31st and Main Street

31st and Main Street

The Kansas City Streetcar Main Street extension will flank or pass through numerous historic districts as well as several individually listed National Register properties. A significant issue is the loss of the corridor’s remaining historic identity as a unique community within the Midtown area. Land assemblage and speculative development is underway, with various developers purchasing large swaths of commercial blocks on Main Street. As the corridor continues to be successful there will be more pressure on the historic buildings to be demolished to make way for large-scale development projects. Developers have now snapped up strategic corners at four of the six streetcar stops between downtown and the Country Club Plaza: 31st, 39th, and 45th streets, and Armour Blvd.

Although the Main Street Corridor is under the jurisdiction of the Main Street Special Character Overlay District, that status does not include demolition review. In addition, only select areas are included in local historic districts, which do necessitate demolition review. Other locations are without historic district protection, such as the corner of 31st and Main. A half-dozen properties have been acquired by an entity controlled by Price Brothers of Overland Park, including two structures identified by a KC Streetcar federal study as eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places: the 115 year-old Jeserich building, 3041-45 Main; and Lutfi’s Fried Fish, 3035-37 Main. The fate of these properties remains unknown. HKC remains ever watchful and has reached out to area stakeholders.