More than a century ago, William Rockhill Nelson had a vision for creating a world-class newspaper that would be produced in a truly world-class building. He spared no detail, no expense, and cut no corners in design, materials and construction of the Kansas City Star building. By every measure, from the Italian bricks, terra cotta tiles, and inlaid Carrera marble, he created a truly grand place.
A BUILDING WITH MORE THAN A CENTURY OF STORIES
The two buildings, listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, were designed in 1911 by renowned Chicago architect, Jarvis Hunt, also the designer of Kansas City's Union Station and Commerce Bank Tower. Most recently, the buildings were the home to the Kansas City Star newspaper company, founded by William Rockhill Nelson.
Nelson had a grand vision for these buildings, importing materials from Italy, including bricks, terra cotta roof panels, and marble. As was the style in early 20th century design and construction, the buildings feature brick perimeter walls, hardwood floors and board-formed concrete columns and ceilings. The entire structural framework of the buildings is riveted steel columns and beams. Hunt designed the spaces to receive abundant natural lighting from tall windows and skylights as electricity was in its infancy in the early 1900s.
Although the historic buildings have been modified over the years, in the redevelopment process, we found that the original bones are still intact. Using original architectural plans, we uncovered some of the most dynamic spaces in Kansas City, with 30-foot-high ceilings in the old pressroom, 40-foot-high ceilings in the 3rd-4th floor finishing room and hidden skylights in both the east and west buildings. A vertical water tower and two former radio tower bases create one-of-a-kind rooftop office suites with great views.
GRAND PLACE IN PROGRESS
After more than a year of clean up and demolition to adapt these historic spaces for new uses, Grand Place is now a clean slate for 21st century office space, areas to meet, collaborate and enjoy.
GRAND PLACE AMENITIES
The historic and rarely seen pressroom on the ground floor of the east building will be a European-style market and food hall with 20 kiosk kitchens, a bar, lounge and a coffee cafe with patio overlooking the outdoor plaza.
This bustling environment will have a main corner entry from the plaza, with great visibility from the street. Dramatic 30' high ceilings, original wood flooring and abundant light pouring through two-story windows will make this space truly special.
With more than 250,000 square feet of space, Grand Place has a variety of sizes available. Spaces range from 2,000 square feet up to 40,000 square feet, perfect for start-ups or a new, energetic headquarters. Additionally, small office suites with shared common amenities is expected.
Finishes will feature a variety of existing materials including brick, concrete and steel. Modern updates will create a beautiful dichotomy between old and new.
Abundant amenities throughout the buildings include: 4,700 SF rooftop patio with skyline views, an equally-sized clubroom serving breakfast and lunch to tenants and guests only, common meeting rooms, lounge spaces, concierge services and more. The availability of on-site parking, access to entertainment and the rest of downtown KC will be unparalleled.
Deep in the basement, you'll find perhaps the most intriguing space at Grand Place, the former Boiler Room. With soaring ceilings, a suspended glass lap pool, and a sauna in the base of the building's 80-foot boiler tower, the new Boiler Room will be the best escape in the city.
Members will have access to an upscale barbershop, salt soaking tubs, full service spa, lounge and locker room with a private Grand Boulevard entrance via a direct elevator and a terrazzo staircase.