By Kevin Collison
Work on twin apartment projects totaling 52 units at the southeast and southwest corners of 27th and Troost is expected to begin in late summer following approval of a tax incentive package Wednesday.
The $8 million project is being developed by Exact Partners, the firm which redeveloped the nearby historic Wonder Bread bakery building at 30th and Troost into the Wonder Shops + Flats project in 2019.
The new development at 2700 and 2701 Troost will feature two, three-story buildings that mirror one another in design.
The Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority approved a 100 percent, 10-year property tax abatement and sales tax exemption on construction materials to help finance the development.
Consideration of the plan, the latest in a series of apartment developments occurring along that stretch of Troost, had been delayed by the LCRA board over concerns about the affordability of the housing boom currently underway.
The project will feature a blend of studio and one-bedroom units with rents ranging from $800- to $925 for a studio, and $800- to $1,075 for a one-bedroom. the average size of a studio will be 436 square feet, one-bedrooms will range from 469- to 641 square feet.
Board member Melissa Hazley, a professor at UMKC, had expressed concerns about the rents and sizes of the units, not only at the 27th and Troost development but others that have been built nearby.
“The trends in rents are very expensive,” she said.
“I don’t have a problem with this individual project, my problem is we’re allowing the neighborhood to become quite expensive and I wish we would do something to diversify.”
The 27th and Troost development was described by John Wood, city housing director, as the last two sites remaining in the Beacon Hill redevelopment, an endeavor that’s been underway for more than 20 years.
In recent years, the residential area has attracted many employees and students at nearby Hospital Hill.
An LCRA chart that examined five apartment developments along Troost, including the planned project at 27th street, found the lowest monthly rent for a studio was $750 and the highest rent was $1,639 for a two-bedroom, two-bath.
Wood said the city has no money to directly subsidize lower rents.
Dan Moye, LCRA executive director, said additional help is needed from the state low-income housing tax credit program (LIHTC) to help build more affordable housing.
The project however, continues to rebuild Troost Avenue, which after decades of neglect is experiencing renewed investment.
“These two buildings will replace two vacant lots, creating 52 units of housing, 85 percent of which will be affordable to people at 70 percent of Area Median Income,” said Bob Long, a senior development specialist for the city.
The 27th and Troost project has been described by its developer as a green project that could use up to one-half less energy than similar developments.
The project will feature triple paned windows, balconies for outdoor areas and plants, sustainably sourced materials, and the next generation of energy saving systems.
The development will be expected to be ready for occupancy by late 2022 or early 2023.
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