KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The University of Missouri-Kansas City has big plans for property near the upcoming streetcar extension.
The university has issued a request for proposals to develop a 5-acre parcel of land near the south end of the Kansas City Streetcar extension at 51st Street and Brookside Boulevard.
UMKC Chancellor Mauli Agrawal said the university wants to develop the land, which sits between a campus parking garage and several local restaurants, into a campus and community destination.
The project could include retail and housing space, but the university is also looking to build a small 5,000-seat arena for events and UMKC basketball and volleyball games.
“Athletics is a critical component of this project, which will certainly enhance our facilities and position us well with our peer institutions,” Dr. Brandon Martin, UMKC athletics director, said in a news release.
“It will empower our athletics department and offer a tremendous experience for our student-athletes, as well as our student body, fans and community supporters while increasing the visibility of UMKC as the premier university in the region.”
UMKC’s existing athletics facility, the Swinney Center, was built in 1941. The university said it provides a quality environment for the Roos’ growing fan base, but it lacks modern amenities that athletes and fans expect.
The land is just steps from the intersection of East 51st Street and Brookside Boulevard, which will be the last stop on the Kansas City Streetcar’s 3.5-mile Main Street extension. The extension is expected to be finished in 2025.
The streetcar is also expanding north to the riverfront, and when both extensions are complete, Kansas Citians will be able to travel from Berkley Riverfront to the UMKC campus.