The Arnold Hall building and surrounding property, located at 123 SE 3rd St., has been considered for various uses since the Senior Center was relocated to the Gamber Center in 2008.
Most recently, the Lee’s Summit City Council requested the Lee’s Summit Arts Council consider the Arnold Hall location as a possible site for an outdoor performance art venue. The funding for the outdoor performance facility was approved by voters during the April 2013 no-tax increase general obligation bond election.
However, on Thursday, January 30, 2014, the City received a private sector inquiry to purchase the Arnold Hall building for a new business location. The request to purchase the building was presented by City staff to the City Council during the February 6, 2014 Closed Session to discuss the potential sale of real estate.
During that Closed Session meeting, a majority of the City Council directed City staff to conduct a competitive process to allow the opportunity to submit proposals to the City regarding the purchase and potential use of the Arnold Hall building.
If the City accepts a proposal to purchase the Arnold Hall building, the subject property at 123 SE Third Street will need to be divided into two separate parcels. This will allow the sale of the building and the continued use of the adjacent property for the downtown outdoor performance venue. The two separate parcels of property would generally be as follows:
East parcel: The Arnold Hall building, located on the east half of the property site, and the parking area, located at the back of the building towards the south, would make up this parcel.
West parcel: The parking lot area located west of the Arnold Hall building would make up this parcel.
The City Council is seeking proposals on the East parcel only during the RFP process.
City staff is currently preparing the documents to create a 30-day open proposal process. All qualified responses to the request for proposals will be presented to the City Council for their determination of the best and highest use of the Arnold Hall building site’s east parcel.
It is possible that the City Council will select a proposal or may choose to leave the parcel available for other public uses, such as supporting the outdoor performance venue space that will be located to the west of the building. City staff will attempt to submit the qualified proposals for the City Council’s consideration by the April 3, 2014 City Council meeting.
In a related issue, the City Council received a brief report from Councilmember Rob Binney during the February 6, 2014 "Roundtable" comment portion of the Lee’s Summit City Council Regular Session meeting. Councilmember Binney read the following request from the Lee’s Summit Arts Council to the City Council: "The Lee’s Summit Arts Council respectfully requests that the City Council expand the assignment to the Lee’s Summit Arts Council to include the study of Arnold Hall for its possible use with the outdoor performance and festival space."
Direction was provided to the City Staff to assign the consideration of this request to a future City Council meeting. Given the potential impact of the open proposal process for the Arnold Hall building, this item will probably be assigned to the April 17, 2014 City Council Meeting.
City staff will work with the Lee’s Summit Arts Council and professional design consultants to review the delivery schedule of the outdoor performance venue given this most recent decision. Further information will be provided publically as it becomes available on the potential uses of Arnold Hall.
For more information about Arnold Hall and this article, please contact the City’s Administration Department at (816) 969-1010.