Shawnee Mission Parkway building will include performance and event space; cafe open to public

The 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway building will house performance space and a cafe.
The 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway building will house performance space and a cafe.

A newly renovated building at the corner of State Line Road and Shawnee Mission Parkway won’t be just an office building. It also will be a performance space, an event space and include a cafe and a restaurant.

The Mission Woods Board of Zoning Appeals Tuesday approved a Special Use Permit to allow the changes. Steve Karbank of Karbank Real Estate showed the board plans that include a small performance space seating about 125, a larger event space that can seat 225 at round tables or 270 for a concert or lecture, a cafe that will be open to the public as well as tenants in the building, food catering facilities and a restaurant on the third floor that will be operated as a private lunch club.

The performance spaces and catering will be on the first floor, the cafe on the second floor – which also is the entry floor from the north side of the building – and the restaurant on the third floor.

Karbank owns both the 1900 Shawnee Mission Parkway building where the renovations are taking place and 2000 Shawnee Mission Parkway which has already been renovated and leased. Karbank said his company and family already have been holding events in the 2000 building. “We’ve had music. We’ve had food. It’s all high quality,” he said.

A long list of arts organizations already have made requests to use the new space, Karbank said. “(This will be) culturally oriented. This is not a space for everybody. This is very special.”

Karbank told the BZA that Wells Fargo had signed a lease to move its offices from the Plaza into the building later this month. He said Wells Fargo had wanted food service that was more than a cafeteria and that they have conferences and speakers and clients coming in. They like to have space for large-scale presentations, Karbank said. That led to the idea of having the lunch club – a high-end restaurant – on the third floor and the more informal cafe, primarily to serve tenants, on the second floor.

Karbank said the two buildings have parking for 350 cars and that performances and events will be scheduled so they do not interfere with parking for tenants during the business day. He said his firm is working with the city on possible modifications to the entrance off State Line Road to handle traffic.

The cafe is expected to serve breakfast and lunch and have a “grab-and-go” counter as well as inside seating. All of the food service in the building will be done by Inspired Occasions, which handles social and corporate events as well as weddings.

The owners of the building between the two Karbank buildings, represented by attorney Spencer Thomson, asked that the decision be delayed. Thomson said his client has concerns about the traffic, density and congestion. He said they were not necessarily opposed, but asked for a delay to understand the ramifications for their building at 1968 Shawnee Mission Parkway.

The BZA did not entertain the delay and approved the SUP unanimously. One resident spoke in favor of the changes, noting that the site decades ago was the home of the Green Parrot Restaurant.