City Club Apartment Project Still on Track, But Fires Plague Vacant Hotel

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City Club Apartments will include the renovation of the historic Midwest Hotel and a new six-story building. (Rendering from Area Real Estate Advisors)

Editor’s note. The developer of the City Club Apartment project released this letter today (April 17) following another fire at the vacant hotel property this morning:

“This property has a history of blight.

Since taking control of the property, we have developed a great working relationship with the Mayor, local community, building department and police and fire departments. They all support our efforts to create a mixed-use apartment community unlike anything else in the market.

City Club Apartments and our contractor have boarded and re-boarded the buildings. We have constructed and fixed fences. And, we check the property regularly to protect the health and safety of the community. Trespassers continue to break into the buildings, especially when it is cold.

We will continue to do the things we are doing to secure the site. We ask for the continued support and vigilance of the building department and police and fire departments to actively remove those individuals trespassing on our private property so that we can maintain a safe pre-development site and protect our historic hotel building.

Our plan is to break ground on this exciting new apartment community in June. At that time, this will become an active construction site.”

Jonathan Holtzman, Co-founder and CEO
City Club Apartments

By Kevin Collison

The developer of the $76.8 million City Club Apartment project plans to begin work by late spring on the 283-unit development located along the streetcar line between 19th and 20th streets.

The ambitious project, which was approved for tax incentives more than a year ago, calls for the renovation of the historic Midwest Hotel at 1925 Main and combining it with a new six-story building along with two levels of underground parking.

It’s construction won’t come too soon for the Crossroads District and the Kansas City Streetcar Authority.

There have been several fires in the vacant Midwest Hotel building, the latest occurring March 18. The fires have disrupted streetcar service three times, the one March 18, and March 14 and Dec. 15 of last year.

“We’re really excited for the redevelopment, but we’ve had problems,” said David Johnson, co-chair of the Crossroads Community Association infrastructure committee.

“Vacant buildings are a target and just locking it is not enough. They’re targeted for graffiti and being broken into. I’m happy the building will be redeveloped and can’t wait for it to start so we can stop having fires.”

Several fires have been reported at the vacant Midwest Hotel building the past year, briefly interrupting streetcar service.

Jonathan Holtzman, founder and CEO of City Club Apartments, which is based in suburban Detroit, said in a statement late last month that drawings for permits have been submitted to the city.

“Upon approvals and permitting, we anticipate beginning the demolition of the non-historically significant buildings in the next few months,” Holtzman said.

“We will be providing additional details at our groundbreaking event which we will announce soon and hold sometime in the spring.”

City Club Apartments began marketing its project last August.

The development plan also includes building a restaurant on the site of the former Hereford House at 20th and Main. A total of 11,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space is planned, according to the marketing document.

The entire project will revitalize a city block from 19th to 20th streets, between Walnut and Main, that’s currently parking lots and vacant buildings.

The developer also agreed to set aside 10 percent of the apartments for people earning 80 percent or less of the Jackson County median income.

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