Kansas City Council nixes plan to turn old Katz Drug Store into luxury apartments

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A proposal to turn the old Katz Drug Store location into a luxury apartment complex failed to garner the support necessary to pass at Thursday’s council meeting.

The Kansas City Council unanimously voted down the project after an attorney for Lux Living described a slimmed-down incentive package as a “non-starter,” according to Councilwoman Katheryn Shields.

The project drew strong opposition from some members of the community who showed up to the meeting with signs saying “Save Katz Drug Store.”

Shields, who supported the initial project, said an amendment offered by her 4th District colleague, Councilman Eric Bunch, made the project nonviable. Bunch’s amendment would have limited incentives and required public parking as well as income-based units.

Shields argued that the project was part of a historic preservation effort that would’ve saved the landmark clock tower. She said that the amendment was not consistent with previous policies for incentives set forth by the council.

“How does any developer know what kind of deal he should put together at City Hall if he can’t depend on the written policies set by the council?” Shields asked.

Others disagreed with that narrative and said they just didn’t like the project and that the city needs to focus on more affordable housing.

“I don’t like the project,” Councilman Kevin O’Neil said. “This is about luxury apartments, and we keep getting into historic preservation.”

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