CBC News

Posted on Jan. 24th 2022

2021 Capstone Awards: Community impact — The UG and The Merc Co+op Grocery Store

Kansas City Business Journal – October 2, 2021

Players: CBC Real Estate Group, developer; International Architects Atelier, architect; BHC, Bob D. Campbell & Co., Henderson Engineers, engineers; McCownGordon Construction, general contractor

Description: The Unified Government, as owner and developer, built a full-service grocery store with The Merc Co+op as the operator in a food desert in downtown. The store provides healthy and affordable products to the surrounding multicultural urban demographic.

Design strategies: The Downtown Master Plan required the building to be a certain height with pedestrian scale. Raising the height of the center mass of the building allowed for a taller parapet wall to screen all rooftop equipment from public view. In addition, ample storefront glazing was provided at the main building storefronts along Minnesota Avenue and Fifth Street.

“This allowed for sufficient natural daylight to filter into the grocery retail space and for an interior/exterior relationship to take place along the pedestrian walkways,” said Jordan Lake, associate with International Architects Atelier.

Creative considerations: The entry contains a generous overhang to protect customers during inclement weather and also allows for a covered area for a Farmer’s Market.

“The overhang wraps around the north elevation along Minnesota Avenue, providing a sidewalk canopy and required pedestrian scale to the larger building masses of the grocery store,” Lake said.

Challenges: The building orientation and site topography required a well-planned parking lot to comply with the ADA and a loading area to serve the operations for deliveries.

Green features: The project included areas of pervious parking lot pavers to allow rainwater to permeate into an underdrain system. Water cisterns provide storage for rainwater from the roof; it is used to irrigate the landscaping.

Chelan David

Location: 501 Minnesota Ave., Kansas City, Kansas

Size: 13,952 square feet

Value: $8 million

(816) 210-3728  •  www.cbcrealestategroup.com