Affordable Townhome Project Proposed in Troost Corridor

The Forest Townhome project calls for nine, two- and three-story townhomes at 29th and Forest. (Rendering from Exact Architects)

By Kevin Collison

The developer of the Wonder Shops + Flats project on Troost wants to continue investing in the area by building nine townhomes at 29th and Forest as affordable housing, but there’s one hitch.

While the vacant property where the Forest Townhomes project is planned is part of a longtime neighborhood in the heart of city, there are no public utility services.

“That entire block is not served by a city sewer or water,” said Caleb Buland of Exact Architects. “That’s a struggle for us.

“Water services has told us you’ll to have pay for it on your own.”

Around the corner at 30th and Troost, Buland and his partners successfully redeveloped the historic Wonder Bread bakery building into a mixed-use project that includes 87 apartments.

Buland also is pursuing a 26-unit apartment project at 27th and Troost.

The Forest Townhomes project would be his first venture into more family-style housing. The proposed two- and three-bedroom homes would range in size from 1,500- to 1,900 square feet, and rent for $1,695  to $1,995 per month.

The proposed rents of about $1.10 per square foot at Forest compare to the $1.50 per square foot average rent for all apartments in central Kansas City, 27 percent less, according to a recent report by Colliers International.

While the proposed townhome project at 29th and Forest is in the heart of a longtime neighborhood, it is not served by water and sewer lines. (Map from Google Maps)

“They would be workforce homes to bring additional options for growing families in the neighborhood,” Buland said.

“At Wonder, we’re currently seeing a wait list for two bedrooms and additional growing families wanting to move to Troost.”

He said the proposed homes would be built of brick and stucco, include front porches and garage parking.

“The open, modern plans are created to live well for growing families and pet owners,” Buland said.

But before work can begin on the $2.5 million housing project, city tax incentives likely will be needed to build the sewer and water lines to serve the residents and keep the rent affordable.

If successful, Buland said more townhomes could be built after the initial project is completed.

“This is a great place to kickoff workforce housing,” he said.

Buland’s partners in the proposal are Eric Shafran of Chorus Fund and Ilan Salzberg, a Denver investor.

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  1. Anyone considering this affordable housing is insane. Rents at half those listed would be affordable. I hope no tax dollars will be helping fund this.

  2. But how is this affordable?? Basically y’all tryna kick all the black people off Troost and take over. Gentrification at its finest!!

  3. Axe this idea…immediately. sick of all these “townhomes” and apartments…also don’t want my tax dollars going to this. Wtf is “workforce housing?” The so called “affordable housing” is way above typical Kansas City prices. No.

  4. Clearly these are people who don’t actually understand the average person’s/small family’s income. Nearly $2,000 for “townhomes” and “apartments” that are aimed at pushing out the folks that have been here for generations and generations. This is gentrification at its finest for the white man and his interests.

    • Kicking people out of a vacant lot? And have you checked rents lately? Tell me where you can rent a brand new house in the city at a lower price.

  5. 2k a month for an apartment on troost . thats not affordable ..
    somebody get intouch with city council.

  6. Labeling this as “affordable” does seem disingenuous of Mr. Buland-and-friends. Their reasoning seems to be that because the price-per-sq-ft is slightly cheaper than the area average, it therefore must be affordable. That’s a cherry-picked metric that neglects the financial realities of the area and the people in need of housing that is actually affordable.

    I’m also curious about how they came up with their numbers. i.e. what’re the boundaries of “central Kansas City”, and how does their carefully-selected metric play out when using the median rent, rather than the average. Kevin, do you by chance have a link to the Colliers International report mentioned? Appreciate your help!

      • Ah! Then I apologize for letting my frustration lead me to make the wrong assumption. With that in mind, I hope everyone else here that has commented and is also clearly frustrated with the “affordable” label does actually reach out to their council rep. I’d imagine a lot of the reps do read these articles (hat tip to Kevin), but they don’t have to answer to them.

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