Building for the Next 100 Years: American Royal’s President Speaks with the KCBJ About the Future of a KC Institution

Excerpts from an article by Nicole Dolan, Staff Writer at the Kansas City Business Journal March 24, 2023

Conceived as a nonprofit in 1899, American Royal has been just as much a part of Kansas City’s fabric as its iconic fountains, vibrant jazz scene, and acclaimed barbeque spots.

American Royal is a leader in the nation for food and agriculture education, events, and engagement. Multistudio has partnered with J.E. Dunn Construction to create the new home for the American Royal. An 80-acre site will include 47 acres of storage and trailer parking and a complex of buildings totaling approximately one million square feet.

Our team has been tapped to assist in re-strategizing the organization as it enters the next 100 years in a new location in Kansas City, Kansas. Ongoing collaboration with stakeholders will ensure that the complex will be an effective venue for the communities and events that American Royal serves. Multistudio’s scope comprises all of its disciplines, yielding an entirely designed experience that encompasses everything from its landscape to its signage and wayfinding. Construction will begin in the fall.

Read excerpts from an article by Nicole Dolan of the Kansas City Business Journal as she interviews the President of The American Royal, Jackie McClaskey. To read the full article, you must have an account with the KCBJ.

“Construction trailers will arrive at the site of the American Royal Association’s new headquarters in Kansas City, Kansas, in the next few weeks.

The 124-year-old organization awaits a final approval on March 30 from the Unified Government of Kansas City, Kansas/Wyandotte County Commission before it completes the public planning process. Its new headquarters will be at 11645 American Royal Way, at the intersection of State Avenue and 118th Street.”

“On Monday evening, the UG’s Planning Committee gave unanimous approval to rezone the 127-acre site. The decision allows the organization to remove a hotel it proposed in a previous iteration of the project.

American Royal President Jackie McClaskey previously said she anticipated that developers from nearby properties would build their own hotel, so that component became unnecessary in the organization’s plans.

American Royal now plans to build a one-level arena for livestock shows, equine events and rodeos. The facility will include a large barn and an approximately 400,000-square-foot exhibition space. There would be three arenas — two indoor and one outdoor — as well as an education and welcome center for food and agricultural education.”

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