, the City Plan Commission unanimously approved the proposed amendment. A final development plan will be submitted to the commission at a later date.