When it comes to iconic Kansas City real estate, the Country Club Plaza takes the crown. The Plaza’s high-end retail and upscale restaurants make it a popular destination for both visitors and area residents. Built in 1922, the 55 acre site was modeled architecturally after Seville, Spain and is the first shopping center in the world to accommodate automobile traffic.
When you mention landscaping on the Plaza, it’s not great expanses of turf that come to mind, it’s the flowers, of course! Unlike most of our commercial clients, maintaining the turf is one of the smallest parts of the job! With only 1.25 total acres of turf, the turf maintenance is considered minimum. The 6,500 square feet of flower beds make the Plaza one of our largest properties when it comes to flowers. On top of the bed space, there are 120 pots and planter boxes and 200 hanging baskets.
You’ll find color changes with each changing season at the Plaza. Each spring, you’ll find pansies in planters, but the tulips are the focal point. Each bed has its own distinct variety with over 50 different varieties in all! Around Mother’s Day, 200 hanging baskets adorn the Plaza streets. Signature partners with Family Tree Nursery to grow these baskets so they are full and ready to go by May. Pots, planters and flower beds all get freshened up with annual flowers at this time, too. Each area is individually designed with low-maintenance, bullet proof annuals that will be pretty all the time. Signature also works with Family Tree for the annual flowers in the pots and beds. Family Tree owner, Eric Nelson, spends a lot of time visiting trial sites to ensure we’re picking varieties that are proven to work well in the Kansas City climate. In the fall, the beds are planted with mums, and pansies return to the pots. By the time the switch is flipped for the Plaza lights, winter interest adorns the pots.
Signature began maintaining the grounds at the Plaza in the spring of 2013. “The previous landscape service provider for the Country Club Plaza had been providing their service for over 40 years and had been doing a great job. Needless to say, it was nerve racking to consider a change,” said Brad Drees, Director of Asset Management for Highwoods Properties. “Signature calmed those nerves almost instantly after starting their first year in 2013,” adds Drees.
Between the office tenants and patrons, the Plaza is bustling from morning to night. “The biggest challenge we have at the plaza is getting the work done without being noticed,” said John Campbell, Signature Account Manager.
Drees adds, “Disneyland comes to mind when I think of how Signature has handled the maintenance. Rarely see them but you can tell they were there!”
With all of those flowers, comes a lot of maintenance. Plants are fertilized with small concentration three to five times per week based on growing season and dead heading takes place weekly. Insect control is also important and is part of the routine from June to October. And then there is the watering. Forty percent of the Plaza’s flowers are irrigated leaving sixty percent to be watered by hand five to seven nights per week!