Tony: What Will Become Of The West Edge?

This town’s long, horrible Plaza real estate nightmare seems to be at a conclusion today.

A project that has sat empty for more than a year has now been handed off to some other sucker. Now all of this town is left guessing as to what will become of the project.

I have a few thoughts that not only summarize the whole disaster but offer some hope for new alternatives.

After 18 months in Chapter 11 bankruptcy the beleaguered West Edge at 48th Street and Belleview has now been sold to developer Cecil Van Tuyl for a measly $9.5 million.

Without question, this entire disaster has been a testament to the hubris and lack of foresight from Kansas City’s business elite.

The funny thing in all of this is that most people behind the scenes blame local ad guru Bob Bernstein for the disaster. Before this mess the guy was widely admired in the local biz world as a bit of a pioneer. In the aftermath he’s established a reputation as an indecisive scatter brain dumped by one of this town’s most respected construction firms.

But I’m interested in the future.

Bernstein set up this project as a "multi-use" facility that would host an "Advertising Hall of Fame" that was mostly a tribute to his family’s company.

Luckily, the ad market is in the toilet never to return and the Internet has moved us beyond the age of advertising. So, scratch that idea.

The sad thing here is this part of The Plaza once housed some rather neat dwellings that provided character and population density to the Plaza. And the nasty looking new facade signals that Plaza livability is a thing of the past.

What to do in the aftermath?

Personally, I think they should turn the building into Section 8 housing and bring more diversity to the Plaza area and the last great real estate market in Kansas City.

But, I’m an optimist who believes in open markets and not the current stock market/taxpayer financed oligarchy that currently passes for capitalism.

So, maybe another casino could take the place of an advertising hall of fame?

Sure, there have been a few minor development successes in local real estate development but for the most part the casinos built with the blessing of Rev. Cleaver are the last big, Kansas City win. Playing on the hopes and dreams of suckers is really the only growth market during this current epoch of the Amercian Economy now that the manufacturing base has been completely decimated and services from the professional class can be accomplished much more cost effectively from India.

So, good luck to new West Edge owner Cecil Van Tuyl. He’s gonna need it.

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7 Responses to Tony: What Will Become Of The West Edge?

  1. Rainbow Man says:

    Ad Agency Gurus
    Ever notice that with Ad agents… it is always about what they have done in the past… not about what they are producing now. Talk about a pack of prima donna snots. Always acting so freaking cool, not working hard, and quoting outrageous disgusting rates.
    All Hat…. No Cattle.

  2. mark x says:

    … awesome!
    __"Personally, I think they should turn the building into Section 8 housing and bring more diversity to the Plaza area …"___ ____ _______ Bwahahaha … nice, Tony, wouldn’t that be awesome ! ! ___ ___ I hope you realize if some little old lady reads this and has a heart attack today, you’re going to be responsible.

  3. kcredsox says:

    Respected by whom?
    "one of this town’s most respected construction firms." I think if you ask quite a few former contractors that this "respected construction firm" has put out of business, you wouldn’t call them respected any more. This firm is one of the most corrupt in the nation, that’s how they got so big.

  4. kylerohde says:

    What a surprise, Tony makes up a bunch of stuff
    Tony – as usual, you’re completely full of it. The museum in the West Edge was to be the "Advertising Icon Museum" and would feature characters like the Michelin man, Ronald McDonald, Mr. Peanut, etc. Bernstein-Rein didn’t create any of those things so I’m not sure how it would be a tribute to them (though they did help create the Happy Meal – brilliant).

    The "ad market is in the toilet, never to return and the Internet has moved us beyond the age of advertising"? What kind of idiotic statement is that? Oh, we had a recession so people are never going to want to buy anything, ever again? Because that’s the only way there won’t be advertising. What do you think makes the Internet go ’round? Advertising. Google doesn’t exist without advertising. Yahoo doesn’t exist without advertising. You somehow getting paid to write this crap doesn’t exist without advertising.

    The sad part of this is that, Tony, you’re actually a talented journalist when you want to be but you spend 75% or more of your time being an idiot, which overshadows the times you have something valuable to say/share.

  5. MikeG says:

    For being a believer in an open market, you’re being a little too optimistic to hope that a building like that would accept a section 8 housing tenant. Van Tuyl is probably going to want to get a greater return for his investment, and that is not going to be found by turning the building into public housing.

  6. WildaBeest says:

    Tony all wet about wanting a Casino on the Plaza
    Duh, the law about casinos requires they be on a RIVER. Which Brush Creek or Flush Creek is not, even when it floods. If a river was not required, we would have long ago turned taxpayer drain Union Station into a casino.

  7. Rainbow Man says:

    happy meal anyone
    yes BR created the happy meal… woo hoo…. there are some people in the creative ad industry who work hard but most of them just overcharge you for their sheer "brilliance." why you are sweating it out… trying to boost sales so you can pay your ad agency… those dudes are already into their third one at the cashew by 2pm every friday.

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