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CONTACT: Vicki Noteis, Assistant City Manager, (816) 513-2865

Downtown Streetscape Plan selection committee to interview candidates

Kansas City residents can look forward to bold, exciting and creative public streetscape projects downtown.

An impressive list of consultant teams is competing to design Kansas City’s new Downtown Streetscape Plan. The plan will create bold, new streetscape standards for downtown.

More than $700 million in public and private investment is now underway in downtown Kansas City, including a new performing arts center, new urban residential projects, a new public library and a redesign of the interstate highway system that encircles the Downtown Loop.

“Because of all the new development happening downtown, the City, in partnership with the Downtown Council, sought multi-disciplinary consultant teams, with artists, urban designers, architects and engineers to design a bold and innovative new streetscape plan for downtown. This innovative and creative approach by the City has attracted well-known design firms from around the country and locally to interview for the project,” said City Manager Wayne Cauthen.

The consultant teams are:
EDAW, Denver
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago
Theis Doolittle Associates/Brent Bowman Associates, Kansas City, Mo.

Each of the consultant teams consists of subcontractors with impressive credentials also. The three consultant teams were selected from a field of eight respondents to the Request for Qualifications issued July 1 by the Downtown Council of Kansas City, in cooperation with the City Planning and Development Department. The deadline for responses was Aug. 1.

The three teams will be interviewed by a selection committee on Tuesday, Sept. 9. The selection committee consists of representatives of the Downtown Council, the City Plan Commission, the Metropolitan Arts Council, the Kansas City Art Institute, the Economic Development Corporation and City staff and elected officials.

The plan will include designing five funded streetscape improvement projects within the Downtown Loop. The five districts and one sub-district are:

Quality Hill/Garment District
Convention and Entertainment District
Government/Civic District – Eastside Residential District
Financial District
Library District

The physical appearance of streets and open spaces is a major factor in determining perceptions of downtown. Principle objectives for improving downtown’s streets include:
Reinforce Kansas City’s civic character
Establish unique and recognizable districts
Promote sidewalk activity and economic vitality
Provide for safe pedestrian movement
Maintain a sense of history
Incorporate public art opportunities
Create a safe and attractive environment
Integrate public transit facilities

The selected design team will perform the following functions:
Implement an energetic “citizen-based” planning process including creating a steering committee and facilitating public workshops.
Provide a comprehensive summary of the policies of existing plans within the area and create an implementation strategy.
Design the streetscape elements and products to be included to create people-oriented public space, including sidewalks, lighting, signage, screening, street furniture and amenities, public art, landscaping, gateways and transitions, and intersection improvements.
Create design and construction drawings for funded City streetscape projects within the Downtown Loop.

Downtown Streetscape RFQ Plan Consultant Teams

Theis Doolittle Associates/Brent Bowman Associates, Kansas City, Mo.:
RTKL, Baltimore, (Overall Planning and Design)
Ken Bloomer Studios, New Haven, Conn., (Art and Ornament)
E.A.T. Design, Kansas City, Mo., (Graphic Art and Branding)
SK Design Group, Overland Park, Kan., (Civil Engineering)
Custom Engineering, Independence, Mo., (Electrical and Plumbing Engineering)
Aqua Engineering, Fort Collins, Colo., (Irrigation and Fountain Engineering)
Schmitz, King & Associates, Olathe, Kan., (Surveying)

Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago:
Consoer, Townsend & Envirodyne, Inc, Nashville, Tenn., (Civil & Traffic Engineers)
Young and Dring, Overland Park, Kan., (Landscape Architecture)
Architectural and Historical Research, Kansas City, Mo., (Historic Consultant)
Phillips-West Public Relations, Kansas City, Mo., (Public Participation)
Schmitz, King & Associates, Olathe, Kan., (Land Surveyor)
Corbin Design, Traverse City, Mich., (Graphic Design and Way-Finding)

EDAW, Denver:
Patti Banks and Associates, Kansas City, Mo., (Public Participation and Landscape Architecture)
Taliaferro & Browne, Kansas City, Mo., (Hardscape Designs, Infrastructure Engineering and Quality Control)
Francis Krahe and Associates, San Francisco, (Lighting)
Hillier, Overland Park, Kan., (Environmental Graphics)
SiteWorks, Seattle, (Public Art)

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