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Gracey Saavedra, Staff Writer • October 18, 2023

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The Plaza May Undergo New Ownership

UMKC students weigh in on what they’d like to see

  The Country Club Plaza has caught the eyes of out-of-state interests and spurred Texas-sized rumors of a buyout.

  With close-ties to Kansas City’s own Hunt family, HP Village Partners LP, a Dallas based company, has reportedly made imminent strides to acquire the property.

  The price of the transaction has not been disclosed and the purchase is tentative pending the buyer’s due diligence and closing.

  Home to more than 120 shops and eateries within a 15-block radius, the Country Club Plaza is known as the “Crown Jewel” of Kansas City. For some UMKC students, it is a gathering place for retail therapy, good food and nice views. 

  The shopping center lies within walking distance from the university, but some students aren’t sold on its use or value. 

  “I think freshmen and first-time students are kind of excited about it. But the Plaza has kind of gone downhill recently,” junior and strategic communications major Hunter Miesner said. “I think they have new management, or they have new owners, and it’s just not as fun as it used to be.” 

  Graduate student and nursing major Meraiah Kirtley says she doesn’t have a reason to go to the Plaza often, but she visits during the holidays. 

  “I like it when the Christmas lights are up to walk around down there,”  and Old Navy is like the only store I think I’ve bought stuff from,” Kirtley said. 

  Annual events like the Plaza Art Fair and the Christmas tree-lighting ceremony bring in large crowds from varying backgrounds but are too few and far between. 

  Kansas Citians have long speculated on changes they would like to see implemented in the area. 

  Kirtley said that ice skating would be a cool feature during the winter, as well as more events or activities for college students who want to do more than shopping during their breaks. 

  Since COVID, the Plaza’s future has been heavily scrutinized by the public due to empty storefronts, reports of crime and the repetitive failure to rehabilitate the shopping district to its former glory. 

 “I feel like they all target either like older audiences or tourists with all the KC merch stores,” Miesner said. “I know at one point they talked about putting in a Target. If they did that, that would be everything.”

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