By Kevin Collison
The former American Red Cross building in Midtown has been reborn as the ARC on Armour apartments, the latest residential project in the Armour corridor developed by Chicago-based Mac Properties.
The three-story, 56,000 square-foot former headquarters at 211 W. Armour was built in 1945 and was vacated by the Red Cross in February 2019 when it relocated to new space at 6601 Winchester.
Mac invested $11.7 million to renovate it into 62 apartments, bringing the total number of apartments the firm has developed along a 15-block stretch of Armour from Campbell to Broadway to almost 1,700 units.
Mac also is well along on a 110-unit project being built at 520 E. Armour, which is expected to begin accepting residents early next year, and expects to break ground soon on the first of four buildings at its 340-unit Armour Crossing development at Armour and Troost.
The Red Cross building renovation converted what had been office and warehouse space into apartments featuring large windows and contemporary furnishings. It also opened up the basement level to 10 garden apartments with outdoor patios.
The project includes 26 studio units; 18, one-bedroom apartments and 18 two-bedroom apartments.
A five-bay truck serving garage at the rear of the property has been renovated to become an amenity space available to residents in all Mac’s apartment buildings. It includes a lounge, kitchen, outdoor grills and a bicycle repair space.
There’s also a yard behind the garage that will serve as a pocket park for Mac tenants along Amour.
During the renovation, brick panels were removed from the building to open up more window space for residents.
“It opened the building in a nice way and made it much more residential,” said Peter Cassel, director of community development for Mac. “It comes off as very contemporary.”
The new ARC on Armour project is two blocks from the planned streetcar stop at Armour and Main, a transportation option that Cassel said will make it more attractive to residents.
“It will prove another option to the urban living opportunities that extend from UMKC and the Plaza all the way to downtown,” he said.
“Almost all of Kansas City is suburban in form, but the mixed-use, multi-family density runs from River-Crown-Plaza.”
He praised local and federal officials for their successful effort to extend the streetcar line down Main from downtown to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
“It’s great to see federal support for Kansas City on the whole and the leadership of Kansas City in pursuing this,” he said.
The first residents moved into ARC on Armour at the beginning of September and the project is expected to fully lease-up by next summer.
In the meantime, the 110-apartment project at 520 E. Armour has topped out its construction and residents are expected to begin moving end by March of next year.
The first building at Armour Crossing is expected to break ground at the northeast corner before the end of the month, Cassel said. He expected that by next June construction on three of the buildings should be underway.
The first building should be ready for occupancy by late 2021 with entire project completed by late 2022 or early 2023.
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