Developer Plans to Renovate “Abandoned Fortress” Building into Apartments

Plans call for the vacant industrial building at 2645 Madison to be renovated into apartments.

By Kevin Collison

A vacant, dilapidated brick building at 27th and Madison that was built in 1920 as a power substation is slated to re-energized as a 10-unit apartment building.

“It struck our eyes as being a catalyst to revitalizing that neighborhood and continue Kansas City’s overall revitalization of the urban core and downtown area,” said developer Maximillian Howell of Entrepreneurs Enterprises.

The condition of the 7,673 square-foot, one-story building at 2645 Madison is dismal, Scott Belke, a real estate consultant told the board of the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority last week.

He said its last use was as a “workshop and horderer’s residence” and was listed as a dangerous property by the city. The building’s interior has been damaged heavily by water and mold and Belke described it as having an “abandoned fortress look.

“It’s a misplaced, dated industrial use in the middle of a residential neighborhood,” he told the PIEA board.

The $2 million redevelopment plan calls for a second floor to be inserted inside the building to create 10 apartments ranging in size from 586- to 1,198 square feet. The design calls for eight one-bedroom and two, two-bedroom units. Parking will be in eight garage spaces and nine surface spaces.

Amenities will include washers and driers in each unit and an outdoor patio on the garage roof. The project is being developed as affordable housing to appeal to residents in the lower-income neighborhood where its located.

Howell said his firm has developed single-family housing in the Beacon Hills and Monarch Manor neighborhoods, and has been a subcontractor on larger multi-family projects in the downtown and midtown areas.

“We’re a local developer firm with a strong ambition and passion to revive the urban core and inner Kansas City,” he said.

If the project receives the requested tax abatement assistance, construction would start later this year with completion expected in the spring of 2018. Howell is partnering with Lead Bank and he credited the bank with having a strong interest in revitalizing the urban core.