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Kansas City's Country Club Plaza. Image: Public domain.

Country Club Plaza has new owners, announce upgrades

Kansas City’s iconic Country Club Plaza is getting a facelift. HP Village Management in Dallas has completed its purchase of the historic shopping district and plans to immediately begin renovations totaling more than $100 million.

“Our plan is to … transform it into what it used to be, which was a fabulous, internationally recognized piece of property,” Ray Washburne, president of HP Village Management, told “Dallas Business Journal.” “It’s spectacular. It’s just that for last few years, it had been over-indebted and kind of languished for years and years.”

The previous ownership group, a joint venture between The Macerich Co. and Taubman Centers, defaulted in May 2023 on $295.2 million in outstanding acquisition debt with lender Nuveen stemming from a $660 million acquisition in March 2016. Nuveen had solicited interest in a sale of the debt among local and national groups.

The improvements will include “a massive cleanup,” repaving streets, storefront upgrades, lighting, landscaping and re-tenanting the center, Washburne said. Preserving the architecture, enhancing existing structures and creating more pedestrian-friendly gathering places will be priorities.

Major tenants now include an Anthropology, Apple Store, Capital Grill, Cheesecake Factory, Coach, J. Crew, Sephora and Tiffany & Co., “We’re going to focus on contemporary brands, as well as a lot of luxury,” he said. “I can’t announce who they are today, but we’re going to upgrade the entire luxury collection.”

The new investors will work with local police to improve security at the property. “Security’s been an issue, like in a lot of cities, and it hasn’t really been addressed,” Washburne said. ”

Buying the Country Club Plaza is what Washburne considers “a legacy investment,” and he said several prominent families joined in the deal. The new owners have engaged multiple Kansas City-based architects to help with the master plan and design.

Leading leasing efforts is Stephen Summers, whose family co-owns HP Village Management. He said future visitors should expect a retail mix that includes the addition of unique local and national chef-driven food and beverage destinations and elevated fashion retail. “Country Club Plaza is a historic and world-class asset deserving of the best brands in the world, and we look forward to bringing them to Kansas City,” he said.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas and said the redeveloped plaza will deliver world-class shopping, more housing and office options and a safer environment.

“Today’s news ensures the Country Club Plaza will be a vibrant part of our community for generations,” he said. “I thank Ray Washburne and his team for confirming what many around the world are seeing. It is a great time to invest and do business in Kansas City.”

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice

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