Kansas City, developers planning vibrant green space for overhauled Barney Allis Plaza

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KANSAS CITY, Mo -- Kansas City plans to transform Barney Allis Plaza into an active green space.

The vision includes lively festivals, outdoor markets and seasonal activities. It's meant for people who live in the area, visitors and others who work nearby.

"That would be awesome if they remodeled all this stuff," said Douglas Aguilar, who works nearby. "On my lunch break I can be able to go and do something. I can learn or go play around and just have just like a peaceful time."

Leaders of the redevelopment project in downtown Kansas City held an open house Monday, gathering input from the community.

"I know there have been hammocks over by the Kauffman. It would be great to do something like that here," KC resident Melissa Rich said. "Some place for the dogs would be awesome. Just a nice safe place to come be."

A 2017 report on the condition of the Auditorium Plaza Parking Garage below showed extensive deterioration of sidewalks, curbs and water leaks, among other things.

Studies have recommend demolishing the garage, re-constructing it with less parking spaces and finding above-ground spaces close to the Kansas City Convention Center. The studies show replacing all 970 parking spaces in the garage would not be cost-efficient for the city.

"I could see how it would impact events that happen at the convention center, but as somebody who lives downtown, I don't really see how it would impact it that much," Rich said. "There's so much parking every place else that's close within walking distance."

As for the "above-ground" parking, the city recently entered into an agreement to purchase the area known as "the Carpenter Site" or 1200 Broadway, according to the Barney Allis Redevelopment website.

The plan is to use all or a portion of it to provide parking to the convention center.

Construction at Barney Allis is planned start about July or September 2020 and is expected to be complete by late 2022.

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