By Kevin Collison
Converge KC, the $46 million apartment project at Valentine Road and Broadway, has transformed a formerly moribund corner with a tired strip mall and parking lot into a dynamic urban addition to Midtown.
The 213-unit project was built above what was once Uptown Shoppes, which had its retail space renovated as part of the redevelopment. Converge KC began accepting residents in late summer and is now 44 percent occupied.
“We’re very, very happy,” said Banks Floodman, director of business development at Sunflower Development Group.
The project also has landed retail tenants including a revamped Gym KC, Great American Bank and Bodybar Pilates. More announcements are anticipated soon.
Sunflower is so pleased with how Converge KC is leasing up that it plans to break ground early next year on the second phase, a five-story, 84-unit apartment building that will occupy the corner of Valentine and Broadway.
That second phase originally had been envisioned as a hotel, but Sunflower pivoted to building additional apartments a year ago because of the damage caused by the Covid pandemic to the hospitality industry.
Converge KC not only is adding hundreds of new residents to Midtown, but providing a boost to its historic neighbor across the street, the Uptown Theater. The new project will provide up to 380 parking spaces for theater patrons in its garage.
Another 200 spaces are reserved for apartment residents on the second level of the garage. In all, the garage, which was part of the original Uptown Shoppes development, has 650 spaces.
The six-story apartment building features four levels of residential above the ground level retail space and second level parking. Among its amenities is a spacious recreation deck atop the garage facing the Valentine neighborhood to the west.
The deck includes a large swimming pool, outdoor kitchen and an artificial turf dog park for residents. A dog-washing station is located just inside the door.
A spacious community room that includes a Foosball table, billiard table, poker table, fire place and kitchen opens onto the deck.
Smaller community spaces also are on each residential floor, including one that allows residents to play chess with oversized pieces.
The project was designed by Treanor HL architects. The interior designer was Lowry Design Group. The contractor is First Construction. Goldenrod Capital Advisors was a co-development partner.
The targeted demographic was 25- to 35 year olds, but Floodman said it’s drawing not only that group but older renters as well. Early residents include nurses and other medical staff from KU Med as well as other young professionals.
The mix of apartments is 40 percent studios, 40 percent one-bedrooms and 20 percent two-bedrooms. Studios start at $995 per month and rents rise to $1,900 for two-bedroom units. Monthly parking costs $100 per space.
The apartment project originally was called Uptown Lofts, but Floodman said the new name fits its location.
“You can get there quickly from the Plaza and downtown,” he said. “We felt Midtown was a converging point for the city. We’re also near KU Med, it’s only a mile away.”
He said the planned streetcar extension, which will have a stop two blocks away at Main and Armour, was an attractive feature.
“No question, having the streetcar as part of the discussion was an exciting opportunity,” Floodman said.
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