By Kevin Collison
The empty intersection of Troost and Armour would be transformed into a hub of mid-rise apartment buildings with hundreds residents, according to design plans recently filed by the developer of Armour Crossing.
It’s been more than 15 months since the Kansas City Council approved the general Armour Crossing redevelopment plan being pursued by Chicago-based MAC Properties.
While the first phase of Armour Crossing, a 110-unit building at 520 E. Armour, already has received the necessary approvals, the core of the development two blocks away at the four corners of Armour and Troost is on a separate review track.
MAC was required by the city to return with more detailed architectural drawings and also asked to address lingering issues with some neighborhood groups, mostly over the amount of parking planned for the development.
Now, MAC and its architect Helix Architecture + Design have refined the details of what will be two, eight-story buildings and two, five-story buildings surrounding the intersection, and has attempted to address at least some neighborhood parking concerns.
“We’ve been going through a series of meetings with each of the neighborhood groups…with the intention of going to the City Plan Commission Jan. 7,” said Peter Cassel, director of community development for Chicago-based MAC Properties.
MAC acquired a deteriorated six-unit apartment building at 3429 Harrison to provide space for more surface parking, increasing the number of spaces for the Armour and Troost buildings from 170 to 187 spaces.
Cassel also said the amount of retail originally planned for the ground floors of the buildings at Armour and Troost has been reduced from 27,000 square feet to 13,000 square feet, decreasing the need for parking.
Over the past decade, MAC has renovated a score of old apartment-hotel buildings along Armour Boulevard totaling over 1,500 apartments reviving what had previously been a rapidly declining street into a vibrant neighborhood.
In addition to the first phase of Armour Crossing going up at 520 E. Armour, the firm also is renovating the former Red Cross building at 211 W. Armour into 61 apartments.
The $78 million Armour Crossings development is the largest to be undertaken by MAC. The redevelopment plan also calls for 294 of the apartments to have monthly rents below $1,000, a figure below the City Council definition of affordable.
As part of the development plan, teachers and other public employees also will receive a 10 percent discount on their rent.
Should the Armour Crossing project move forward it would join a significant redevelopment boom occurring along Troost Avenue between 27th Street and Armour.
Projects either completed or are in the works will add almost 1,000 apartments along that eight-block stretch. In addition, a new La Quinta Del Sol hotel recently opened at 2321 Troost.
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