By Kevin Collison
Construction on the $29 million second phase of the West Bottoms Flats development is expected to begin this spring and its Cleveland developer already is contemplating a third installment.
MCM Company intends to complete the renovation of the Abernathy Furniture Co. building, at 1525 W. Ninth St. adding about 100 apartments to the 265-unit, first phase of West Bottoms Flats.
The first phase opened in June 2020 and is now 85 percent occupied, according to Greg DeNicola, MCM senior project manager. It included the renovation of the historic Liberty, Wyoming and part of the Abernathy building.
MCM recently purchased the former Imperial Casket Building at 920 Wyoming across the street and is considering converting the 25,000 square-foot building into office or commercial space at an estimated cost of $5 million.
“The historic building will be preserved for future development,” DeNicola said. “The remainder of the site will be used as parking for the 920 Wyoming building and West Bottoms Flats complex.”
MCM and its owner, Melissa “Missy” Ferchill, are pioneering developers in the West Bottoms taking on the conversion of several of its massive historic warehouses dating back to the late 1800s and early 1900s.
The most popular apartments have been micro-units and small one-bedrooms. The monthly rents for a 534 square-foot one-bedroom are $1,050 and $1,325 for a 634 square-foot two-bedroom.
The second phase calls for renovating the remainder of the Abernathy into 40 micros, 42 one-bedroom and eight, two-bedroom units. The building exterior will be repaired and the interior will be reconnected to the rest of the building.
On the other side of the West Bottoms near the Livestock Exchange Building, Flaherty & Collins has developed a new, 232-unit apartment project called The Yards and is planning a 224-unit, second phase nearby on the Kansas side near the Kaw River.
The Unified Government of Wyandotte County is planning a small park near the second Yards apartment project, and plans are continuing to progress to convert the old Rock Island Bridge into an entertainment venue.
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I once lived in a 650-square foot ONE bedroom, and it was tiny. How in hell do you fit two bedrooms and any living space in 634 square feet, and why would anyone pay $1300 for it? Insane.
The market will dictate how you live. I want to laugh at the 650 sqft one bedroom comment you made, but I understand what you are saying. In all honesty, it’s relative. I just moved from Seattle and to be honest the 500 Sqft one bedroom I was paying for was spacious and for paying $2000 a month. This is something they can argue for and probably will make as the norm in the neighborhood or for future developments in the city.
I mean, it’s not tiny by Hong Kong standards or anything (I have two friends who live there in a 450-square-foot two-bedroom apartment), but with two people in it, it felt small. That was in Portland, Oregon, by the way, and I paid $950 13 years ago. I looked it up recently and it was going for around $1900 then. We live in a 1000-square foot two-bedroom condo in downtown KC now, and it’s fine. I think a lot of it depends on the arrangement and how space is used. That makes a big difference. I also realized after posting that comment that $1300 for a two-bedroom actually isn’t bad, even if it’s small. I am a little surprised though by how small the new apartments are that they’re building around here. Not a bad thing, necessarily, just kind of surprising.
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