By Kevin Collison
A $95 million development that would replace a Freight House District parking lot with a nine-story apartment tower above a three-level garage is being pursued by Greystar, the nation’s largest apartment operator.
The 250-unit “Tracks 215” project is proposed for a 1.1-acre lot west of the historic Freight House building, where Lidia’s and other restaurants are located, and bordering the Kansas City Terminal tracks.
If built, it would be the latest in a surge of new apartment construction in the Crossroads Art District that’s already adding more than 1,100 units to the area between the Central Business District and Crown Center.
“Greystar is a company that has flirted with Kansas City a long time and looking to do a 250-unit luxury project,” said Chris Sally of Development Initiatives, a member of a local group working with the Charleston, S.C.-based firm.
Sally said Vince Bryant of 3D Development and partners are the master developers of the Tracks 215 project, and Greystar would build the apartment component. Design is in the preliminary stage and no renderings are available.
Bryant also is redeveloping the historic, former Kansas City Star building and was a partner in the redevelopment of Corrigan Station.
The developers are seeking tax incentives to help build the 400-space garage from the Kansas City Tax Increment Financing Commission. The project is scheduled to be introduced to the TiF Commission Wednesday.
A property tax abatement for the apartment component of the development is expected to be sought from Port KC.
The proposal is asking the TIF Commission to amend the existing 22nd and Main TIF Plan. Bryant utilized that TIF plan a few years ago to help redevelop the historic Candle Building at 2101 Broadway and the historic Creamery Building at 2100 Central.
Sally said the developers want the TIF Commission to increase the amount of TIF funds being reimbursed for the Candle and Creamery projects, and use that money to help finance the garage.
The garage would serve not only residents of the Greystar apartment project above, but nearby office users. The existing 150-space parking lot currently serves 17 different businesses in four buildings, Sally said.
“Parking is such a commodity in the Freight House District and we’re trying to create an effective garage that can serve both apartments and offices,” he said.
Sally said the project is not feasible without the TIF assistance for the garage. The project is scheduled to be introduced to the TiF Commission Wednesday.
Greystar is a huge name in the apartment industry both nationally and internationally. The firm manages about 500,000 units and beds in the U.S., and manages and operates an estimated $115 billion in real estate around the world.
The apartment breakdown in the proposed Tracks 215 project are 60 micro units averaging 515 square feet; 165, one-bedroom averaging 798 square feet, and 25 two-bedroom averaging 1,205 square feet, according to an application filed with the city.
Projected monthly rents are $1,300 for a micro, $1,915 for a one-bedroom and $2,747 for a two-bedroom, according to the EDC.
If the development receives the necessary approvals, work could begin in early 2020 with completion anticipated in March 2021.
Other major apartment projects either underway or recently completed in the Crossroads include:
-ARTerra, a 126-unit tower at 21st and Wyandotte that opened in January.
-City Club, 283 units under construction at 19th and Main.
-Artistry KC, 341 units under construction at 19th and Oak
-Crossroads Westside, 221 units that recently opened at 601 Avenida Cesar E. Chavez
-REVERB, a 132-unit tower under construction at 18th and Walnut.
-Atlas, a 16-unit historic rehab project completed at 15th and Walnut.
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