By Kevin Collison
The $72 million East Crossroads apartment development, a huge residential investment in one of downtown’s trendiest areas, won approval for tax incentives Thursday and is expected to begin construction in December.
The 338-unit project being developed by Indianapolis-based Milhaus marks the biggest investment in new construction in an area that has been dominated by small businesses such as microbreweries and food establishments, including the new Parlor, opening in renovated buildings.
“The East Crossroads is such a cool, great funky neighborhood with local merchants,” said John McGurk, an official with the Milhaus Kansas City office. “There have been no new residential projects.
“We believe in the market and think our product will serve a niche.”
The East Crossroads project was granted a 25-year property tax abatement, 10 years at 75 percent and 15 years at 35 percent, from the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority. The PIEA also granted the developer a sales tax exemption on construction materials.
McGurk told the PIEA board many of the apartments will fit the city’s guideline for affordable rents, which the City Council has set at $1,100 per month or less.
The project, which occupies an 6.25-acre site east of the Oak Street viaduct, includes 33, 410 square-foot “micro” apartments; 87, 543 square-foot studios; 139, 663 square-foot one-bedrooms, and 79, 1,055 square-foot two-bedrooms.
Monthly rents for a micro unit are expected to be $900 and studios will be $1,100. A one-bedroom apartment will go for $1,280.
The development also will include a 340-space garage located near the Oak Street viaduct. McGurk said local artists are being sought to create screening for the garage. A 30-space surface lot also is part of the plan.
Milhaus also wants to renovate the former “Motor Freight” building, now a decrepit industrial structure, and use the space as a restaurant.
Other planned amenities include an art gallery, fitness center, resident lounge, swimming pool, dog park, community gardens and grill area.
The East Crossroads development is the third major investment made by Milhaus in downtown Kansas City.
The company is currently developing the 400-unit Gallerie apartment project south of Crown Center, and a 182-unit apartment project at 27th and Troost near Hospital Hill.
McGurk said the first units in the East Crossroads apartment project should be completed in spring 2020.
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