Join us, Thursday, December 13 for the Council’s Annual Meeting featuring one of the most influential Kansas Citians of his generation, Tom McDonnell. McDonnell is one of a handful of executives who sparked the great renaissance Downtown Kansas City is now enjoying.
During his 40-year run as CEO of DST, McDonnell played a major role in re-shaping downtown Kansas City. According to The Pitch magazine, in the 1980s when businesses were fleeing downtown, McDonnell and DST went the other way and began investing in the urban core. DST, through its real estate subsidiary, transformed the west side of downtown, buying up old buildings around Quality Hill. In all, DST revived — through historic rehabs and new construction — almost 40 buildings in downtown Kansas City.
DST Realty was also instrumental in the efforts to renovate Union Station and the surrounding properties along the Pershing Road corridor, such as the National Archives, the Kansas City Ballet, and the one-million-square-foot IRS processing center. Roughly half of the land on which the Power and Light District, Sprint Center, and H&R Block headquarters now sit was purchased piecemeal by DST Realty in the early 2000s and sold back to the city in 2004. It sold those 25 parcels to the city at cost.
After retiring from DST, McDonnell later served as CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. He retired from that role in 2014. He continues to serve on the Board of Kansas City Southern, the firm he joined in 1968 and where a year later, he was named to form a new data subsidiary, which became known as DST.