Keynesian economics be damned, there are a great many reasons why this project is doomed to be just another failure from this town’s monied-class for which the rest of The City will have to pay.
Everybody loves something shiny but the financial reality is that this bit of costume jewelry is more like an albatross around the neck of more organic local development. Rather than play cheerleader, let’s look at the Kauffmann PAC skeptically since no other media outlet seems to be up to the task.
First of all, the economic boost from building the thing has been insignificant. Most construction jobs go to suburbanites and I look around the place and hardly ever see a person of color participating in the construction. I’m sure they could claim otherwise but they haven’t really bothered to because in general KC resents FEDERAL LAW that requires equal participation.
In terms of gentrification, the promise of the PAC has already brought real estate speculators to neighboring communities and driven poor people form their homes. Luckily, since the bottom fell out of the American housing market and things are still looking gloomy, a lot of these people deservedly lost their shirt.
And most importantly, Kansas City just doesn’t need ANOTHER big performance hall especially for fine arts.
What’s happening now is that all of the local elite are abandoning the Lyric and that grand old building just might turn into rubble soon.
Even worse, this silly looking structure is going to sit empty as well after the novelty wears off. Why? Because this is a backward country music town. Tell me that we’re building a huge barn in the middle of the City where people of color aren’t allowed or don’t even want to venture. The tell me that only the latest Taylor Swift garbage and other Country music tripe is on the musical menu and I’ll agree, THAT is a recipe for success.
On the other hand, this big mass of Cowtown snobbery seems doomed, and the stupid building with a parking lot subsidized by Kansas City taxpayers seems like just more bad planning and misplaced priorities from this town’s leadership.