Apartment Plan That Includes Homeless Housing Proposed for Riverfront

The Vecino Group is proposing an affordable housing project on the riverfront. The developer is currently developing the 50-unit Alhaven affordable development near 31st and Harrison. (Image from SAVE, Inc. and The Vecino Group)

The Vecino Group is proposing a 63-unit affordable apartment project that also would include 15 units dedicated to chronically homeless people on riverfront property owned by Port KC.

The Springfield-based organization, which also developed a 50-unit affordable apartment project at 31st and Harrison, wants to meet with city planners this week to discuss the $11 million project, according to a filing at City Hall.

What’s being called the Espero Kansas City project would be a four-story building located on an area described as Parcel 10 in the southeast corner of property controlled by Port KC around Berkley Riverfront Park.

The tentative plan calls for what’s being described as “integrated supportive housing” that would include one-, two- and three-bedroom units.

Fifteen apartments would be dedicated to persons identified as chronically homeless, the remainder would be for households at or below 60 percent of the area median income, according to the preliminary filing with planners.

The Espero project also would include a resident community room, fitness room, service office and management space. The filing indicates the developers will be seeking tax incentives to help finance the plan.

If successful, the timetable calls for work to begin in October 2022 with completion in December 2024.

The Espero housing development is proposed for Parcel 10 in the southeast corner of property controlled by Port KC around Berkley Riverfront Park. (Map from Port KC)

The Vecino Group project at 31st and Harrison, called Allhaven, has one-fourth of its units set aside for young adults diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. Onsite medical services will be provided by SAVE, Inc. in collaboration with its community partners.

The proposed Espero housing development on the riverfront is the latest attempt by Port KC to attract affordable residences to the area. Last year, two plans were proposed for sites near Berkley Riverfront Park,

EPEC, which stands for Empowering the Parent to Empower Children, had applied for state low income housing tax credits (LIHTC) for a proposed 45-unit project that would be located at 700 Berkley Parkway.

A partnership between Flaherty & Collins of Indianapolis and Twelfth Street Heritage Development Corp. also sought state low income tax credits for a proposed 124-unit affordable project at 601 Berkley Parkway.

Neither project received the LIHTC assistance requested and at this point, are not moving forward.

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