Aparium, which owns The Iron Horse, is converting these former Pabst buildings in Kansas City into a new hotel.
Aparium, which owns The Iron Horse, is converting these former Pabst buildings in Kansas City into a new hotel. (Photo: Mike Sinclair)

Iron Horse co-owner plans hotel in former Kansas City Pabst bottling plant

Aparium Hotel Group is best known locally for its co-ownership of The Iron Horse Hotel and for the new Charmant Hotel, which it will manage when it opens soon in LaCrosse. (Milwaukee's Kubala Washatko Architects is working on that project.)

But the Chicago hotelier is also working on another as-yet-unnamed hotel with a Brew City connection.

In a joint venture with Agman Partners, Aparium is opening its seventh independently branded, upscale hotel in 2017 in a former Pabst bottling and distribution plant at 2101-07 Central Ave. in Kansas City's Crossroads Arts District.

The earliest building in the complex is the four-story 1911 bottling and distribution center constructed for The Pabst Brewing Co. Later, Pabst added offices in a new, adjacent two-story building named for KC politician Tom Pendergast, who operated an eponymous distillery there in the 1920s.

According to Aparium, Pendergast was, ostensibly, a purveyor of bottled water and "near-beer" during Prohibition, but also was rumored to be running a bootleg distillery out of the building, too.

Interestingly, neither of these structures has the medieval castle-like crenellations that distinguish so many Pabst buildings in Milwaukee.

"We look forward to unveiling our plans to transform these incredible buildings into a destination that thoughtfully embraces the history and the character of the community," said Mario Tricoci, Aparium CEO and managing partner in a statement.

"This project is unfolding at a pivotal moment in the renaissance of urban Kansas City, specifically the Crossroads Arts District," said David Dowell, AIA, principal of El Dorado Inc., which is designing the renovation.

"It’s going to be a great gathering place for locals and visitors in one of the neighborhood’s irreplaceable, vintage warehouse buildings."

Among Aparium's other hotels (or hotels-in-progress) are the Hotel Covington, in Covington, Ky.; The Foundation Hotel, opening next year in the Detroit's old fire department headquarters and the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis, opening (like the Covington, in 2016).

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