By Kevin Collison
The Second and Delaware development may be described as the world’s largest “passive house” building, but its dedicated passion that’s bringing this unique River Market apartment project to fruition.
After a six-year odyssey that included a 16-month construction shutdown prompted by a contractor dispute, developer Jonathan Arnold expects to accept the first residents at the 276-unit project in August.
He’s betting the super-green design of the 276-unit project accompanied by amenities that include a soccer-field size courtyard, rooftop gardening plots, dog park and sweeping views of the Missouri riverfront and downtown skyline will be big selling points.
“Our market is two-fold,” he said during a recent tour of the $71 million project.
“The first is renters by choice, empty-nesters longing to get away from home maintenance but don’t want the hassle of condo ownership and want quality construction and space.
“The other is young professionals who work downtown and want a pedestrian lifestyle or be able to hop on the streetcar and rarely have to get in their cars; and have access to the riverfront and City Market.
“The shared qualities of both groups are people interested in voting with their dollars and living in a project that’s environmentally responsible.”
The Second and Delaware development will consume 90 percent less energy than similar apartment projects thanks to a design that features 16-inch thick concrete walls with a middle layer of foam insulation.
A bank of solar panels on one of the four, six-story buildings that make up the complex generates 290 kilowatts of electricity for the project. Air handling units pump in 50 cubic feet of fresh air each minute to each apartment.
For gardeners, there will be a rooftop area where they can dig in and grow their own. All accompanied by a great view to the south of the downtown skyline and River Market. Facing north, the drifting Missouri River adds a zen-like, calming vibe.
“To be able to live in the city and have a garden is unique,” Arnold said. “You don’t have to make a choice between city and suburb.”
The development has 55 studio, 121 one-bedroom and 100 two-bedroom apartments ranging in size from a 550 square-foot studio to a 1,340 square-foot, two-bedroom apartment.
Monthly rents range from $1,370 for a 590 square-foot studio; $1,813 for a one-bedroom unit with a balcony, or $2,794 for a two-bedroom, two-bath unit with balcony on the upper floors.
Rent includes electricity, gas and one parking spot in the 508-space underground garage.
All residents will have access to the rooftop amenity level along with the spacious courtyard, outdoor pool and fitness center.
A sales office has been opened at 304 Delaware, the former Our Daily Nada space.
Arnold’s project incorporates many of the energy-efficient and green-design features he learned while working for the United Nations during its “Rio+20: The Future We Want” environmental conference in 2011.
Along with his partners father and son Cliff and Jonathan Cohn, he plans to use the model to build additional projects, and already is considering other Kansas City locations including downtown.
“Because this is the largest passive house building in the world, it should be a model for institutional investors,” he said. “Developers can look to it as an example to how we can change building multi-family projects in this country.”
He added, “People shouldn’t have to give up a lot to be green.”
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This might be the first apartment building in recent memory that I would actually consider moving into. Not just because it’s green, but because it wasn’t built using a dirt-cheap plywood and paperclips style of construction like nearly all other new apartment developments. And props to the developer for perservering without sacrificing principles!
This is such a high quality project that I was actually happy to have my view partially blocked by it. It will be an amazing place to live and I’m very exciting to bring in these new neighbors and new energy to the neighborhood.
With such consideration at every level, it is surprising and disappointing to see parking being bundled with rent. As River Market evolves to become a truly car-optional neighborhood, why penalize the renters doing the greenest thing — not owning a car — by putting car storage cost in their rent? Let the market dictate that choice and make spots available to those who need them.
Congratulations to Jonathan Arnold for conceiving this project and seeing it through to the end. His perseverance and resilience with this project are an inspiration to us all. I hope it’s a big success!
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