Covid Scuttles Riverfront Mid-Rise Apartment Concept

Preliminary massing rendering of a mixed-use riverfront development proposal that was withdrawn after the developer ran into Covid-related delays.

A big mixed-use project contemplated for the downtown riverfront that would have included two, 10-story apartment buildings has been shelved, at least for now, an apparent victim of the Covid-19 pandemic.

An undisclosed local developer had been considering what would have been a project that included apartments, office and retail on a 2.6-acre site near Berkley Riverfront Park just north of The Union apartments.

Jon Stephens, CEO and executive of Port KC, which controls the site, said his agency ended the developer’s option on what’s called Parcel 3 because of delays caused in part by the pandemic.

“Like a lot of developers, he was retrenching on a lot of things related to Covid,” Stephens said.

“While he’s still interested, we didn’t want to keep this prime property locked up and we mutually agreed to let go of the proposal.”

The now-withdrawn mixed-use development in this preliminary massing rendering would have been served by a proposed extension of the streetcar to the riverfront.

The development site will be returned to the market by Port KC’s real estate agent, Cushman Wakefield. There is a possibility the property might be broken up into smaller development parcels to encourage more interest.

Port KC, which has landed two, suburban-style apartment projects to the riverfront, would like to attract a more dense and pedestrian-oriented project to the site. It also wants to attract affordable housing proposals.

“By breaking the parcel into smaller, independent developments it may allow more unique and walkable projects,” he said. “Our focus is less parking and more pedestrian walkability.”

Parcel 3, along with The Union apartments that opened last year and a new Northpoint apartment development that broke ground last month, may eventually be served by a proposed extension of the streetcar route from the River Market.

In addition to the apartment projects, Port KC is in negotiations with a developer who wants to build a five-story, 120-room hotel on one of the riverfront parcels as well.

The proposed hotel would be located just north of the 348-unit apartment project being built by NorthPoint next to the Bar K bar, restaurant and dog park.

The mid-rise apartment development had been contemplated for Parcel 3, just east of The Union apartments. (Map from Port KC)

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