By Kevin Collison
A previous dead zone of parking lots south of Crown Center is fast being transformed into a new neighborhood that will feature more than 400 apartments and townhouses called Gallerie.
Construction is well underway on the $68 million first phase of the primarily residential project being done by Milhaus, an Indianapolis developer that’s being assisted locally by UC-B Properties. A $12 million second phase is expected to start next spring.
“Galleria is rocking and rolling forward,” said Tadd Miller, CEO of Milhaus.
Brad Vogelsmeier, the local Milhaus official in charge of Gallerie, said the project was years in the making. The property at 27th and McGee was previously owned by Hallmark’s development arm, Crown Center Redevelopment, and had been marketed for several years.
“Hallmark is very architecturally sensitive and wanted to be ahead of the curve,” Voegelsmeier said.
Hallmark officials reached out to UC-B, a firm led by John Hoffman and Lance Carlton, which had developed apartments nearby on Gilliam Road. After presenting a master plan that impressed Hallmark in 2013, UC-B brought in Milhaus as its deep-pocketed partner.
Milhaus was founded in Indianapolis seven years ago and has specialized in developing urban core projects in Indy and similar-size Midwestern metros. It recently raised $245 million from private investors to help it continue to grow and now has 4,000 units in its portfolio.
“We choose places that were underserved and without a lot of institutional capital,” Miller said. “We look for good-growth communities that have support from city government and a growing millennial population.”
Vogelsmeier said Hallmark officials visited Indianapolis to see what Milhaus had done there and gave the green light move forward with Gallerie. Construction began last spring.
The first phase includes 361 apartments, a structured garage and 7,500 square-feet of retail space. The design features four outdoor courtyards and a small pocket park at 27th Terrace and McGee that will be available to the public.
Gallerie will feature micro, studio, and one-, two- and three-bedroom units and a general rental range will likely fall between $850 – $2,000 per month.
Phase two will include 10 townhouses and a 50-unit apartment building at the corner of 27th, Warwick and McGee. Crown Center Redevelopment also is improving the streetscape on the north side of 27th Street, including adding bicycle lanes.
HOK is the design architect, the architect of record for the first phase is Dwell Design Studios from Atlanta. The second phase is being designed by Kansas City-based Draw architects. Milhaus has its own construction firm as general contractor.
The first units in Gallerie should be ready by August 2018.
Milhaus also is developing apartments at 27th and Troost, and Miller said the new infusion of capital will allow his firm to continue growing in the market.
“Hopefully, you’ll be hearing a number of new announcements from us in Kansas City,” he said.