New Country Club Plaza Owners Ensure Infrastructure Improvements and Focus on Local Cuisine

The new owners of the Country Club Plaza, Highland Park Village, held a press conference on Monday.

Posted July 2, 2024

The new owners of the Country Club Plaza, Texas-based Highland Park Village, held its first conference where they shared their vision for the 1 million square foot retail property.

Highland Park Village officially purchased the property on Friday. The new owners held a press conference on Monday to discuss their intent for the future of the Plaza. Monday marked the first official business day for the new owners.

HP Village Management president Ray Washburne, HP Village Management co-owner Stephen Summers and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Quinton Lucas were in attendance to offer remarks.

“One thing we pride ourselves about is being place-makers and you see it in our other shopping centers around the country,” Washburne said. “We create places that are inclusive for everyone. It’s going to bring the community back in a safe way.”

Washburne remarked on the safety of the Plaza as a key pillar for its new ownership. Kansas City Police Department officers began patrolling the Plaza streets on the day of the conference and HP Village Management plans to install more cameras in the future, Washburne said.

In addition to a larger focus on safety, the Plaza’s new owners evaluated the infrastructure for many of the buildings on the property, with several improvement plans to come. HP Village Management hopes to restore the original facade of several buildings, renovate parking garages and create a better pedestrian experience. There will also be renovations to create more office space in the higher levels of the Plaza, but Washburne said office space would be limited and the buildings’ ground floors will always have a retail focus. 

Lucas assured city officials and HP Village Management’s team are still in talks to make these improvements a reality.

“Since they [HP Village Managment] discussed their interest in the Plaza, they have done the work,” Lucas said. “The work isn’t just negotiating with the seller, which has been an intensive conversation, but it’s also meeting with community organizations, city leadership, council members, mayors and so many others to say ‘What do you want the Plaza to be?’”

As for Summers, his goal is to bring back a focus on local cuisine to the Plaza and create a space not reliant on national food chains. While conversations between the new owners and potential tenets are happening, it’s too early to announce anything new, Summers said.

However, Summers believes Kansas Citians will “see some exciting changes in the months ahead.”