Kansas City Power & Light District Unveils New Rooftop Park Opening Spring 2009
In addition to more than 30 restaurants, bars and shops, two live entertainment venues, a six-screen movie theatre and a gourmet grocery store, the Kansas City Power & Light District will offer downtown workers, residents and visitors an escape from the hustle-bustle of the city, with the announcement of its green Rooftop Park.
When designing the District, the City and The Cordish Company saw the value of including green space into the development plans. Green rooftops provide economic, conservation and aesthetic benefits. Although the initial cost of a green roof can be slightly higher than that of a conventional roof, the long term maintenance and energy cost savings, offset this increase.
Turning traditional gray asphalt or gravel blasted rooftops into useable extensions of the cityscape is smart building and one of the reasons why The Cordish Company is a leader in urban development. Green rooftops help minimize runoff and the demands put on the storm water retentions systems which in turn offer a savings to the community. In cities such as Kansas City, roofs make up 70-75% of the total impervious area.A green rooftop park helps to reduce overall runoff volume by as much as 50 to 60%. The eco-friendly design also helps to reduce greenhouse gases and improve air quality.
Aside from the environmental and long-term cost savings benefits, rooftop gardens provide an aesthetic appeal in the community. The Power & LightRooftopPark will feature more than half an acre of lawn for visitors to enjoy. It will offer a great space to relax during their lunch hour or play catch on an afternoon. The lawn is surrounded by a crushed gravel path with benches scattered around it, providing attractive seating. The eastern half of the park is comprised of sedum, a large stonecrop of annual and creeping herbs and small shrubs. The plants have water-storing leaves, and are a popular plant for green roofs.
“In addition to being a vibrant and beautiful green space, the park is just another example how the District is designed for a sustainable future for our downtown,” said Jon Stephens, president of the Kansas City Power & Light District. “Other eco-friendly features in the District include and iconic wind-powered clock tower, extensive bike parking and the use of low water landscaping.”
The 14,985 square foot park sits atop the Main Street Parking Garage, located on Main Street, between 12th Street and 13th Street. The park is adjacent to the new Cosentino’s Market and can be accessed by the parking garage elevator. The park is owned by the City of Kansas City, but will be operated by the Cordish Company, developer of the Kansas City Power & Light District.
A spring opening is planned for the park and official details will be announced soon. The park will be open daily from sunrise to sundown.