By Kevin Collison
A $20 million apartment project is planned for Fourth and Broadway near the foot of the Buck O’Neil Bridge in the River Market, the latest addition in what’s become a popular area for downtown living.
Developers George Birt and Taylor McKee intend to begin construction in late spring on the eight-story, 76-unit building and plan to finance their market-rate project without seeking tax incentives.
“The upfront costs of incentives is greater than the benefit,” McKee said.
Because the developers aren’t using tax incentives, they will not be required to set aside affordable units or meet other city requirements such as paying prevailing wages and meeting minority and women contractor goals.
The one-half acre site at the northeast corner is currently the location of a cinder-block storage building which would be demolished, and a vacant lot. McKee said the site will offer residents great views of the riverfront and downtown.
“It’s a unique site,” he said. “You don’t pay attention to it but when you consider what can be built there, it’s an iconic place.”
He added the current plan to replace the Buck O’Neil Bridge calls for the viaduct accessing the bridge to be shifted farther west away from the apartment site, and add a small park where bicyclists and pedestrians will access the bridge.
The partners purchased the property five years ago. It’s immediately west of the River Market West apartment project developed by Birt and McKee.
“We think the River Market is the best urban infill neighborhood in Kansas City,” Birt said. “It’s filling in rapidly and their are not a lot of sites left.
“The City Market is a big draw. It’s always been a walkable, scalable area that has a nice feel to it from a residential standpoint. It’s the only neighborhood where the streetcar loops and there’s a great deal of exposure.”
In addition, construction recently began on the 94-unit Ashland on Third project, and Port KC recently received two proposals for developing an apartment project at Fifth and Main. Birt also is part of the team making one of the pitches for that site.
The plan for what’s tentatively called the 303 Broadway apartment project calls for six stories of residential on top of a three-level, 95-space garage. One level of the garage will be underground.
The layout calls for seven, studio apartments; 14, one-bedroom; 27 one-bedroom plus den units, and 28, two-bedroom units.
Monthly rents for a 555 square-foot studio will be $1,100; a 700 square-foot, one-bedroom, $1,375; a 910 square-foot, the larger one-bedroom, $1,575, and a two-bedroom, $2,375.
The penthouse floor will feature units with taller, 12-foot ceilings. All the apartments will include balconies and there will be rooftop community deck. About 2,500 square feet of commercial space will be on the southwest corner of the ground floor.
The architect is NSPJ of Prairie Village.
Work on the 303 Broadway project is expected to begin in late spring or early summer with completion in late 2022.
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