By Kevin Collison
Mac Properties has completed Five Twenty East, the first of five apartment buildings planned as the $78 million Armour Crossing redevelopment.
The seven-story building at 520 E. Armour is nestled among similar scale, former apartment-hotels built in the 1920s and 1930s along Armour from Main to Troost, and was designed to fit with its stately neighbors.
“We worked closely with the Hyde Park neighborhood to think about how this building should be structured,” said Peter Cassel, director of community development for Chicago-based Mac Properties.
“We wanted this building to fit and Helix (Architecture + Design) did an excellent job listening to the neighbors.”
The 110-unit building is the second new-construction project by Mac. Over the past 15 years, the firm has redeveloped historic buildings along the Armour corridor into more than 1,500 apartments.
Its other new apartment building was a project built with modular units done in Nebraska and assembled at 3435 Main.
Construction continues at Troost and Armour where four buildings are planned at each corner, the remainder of the 450-unit Armour Crossing development. One is well underway and work is expected to begin soon on a second.
Five Twenty East is about 40 percent one-bedroom and 40 percent two-bedroom units with the remainder studios. The apartments on the lower two-floors on the east side of the building feature balconies.
There is a large community room that opens to a deck that includes a swimming pool.
“People want a comfortable living space, but they also want a place to meet their neighbors,” Cassel said.
Monthly rents for a 453 square-foot studio are $1,000; a one-bedroom, 655 square-foot unit, $1,260, and an 1,100 square-foot, two-bedroom, $1,840.
The first residents began moving in earlier this month and more a scheduled for August.
“We’ve made good progress with the initial leasing,” Cassel said.
The 520 E. Armour project includes a 77-space, open-air garage on the lower level along with a bicycle storage room.
In a related development matter, Mac also recently purchased the 60-unit New Yorker building at 3521 Baltimore. It’s next door to a larger redevelopment plan the firm is pursuing at the southwest corner of Armour and Main.
Mac has purchased the former US Bank property and is envisioning a mixed-use project with retail and approximately 300 apartments.
The corner is near a planned streetcar stop. While the streetcar extension will be an important amenity for residents in the Mac buildings along Armour, Cassel said it’s not a decisive one.
“My sense is, the access and ability to get to the streetcar won’t be a determining drive, but one more thing to make Midtown more accessible to UMKC, downtown and the River Market,” he said.
“It will be a signal that Midtown is a place that has a future.”
He said Mac plans to renovate the New Yorker with an eye toward continuing to make it an affordable place to live.
“We would like to preserve as much of this as affordable housing as we can,” Cassel said.
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