Demolition of Royale Inn begins

By Paul Thompson

Northeast News

March 20, 2017

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – The $12 million Paseo Gateway Project took a major step forward on the morning of Monday, March 20, as the long-gestating demolition of the Royale Inn motel finally began.

More than a year after the Kansas City, Missouri City Council announced plans to approve the $2.7 million purchase and demolition of the motel, the project began in symbolic fashion with the tear-down down of the infamous Royale Inn sign. For 1st District Councilman Scott Wagner, it was a special moment that was a long time in the making.

“This is a gratifying moment, to see the completion of a discussion that started in 2011, knowing that a lot of things had to come together,” said Wagner. “There’s an old saying that sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good; I kind of feel a little bit of both today.”

KCMO Mayor Sly James was also on hand for the proceedings, during which Bobbi Baker-Hughes of the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce gifted him an honorary key to the former Ramada Inn that once stood on the site. James noted that the demolition of the Royale Inn marked the beginning of a new era in the Historic Northeast.

“For years this building has been the center of illegal activity, vandalism, and all sorts of nefarious deeds,” said James. “That changes today.”

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences (KCUMB) also took part in the ceremony, as Public Relations and Outreach Manager Elizabeth Alex discussed the role that the University has taken in revitalizing the Paseo Gateway area. Alex noted that the University’s involvement in the project began with a joint commission between Mayor Sly James and KCUMB President Marc B. Hahn. KCUMB took the first step forward when, in 2015, the school purchased and demolished the former Capri Motel located on Independence Avenue.

“KCU is honored to be working with the city to revitalize the Paseo Gateway and this neighborhood to its original grandeur,” said Alex.

The City of Kansas City, Missouri completed the acquisition of the Royale Inn in August of 2016. The site was purchased for $1.8 million plus closing costs on Friday, July 29, the deed was signed on Monday, August 1, and the building was secured by Wednesday, August 3. Now more than seven months later, the demolition will pave the way for the eventual $5 million realignment of the intersection at Independence Ave. and The Paseo.

The realignment – a key aspect of the Paseo Gateway Project – is expected to improve connectivity between downtown Kansas City and neighborhoods on the city’s east side, including the Historic Northeast. It’s all part of the $30 million Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Choice Neighborhoods Grant program, which was awarded in 2015 to help revitalize the area. The Choice Neighborhoods Grant also includes the relocation of residents from the Chouteau Court housing complex to new housing within the Paseo Gateway area.

“The monies are all together for us to begin the rebuilding of this area. Again, what really drove part of this project are the safety improvements that were identified back in 2003,” said Wagner. “This deals with the infrastructure, we’ve got development coming as part of the Gateway project, so I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to put all of this together in an interlocking puzzle that results in something far greater than anyone ever imagined.”

Comments are closed.

  • Northeast Newscast Episode 26 – the state of Pendleton Heights w/ PHNA President Jessica Ray

    September 15th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On this week’s episode of the Northeast Newscast, managing editor Paul Thompson talk with Pendleton […]


    Actress Mackenzie Phillips talks opioid addiction with KCU students

    September 14th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Actress Mackenzie Phillips opened up to Kansas City University (KCU) students about her past issues […]


    Activists meet in downtown KC to oppose election integrity commission

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Several dozen activists gathered at the north end of Ilus Davis Park in downtown Kansas […]


    Floods Ravaged Plaza – 40 Years ago this week

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    By Michael Bushnell Northeast News Kansas City is known far and wide as a “river town.” Being a river town […]


    Pendleton Flats Now Leasing

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The Pendleton Flats apartments near the intersection of Independence and Brooklyn Avenues are now leasing […]


  • Kansas City angling for second Amazon headquarters

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News Kansas City is hoping it can be a prime contender for Amazon’s second national headquarters. […]


    Clarkson Construction hosts introduction for Edgemoor team

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News The City of Kansas City, Missouri’s Procurement Selection Committee has given the edge in the […]


    Parks Dept working to repair Benton Memorial Plaque

    September 13th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News In December of 2010 a scrap metal thief made off with a number of bronze and copper plaques […]


    Northeast Newscast Episode 25 – Reflecting on six months at the East Patrol Division with Major Jim Thomas

    September 8th, 2017
    by

    By Paul Thompson Northeast News On this week’s edition of the Northeast Newscast, KCPD East Patrol’s Commander, Major Jim Thomas, […]


    Updates on two local homicides

    September 6th, 2017
    by

    Northeast News   Cliff Drive homicide victim identified An August 16 homicide victim has been identified by the Kansas City, […]


  • J.E. Dunn Bid Solicitation

  • What’s Happening

    Independence Avenue CID

    retorts illustrated by bryan stalder

    Benton Circle: The Early Days

    By MICHAEL BUSHNELL Northeast News This week, we feature a card John Straley published between 1925-1930 titled “The Benton Circle,” […]

  • Local Weather

  • [Advertisement.]