KANSAS CITY, MO-Pull the plug on the Power & Light District was the verdict reached bythe Kansas City Council Thursday. The Council voted 9-0 to end thefive-year project, which began as the Centertainment plan and thenbecame the Power& Light District plan.

The Power & Light District plan was a $628-million project proposed tobe an urban entertainment district with a mix of offices, hotels,theatres, shops, restaurants, apartments and parking structures.It started with a vision from the late AMC Entertainment president StanDurwood. After being unsuccessful in backing the plan, AMC relinquishedits leadership role and city officials partnered with Atlanta-basedRegent Partners Inc. In the past few months, both sides have been unableto agree on financing for initial construction phases.

Councilman Ed Ford called the project “the last, best hope for savingDowntown.” However, Mayor Kay Barnes immediately released a new planfor Downtown rejuvenation, this one centered on housing.Mayor Barnes said she has been meeting with several business leaders todevelop a plan to rehab a 12-block area south of the loop that are roughlybounded by 13th Street on the north, Truman Road on the south, McGeeStreet on the east and Wyandotte Street on the west.`”I think we have gone as far as we can go,” Mayor Barnes says. “Weneed to be looking at a new approach for Downtown.”

Plans for the housing initiative will be disclosed Nov. 16 at a newsconference. Between now and then, city officials will ask RegentPartners to withdraw from the project. The firm has development rightsin the area through 2001.Talks stalled recently because city officials did not want to provide$43.5 million in bond financing that Regent Partners had asked for inorder start the $167 million initial phase. A special committe was formed and quickly decided to end the partnership.

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