The Business Archives Building, once upon a time home to the Bond Bakery, looms over Interstate 235 and Automobile Alley as a reminder that downtown is far from finished in its resurgence from the gloomy days of the 1980s.
The building’s bricked-in windows show only a glimpse of the possibilities ahead for the area bounded by Broadway, NW 13, NW 8 and the highway. Steve Mason has already proven the area is ripe for redevelopment, thanks to his work along NW 9 just east of Broadway. He took an abandoned machine shop and three very dilapidated homes and turned the block into a popular mix of restaurants and shops. Just a couple of blocks to the north, developer Bert Belanger led in removing blighted housing used by sex offenders and a boarded-up nursing home for future housing development. And just to the north lies the old Bond Bakery at 5 NE 12. The big news awaiting to be made — that now may never happen — is that Kansas City, Mo., developer Gary Hassenflu is in talks to buy the property and likely turn it into housing. Hassenflu is the kind of guy one wants to be shopping for downtown redevelopment projects, especially those involving old buildings needing extensive renovation and adaptive reuse.