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West Edge Project


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A proposal was made a few months back on a 10 floor office tower plus retail in the Country Club Plaza. It will be close to the border between Missouri & Kansas (hence, West Edge)

This is a business journal article on the project. We haven't heard much since November.

From the November 14, 2003 print edition

Off-Plaza project close to big tenant

Jim Davis

Staff Writer

Developer Ray Braswell said he expects to sign a big office tenant before the year ends to anchor Roanoke Manor LLC's $79 million West Edge project immediately west of the Country Club Plaza.


Braswell wouldn't identify the prospect. He said the company would move from elsewhere in the metro area but isn't coming from Downtown or the suburbs.

Lease negotiations are for 130,000 square feet, Braswell said. This space could house 500 employees.

The 200,000-square-foot West Edge office building could open in a little more than two years, Braswell said.

Preparations are to proceed simultaneously on building a boutique hotel with about 100 rooms and 28,000 square feet of restaurants and stores. They would open at the same time as the office building.

Braswell said that he is the West Edge's development manager and that he's part of a group developing the hotel and restaurant-retail space. The former construction company executive declined to identify the group's other members but said he expected to reveal them before the year ends.

Marcus Hotels and Resorts has bid to manage the hotel, Braswell said. Milwaukee-based Marcus owns the Hotel Phillips in Downtown. Braswell said he's also talking to several other prospective operators.

Winston Hotels Inc.'s plans to convert the now-empty Park Lane Apartments into a hotel aren't conflicting, Braswell said. The Park Lane, 4600 J.C. Nichols Parkway, is on the east side of the Plaza.

Braswell said he expects the Park Lane to become a Courtyard by Marriott or similar brand, not a boutique hotel.

"We had always planned on that being there," he said.

Winston officials could not be reached. The real estate investment trust (NYSE: WXH) is based in Raleigh, N.C.


Braswell wants to sign retail and restaurant tenants that can't locate on the Plaza because of the Plaza's exclusivity rules, which restrict category duplication.

Barry Brady, a senior vice president of Highwoods Properties Inc., said he welcomes the West Edge because it would bring more people to the Plaza. Highwoods (NYSE: HIW), a real estate investment trust also based in Raleigh, owns the Plaza.

Braswell said he wants to sign the West Edge's office anchor before leasing other space.

The West Edge also is to include a 900-space underground garage. Tax increment financing, approved in the spring, will reimburse the construction cost.

The garage would cost about $16 million, or $18,000 a space.

TIF diverts taxes generated by a project to offset the cost of public improvements such as parking garages. Roanoke Manor would receive TIF proceeds after they're generated.

Cecil Van Tuyl owns the West Edge. In 1998, neighbors' opposition thwarted Van Tuyl's earlier plans for a denser development of the 2.4-acre site, bounded by Ward Parkway, 48th Street, Belleview Avenue and Roanoke Parkway.

Van Tuyl will retain ownership of Roanoke Manor, but his role could change, Braswell said.

Van Tuyl could not be reached for comment.

Reach Jim Davis at 816-421-5900 or [email protected]


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Bernstein-Rein pursues Plaza development


The Kansas City Star

Bernstein-Rein Advertising, the region's largest ad agency, is plunging into the development business and plans to build a corporate headquarters, hotel and retail project near the Country Club Plaza.

The firm expects to break ground this fall on an $80 million development that will occupy most of the block between Roanoke Road and Belleview Avenue, from Ward Parkway to 48th Street. It is purchasing the prime property from businessman Cecil Van Tuyl for an undisclosed price, and has hired developer Raymond Braswell to oversee the project.

Braswell won city approval a year ago for a development plan for the site called the West Edge. Robert Bernstein, the president and chief executive of the 300-employee firm, currently located in the Plaza West building at 4600 Madison St., was so impressed with the development he is buying it and has put Braswell on his payroll as director of real estate development.

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