By Kevin Collison
Lux Living has taken over the Freight House Village redevelopment plan from its previous developer and wants to build a $60 million project that would include 250 apartments and about 10 townhouses.
The development is proposed for the south side of Walnut Street between 20th and 21st streets and already has been approved for a 15-year property tax abatement.
“It has great views of downtown,” said Victor Alston of Lux Living. “It’s a great site and we’re going to have a lot of activity on 20th street with a gym and 2,500 square-foot restaurant.”
Lux Living reached an agreement earlier this year with the previous developer, Vince Bryant of 3D Development, to acquire the site.
It is part of a larger redevelopment plan being pursued by Bryant that includes renovating the old Superior Moving & Storage buildings at 2020 Walnut into office space, and building an office tower, called “The Podium,” and 150-room hotel along Main Street.
“We support Vince’s vision for the area,” Alston said.
The Planned Industrial Expansion Authority board approved a 75 percent property tax reduction for 10 years and 37.5 percent for five years a year ago for the Freight House Village plan.
This is the second residential redevelopment project that Bryant has obtained approvals for and transferred to another developer. His 193-unit Tracks project on West 22nd Street by the Freight House building is now being built by Indianapolis-based Milhaus.
The new Lux Living endeavor is the fourth big apartment project being pursued by St. Louis-based developer in greater downtown and the Main Street streetcar route.
The firm is planning to redevelop the historic Katz Drugstore at Westport and Main and incorporate it into a 192-unit apartment project; build a 228-unit project at 20th and Broadway and is negotiating with Port KC on a 250-unit project on the riverfront.
Alston said the tentative Freight House Village plan calls for a seven-story market-rate apartment building and between eight- and 10 townhouses that would be setback from the street with either a patio or porch.
The plan also would include an approximately 300 space garage. A rendering of the proposal was not available.
The developer said the project is not required to meet the 20 percent affordable housing set aside requirement established by the City Council because it had been approved before that policy went into effect.
Alston said the Freight House plan still must be approved for rezoning and he anticipates submitting it to the city planning department in the next couple weeks.
As for his other projects, interior demolition on the Katz project has been completed and work is expected to begin soon on removing the old drugstore roof and replacing it with a stronger one necessary to support a swimming pool and other apartment amenities.
The precast concrete panels for the garage to be built for the project at 20th and Broadway are being manufactured and will be shipped to the site. Work on the garage is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
As for the riverfront project, the Port KC board failed to consider the plan at its May meeting and it remains in limbo.
“We’re working with Port KC and figuring out how to get that going,” Alston said.
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