By Kevin Collison
A developer with substantial experience doing projects in Midtown and along Troost Avenue is turning his sight downtown and wants to renovate the historic Carnival building at 802 Broadway into 48 loft apartments.
Exact Partners is part of a development group that is proposing to renovate the ornate, eight-story office building completed in 1903 into a residential project with 3,700 square-feet of commercial space on the main floor.
Caleb Buland of Exact Architects said converting the building’s use makes sense in a soft downtown office market. It’s currently 70 percent vacant.
“What we’re seeing in the commercial market is folks are leaving older office buildings and going to new stuff to lure employees back to work,” he said.
“Kansas City has a glut of Class A office space and we think it’s a great time to do a mixed-use project.”
Among Exact’s bigger projects outside downtown are the renovation of the historic Wonder Bread bakery at 30th and Troost into the Wonder Shops + Flats, and the historic former Netherlands Hotel at 3835 Main into apartments and the Canary restaurant.
Buland envisions something similar with the Carnival, which originally opened as the Harvey-Dutton Dry Goods Co. Building. It’s part of the Garment District, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
“Our goal is to activate the street on that corner,” he said. “We’re looking for a creative restaurant or retailer, perhaps a non-profit.”
The building is next to Garment District Place, a small urban park.
Buland said no new parking is planned for the project, but lease arrangements have been made so each apartment would have one space.
Exact is seeking state historic tax credits to help finance the $10 million project. It also plans to apply for a 10-year, 70 percent property tax abatement from the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority.
The project would not be required to meet the City Council’s 20 percent affordable housing set aside requirement because it’s exempted as a historic property. Buland however, said a good faith effort would be made to achieve that goal.
If the historic tax credits and other incentives are improve, the developer said his group already has a private loan pledge from Enterprise Bank & Trust and would be prepared to begin work late this fall with completion in about a year.
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