Pennway Point proposal would add Ferris wheel to downtown

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Image Credit Above: A rendering of how Pennway Point’s entertainment proposition looks south. (Rendering | 3D Development/Pixel Foundry)

An entertainment district at the south end of the Broadway Viaduct that would include a 170-foot Ferris wheel, a neon sign museum and food is the latest downtown proposal from developer Vince Bryant.

The “Pennway Point” proposal is in the initial planning stages and would involve the renovation of the former Carter Waters Industrial Building at 2440 West Pennway and adjoining parking lots.

Bryant, whose company 3D Development is pursuing several other major projects in the nearby Freight House neighborhood as well as renovating the former Kansas City Star Building, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday but released a statement.

“As with many 3D projects, they are reimagining a very unique industrial collection of buildings into amusement park and gathering space that KC lacks,” the statement said.

The proposed location of the Pennway Point development includes this car park and the former Carter Waters Building pictured along the West Pennway Viaduct. (Kevin Collison | Flat Earth)

The Pennway Point project would also be a jumping-off point for another venture Bryant was pursuing called the Greenline Trail. The proposed recreational path for cyclists and pedestrians would circle the downtown area.

Elements of the Pennway Point concept include:

  • A 170-foot-tall Ferris wheel with heated and cooled gondolas that would be operated year-round by a separate company, Icon Experiences. Icon is also offering an outdoor miniature golf course as part of the project.
  • A home for the LUMI indoor and outdoor neon museum continued by Nick Vedros.
  • A “tailgate park” with garden games.
  • Redevelopment of the former 100-year-old Carter Waters building into a mixed-use space that could include a restaurant and indoor/outdoor rooftop patio.

A future phase could include a new 28,000 square foot building with residential units and retail on the first floor; a brasserie, tasting room and covered beer garden, and a “burger joint” in a renovated 1908 brick depot building with lounges, live music stage and billiards.

A preliminary application to the Planning Department estimated the cost of the first phase of Pennway Point at $25.3 million.

Another view of the Pennway Point development looking north towards downtown.
Another view of the Pennway Point development looking north towards downtown. (Rendering | 3D Development/Pixel Foundry)

The proposed six-acre development site would be located directly across West Pennway from the massive IRS processing center and approximately three blocks east of the Boulevard Brewery complex. It would also be close to Union Station.

A virtual “flyover” of the proposal can be viewed here.

Pennway Point is one of several development proposals in the vicinity of Crossroads being pursued by 3D Development.

Other planned upgrades are:

  • Freight House Village, a 230-unit residential plan at 20th and Walnut, and the renovation of former Superior Storage buildings at 2020 Walnut into offices.
  • the Podium office and hotel tower near 20th and Main.
  • the Village square mixed-use redevelopment in the 19th century and Walnut.

Work on another major project, the $95 million renovation of the former Kansas City Star Building into a mixed-use project called “Grand Place,” has been on hold for the past two years after interior demolition work was completed. .

Bryant also earned incentive approval for all 193 units Apartment project follow-up at 22nd and Fort Scott Streets, but is now being built by Milhaus, an Indianapolis-based apartment developer.

Bryant successfully remodeled the 10 floors Corrigan Train Station building at 18th and Walnut in offices in partnership with Copaken Brooks. This $41 million project opened in 2016. It has also partnered with Copaken for a new $11 million office annex in Corrigan.

His other previous Crossroads projects were the redevelopment of the historic Candle Building at 2101 Broadway and the historic Creamery Building at 2100 Central.

Nick Vedros, the founder of the LUMI Neon Museumexpressed confidence that 3D Development will be able to follow through on its Pennway Point plan.

“We feel pretty good and it’s going to happen,” he said.

Eli Stovall, Managing Partner of Icon experiments, said his company is considering bringing its Ferris wheel-based entertainment concept to Kansas City. It operates similar concepts at Union Station in St. Louis and the National Port near Washington D.C.

“We believe the entertainment experience we develop and operate is a natural fit,” he said. “We are thrilled to work with Vince and the 3D team.”

Flatland contributor Kevin Collison is the founder of CityScene KCan online source for downtown news and issues.

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