By Kevin Collison
A proposal to build a 27-story hotel and apartment building at 14th and Wyandotte took its first official step forward Tuesday on a preparation journey that’s expected to last at least into next year.
The City Plan Commission unanimously endorsed the development plan being pursued by Lux Living for what’s now vacant properties northeast of the intersection next to the historic Power & Light Building.
During what was a relatively brief review, commissioners saluted the homework the developer has done to line up backing including letters of support from the Downtown Council, Historic Kansas City, the city manager and mayor’s office.
“I want to thank you for doing a lot of due diligence before coming to this meeting because I think it shows you’ve got a lot of consensus before bringing it forward,” said Commissioner Ashley Sadowski.
The project was first introduced in early February. One of the earlier designs for the project called for a massive, boxy structure that would have bumped up against its historic neighbor and rivaled it in height.
Since then, the DLR Group has redesigned what the developer is calling a single, 27-story building to distant it from the 36-story Power & Light and add terracing to reduce its bulk.
Victor Alston, the chief executive of Lux Living, described the process as a “community-centered design process.”
“We are thankful for the opportunity to have worked with DNA (Downtown Neighborhood Association), Historic KC , Downtown Council, and city planning on this endeavor,” he said in a statement.
“Our development team is looking forward to bringing this exciting mixed-use development to Kansas City in the near future.”
The plan however, still has several public hurdles ahead. The design must be approved by the City Council, and whatever incentive package is requested must go through development agencies and the Council.
“We’d hope to start construction sometime in 2024 or 2025,” said Liam Dai, a representative for Lux Living told the Plan Commission.
“We still need to design the rest of building and move forward with the incentive and financing process.”
The development calls for 300 apartments and 200 hotel rooms stacked in the tower along with a 358-space garage. The tower would share a lobby with the north end serving the hotel and the south the residential component.
The tower also would include a rooftop restaurant and bar that would be open to the public and a pool for residents and guests.
The first floor hotel lobby also would include a couple small food and beverage operations totaling about 3,300 square feet. There would be meeting rooms and a fitness center on floors two- through four; the remaining floors would be guest rooms.
The 10th floor calls for a “sky lobby” with a bar and social club. The hotel also would have an underground garage with 75 spaces designated for valet parking.
The project would be located on what’s now a surface parking lot at the corner and an adjoining lot that has been a downtown eyesore filled with debris remaining from a garage demolition.
St. Louis-based Lux Living has been active in the Kanas City urban core market for the past couple years. The firm is building the 215-unit Wonderland project at 19th and Broadway, and the 192-unit Katz project at Westport Road and Main.
The developer also has the rights to redevelop the 250-unit Freight House Village project at 20th and Walnut, and build a 250-unit project on the riverfront.
If the proposal were to move forward, it would rival the number of apartments in the nearby 296-unit Two Light building and the 288-unit Three Light project now under construction.
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