KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A new owner may soon take over Kansas City’s iconic County Club Plaza.
The Kansas City Business Journal reports that HP Village Partners out of the Dallas, Texas, area is interested in buying the Plaza.
About a month ago, the Country Club Plaza’s owner defaulted on nearly $300 million in debt.
Now the group reportedly interested in buying the Plaza has ties to the Hunt family, who own the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I have great respect for the group that has been rumored to be taking over,” Mayor Quinton Lucas said outside the city council chambers Wednesday.
HP Village Partners and the Plaza’s current owner, Michigan-based Taubman, aren’t commenting.
The potential buyer includes Ray Washburne. His wife Heather is a great-granddaughter of H.L. Hunt. One of H.L.’s sons was Lamar, who founded the Kansas City Chiefs.
Lucas said he would welcome another connection to the Hunt family.
“In terms of critiques that I think you’ve heard over recent years is the fact that perhaps the ownership groups on the Plaza weren’t as responsive, weren’t as intrigued with that very unique Kansas City story that is the Country Club Plaza,” he said.
FOX4 also talked with David Westbrook, a member of the Plaza District Council Board of Directors.
“This ownership group is a group that has very deep understanding of this kind of retail destination,” Westbrook said.
He also added the group has deep resources.
“They know what it will take in terms of investment to get the return that they want, they deserve and the community is looking for,” Westbrook continued. “Most important of all, they have deep pockets.”
“I think it’s exciting,” Plaza shopper Amy Powell said Wednesday. “I think we need to bring some new life back to the Plaza.”
Powell thinks rental prices have been too high and COVID-19 impacted the number of shoppers who came here during the pandemic.
“I think it’s become a place of respite for the homeless people and a place for a lot of youth to express frustration through violence,” she continued.
That kind of thing concerns Plaza resident Sasmith Kaligatla.
“To whom isn’t it. To whom isn’t it,” Kaligatla said in an interview with FOX4 Wednesday. “So, in the daytime I feel pretty safe traveling in the busses and everything. Once night falls, it’s a complete different story.”
Any changes HP Village Partners would make to the Country Club Plaza are not yet known.