By Kevin Collison
Downtown’s latest apartment development, The Yards, will begin accepting residents this Friday and in addition to its pioneering location in the West Bottoms it offers some other new twists as well.
Try a kayak storage bay for tenants wanting to paddle on the nearby Kansas River and a mini-vineyard tilled by next door neighbor Amigoni Winery in the courtyard by the swimming pool.
“Overall, we’re super excited about the project,” said Ryan Cronk, vice president at Flaherty & Collins, the Indianapolis-based developer.
“The construction during Covid went as smooth as you can expect. We didn’t have any delays which is fabulous.”
Flaherty & Collins is so bullish about the prospects for residential development in The Stockyards District of the Bottoms that a second phase of The Yards already is in the works, Cronk said.
If all goes according to plan, a 200-unit addition will break ground before the end of the year along the Kaw on the Kansas side of the border. Residents also will use spaces in the city-owned West Bottoms garage where Yard tenants will be parking.
But first, residents for the new 232-unit Yards must be recruited. So far, about 18 units have been pre-leased.
Dealing with the restrictions of the Covid-19 outbreak has been a challenging leasing because prospective residents haven’t been able to tour the project just south of the historic Livestock Exchange Building at 1600 Genessee.
“The only downside has been not being able to get people into the property to see it,” Cronk said. “We plan to offer people some very good specials.
“The ultimate selling factor is when people can come down here and see it. It will open eyes.”
The project, designed by KEM STUDIO, combines an industrial modern look that also honors the history and architecture of the West Bottoms. The facade of the five-story development is corrugated metal, dark bronze on the east and north, white on the south.
Almost all units have balconies. There’s also a 745 square-foot rooftop deck with views of the downtown skyline and the Bottoms. There’s storage for bicycles, a fitness center and wellness studio and co-working areas.
The lobby features a giant, rusted corten steel plate, the same metal used to fashion the nearby “Bull Mountain” and “Bull Wall” sculptures in the West Bottoms. The artwork in the development was curated by nearby Haw Contemporary gallery.
The courtyard utilized old brick pavers salvaged from West Bottoms streets and in addition to the vineyard, landscaping includes native bluestem grass. There also are outdoor grills along with the pool.
Neighborhood amenities include the redeveloped Hy-Vee Arena, the Golden Ox, Stockyards Brewery, Amigoni Winery, Voltaire and KC Pinoy. The Yards has a 3,200 square-foot retail space available along Genessee too.
It’s also near the old Rock Island Railroad Bridget over the Kaw that’s been proposed for redevelopment into an entertainment and recreation destination by Flying Truss.
“When you live here, you have a unique, eclectic group of places to go,” Cronk said.
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