By Kevin Collison
A proposal to convert the former AT&T building at 500 E. Eighth St. into a 283-unit apartment project specializing in work-live space has been filed by Maxus Properties with the a city development agency.
Maxus acquired the 1973 office tower three years ago and originally intended to upgrade it for modern office use. But a new plan filed with the Kansas City Economic Development Corp. calls for it be used primarily as residential instead.
The North Kansas City firm also filed an application with the EDC for its proposed 235-unit “‘Defeo” apartment project at the northwest corner of Third and Oak in the River Market.
Both proposals were filed in advance of new city tax incentive policies scheduled to take effect soon that will reduce the property tax abatement available to developers and mandate a 20 percent set aside for affordable and “extremely” affordable housing.
A representative of Maxus declined to comment.
The AT&T project calls for the 13-story tower to be renovated 283 apartments with about half designed with a layout providing home office space. About 30,000 square feet of the building’s main floor will be renovated as co-working space for up to 300 members.
“Our goal is to provide a space where people can work and live while being able to separate the two,” the EDC application stated.
The $69.7 million AT&T redevelopment proposal also includes 450 parking spaces.
The preliminary application indicated Maxus will be seeking a property tax abatement to help finance the AT&T redevelopment. The developer also will be seeking state and federal historic tax credits, and brownfield remedy tax credits.
The preliminary application for the $56.7 million Defeo project, which was previously reported in CityScene, includes the first basic renderings of what’s described as a nine-story, 235-unit apartment project and 180 parking spaces.
The Maxus application described a building design “that stair steps down to meet the natural skyline. The inspiration was pulled from the materials, architectural patterns and scale of the River Market.
“Through the use of strategically sized roof decks and stair-stepped apartments, the large building will meld into the fabric of the neighborhood rather than dominating its surroundings.”
HIVE Design Collective is listed as the architect.
The developer intends to seek property tax abatements to assist with the Defeo project financing as well.
In a previous interview, a Maxus representative said work on the Defeo plan likely woulnd not begin until late 2022.
No information was available about the anticipated timetable of the AT&T project.
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