New Crossroads Hotel offers KC products, wood-fired pizza in historic buildings


Long ago, two side-by-side Crossroads buildings housed a bustling brewery bottling plant and offices where political boss Tom Pendergast set his machine in motion. Then the businesses closed and the red brick buildings — despite taking up a block in the heart of the Crossroads — were largely ignored and empty.

Now their new owner, Chicago-based Aparium Hotel Group, is out to change that. It has spent the last three years redeveloping the site as a destination for tourists and residents called Crossroads Hotel. The 131-room boutique hotel at 2101 Central St. officially opens in the historic Pabst Brewing Co. bottling building on Thursday, Oct. 18. It features a five-story atrium lobby that also will serve as an event space.


UMass Amherst Installing More than 15,000 Solar Panels to Reduce Emissions

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has embarked on a major solar energy initiative that will cut its electric bills by $6.2 million over 20 years and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 31,000 non-metric tons of carbon dioxide.

At no upfront cost to itself, the university is installing 15,576 photovoltaic panels across campus to provide 5.5 megawatts (MW DC) of clean renewable electrical power at heavily discounted rates. The total annual generation from the new installations is estimated to equal the annual electrical energy use of 900 Massachusetts homes.

The eight solar panel installations – six on rooftops and two above existing asphalt parking lots – will be engineered and constructed by Brightergy, a national energy company with offices in Charlestown, Mass. Brightergy, through its partnership with Sol Systems, arranged for project finance, ownership and ongoing maintenance of the solar installations with ConEdison Solutions for up to 20 years. The university will buy all of the electricity from the $16 million project for direct use on campus through a power purchasing agreement. The installations will be completed by the end of 2016.

Link to Press Release: AMHERST, MASS. (PRWEB) JULY 20, 2016

DDEquity partners with Aparium to develop luxury Hotel in the Crossroads


DDEquity recently sold a majority stake in the Pabst and Pendergast buildings in the Crossroads of Kansas City and partnered with Aparium Hotel Group out of Chicago, IL to co-develop a 132 unit Hotel.  Aparium Hotel Group & DDEquity will transform the historic Pabst and Pendergast landmark buildings into an upscale, independently-branded hotel. Scheduled for a Fall 2018 opening, the hotel is being designed by local architectural firm el dorado inc. and will feature 132 guest rooms, meeting spaces and a restaurant, as well as a bar and rooftop terrace. 

Constructed in 1911 as a bottling and distribution plant for The Pabst Brewing Company, the building was also once used for beer and liquor distribution during Prohibition. This transformation represents another Aparium project aimed at fostering the development of a dynamic local neighborhood. The opening of this hotel will add further energy to the burgeoning Crossroads Arts District neighborhood, and will welcome locals and travelers alike to experience a new and unique destination.

Link to Kansas City Business Journal article

Hilary's Eat Well B Corp Certified

What a beautiful way to introduce our newest piece of exciting news! Hilary’s Eat Well is proud to announce our recent certification to The B Corporation. Haven’t heard of B Corp? It’s time to change that.

B Corporation is a community of over 900 companies, in over 29 countries, who share a common desire to change the way we do business.  These companies ask the question, “How can our business be a force for good in the world?”.

Hilary’s wants to be a part of that answer. We have dreamed of becoming B Corp certified for some time now. Our company culture has always reflected our sincere desire to better understand how food works within our bodies, the world and the greater economy. We’ve always known that to grow, learn, and improve- we must always see the interconnectedness of everything and everyone around us.

And now, we have this incredible certification to give credibility to that. We are committed to utilizing sustainable business practices and remaining transparent.  As a young company, we feel very fortunate to have access to the greater community of B-Corp companies.

We are ready to “B the Change” and hope you will join us on the beautiful adventures to come.

Link to Hilary's B-Corp Blog Post

Local burgers gain far-flung following

LJ World By Sara Shepherd
July 8, 2013

Lawrence diners can’t get the World’s Best Veggie Burger or an Adzuki Bean Burger with a basket of fries at Local Burger anymore. Does that mean the vegetarian favorites from the shuttered Vermont Street eatery are gone for good? Hardly. Check the freezers in grocery stores nationwide and you’ll spot those Lawrence-made patties flying off the shelves. A year after closing her restaurant to focus full-time on retail manufacturing, Hilary Brown’s veggie burger business is booming.

Hilary’s Eat Well products are now in close to 1,700 stores, and company officials say recent weeks have been their biggest yet — with production at 84,000 burgers a week.  The company has moved from its first manufacturing spot into a new 9,000-square-foot facility at 2205 Haskell Ave., where production got underway about a month ago.  Pausing during a morning of veggie-burger making, packaging and truck-loading at the new plant, production manager Derick Alexander put things in perspective.  “The entire old building could probably fit in our freezer,” he said. But Alexander said he isn’t surprised by the company’s fast growth. “Hilary’s passion toward her product is crazy,” he said. “She can get anyone to eat it, even if they don’t like veggies.”  

Link to LJ World article

Former Levitt-owned Crossroads buildings will get tax abatements

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Kansas City Business Journal by Steve Vockrodt

August 24, 2012

Kansas City’s Planned Industrial Expansion Authority extended a tax abatement district to take in three additional buildings in the Crossroads Arts District.

The expansion of the Stuart Hall Plan makes three buildings owned by Gary Hassenflu and Jordon Ringel eligible for standard PIEA abatement of 100 percent of increased property taxes for 10 years and a 50 percent abatement for the following 15 years.

Longtime Crossroads developer Tom Levitt had owned the buildings, along Central Street near the Freighthouse District. Levitt died in 2009.

Proposals for redeveloping the historic buildings are worth more than $20 million total.

Ringel, founder of DDEquity LLC in Dallas and co-founder of solar energy company Brightergy, bought the Pabst Building and the neighboring Pendergast Building at 21st and Central streets with real estate partner Adam Blake. Ringel has split off from Blake, whose interest primarily was in Brightergy; Ringel wanted to concentrate on real estate.

Ringel said he has leased half of the two-story, 15,000-square-foot Pendergast Building to an as-of-yet unnamed restaurant and bar concept. The rest is being offered for office space. Redevelopment is estimated to cost $3 million.

Ringel plans a $13 million redevelopment of the Pabst Building. He proposes office and multifamily uses for the four-story, 91,000-square-foot building.

Plans for the Pabst Building are on the back burner, he said, because of a lack of existing parking.

“If a user came to me, I could start poking around to acquire parking for it,” he said. “Until that happens, it’s a waiting game on the four-story building.”

Hassenflu’s Creamery Building, also at 21st and Central, faces a similar situation. Plans for the 21,000-square-foot building include 14 residential units and 2,100 square feet of office space that would include room for his real estate firm, Garrison Cos., which now has its headquarters in the River Market area.

He said he has received inquiries and is willing to change plans to allow for a tenant to use all the space for an office.

“I’ve got to design my project as it is right now,” he said. “I can always remain flexible enough to amend to another use.”

Link to Kansas City Business Journal Article