Historic Kansas City building set for hotel conversion

US: The Gumbel Building in Kansas City is set to be converted in to a boutique hotel by developer Mark Patel.

The six-storey 1904 building, at Eighth and Walnut streets, was designed by renowned Kansas City architect John W. McKecknie. Patel plans to spend $5 million converting it in to a 70-room hotel with an open lobby, meeting space and a fitness centre.

Patel said: “It’s a historic building and I want to keep its historic value. I’m pretty excited about it. There’s a lot of ornate work.”

The building’s Italianate exterior features terra cotta, huge windows and decorative Roman eagles at the corners. It was built by Henry C. Gumbel, president of the Standard Scale & Foundry Co.

Preliminary demolition work is already underway, and architect WGB Associates of Kansas City has been hired. Patel is seeking financing as well as state and historic tax credits, and is close to naming an operator for the property.

Sean O’Byrne, vice president of business development at the Kansas City Downtown Council, said: “We’re extremely excited about this opportunity for a midrange hotel in downtown. We think it will bode well for business travellers and families in for the weekend to attend events at the Sprint Center. We’re also thrilled about the redevelopment of a landmark building. The location between the City Market and entertainment district puts it in a good position.”

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