Published February 3rd, 2023 at 8:18 AM
A 300-unit apartment project is being pursued for an empty corner at 14th and Wyandotte across from the new Blue Cross Blue Shield building, according to a preliminary development plan filed with the city this week.
The early submission, which doesn’t list a developer, calls for a “mixed-use development with on-site parking and ground floor retail” for two parcels northeast of 14th and Wyandotte.
According to sources, Lux Living, a prolific St. Louis-based developer, is behind the proposal.
Lux is building the 215-unit Wonderland project at 19th and Broadway, and the 192-unit Katz project at Westport Road and Main.
The developer also has the rights to redevelop the 250-unit Freight House Village project at 20th and Walnut, and build a 250-unit project on the riverfront.
The one-acre site is between the Crowne Plaza hotel and the Power & Light Apartments, and across Wyandotte from Municipal Auditorium.
The development application lists the DLR Group as the architect.
“At this point, there is nothing to share publicly,” said Andy Ernsting, a spokesperson for DLR.
If the proposal were to move forward, it would rival the number of apartments in the nearby 296-unit Two Light building and the 288-unit Three Light project now under construction.
It also would remove a rubble-strewn lot at 1319 Wyandotte that was a dangerous hazard to passersby three years ago. The property drops 10-15 feet from the adjoining sidewalk and was not fenced for a month until the city acted on complaints.
The property at 1319 Wyandotte has been a blighted mess since an old garage located there was razed more than seven years ago. The adjoining parcel at 1330 Wyandotte is currently a surface parking lot.
The two properties were put on the market two years ago with a list price of $7.1 million after a previous development concept fell through.
Three years ago, an entity called Bravicci LLC floated a proposal that called for a tower on the site with 160,000 square feet of office space, 225 apartments and a 200-room hotel atop a 500-space above grade garage.
That deal never progressed, however, and the properties are now owned by an entity called Red Oak Capital Fund II LLC that lists its offices as being in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
Gary Bechtel, CEO of Red Oak Capital, said his firm is not the developer.
“We’re working with a local developer who plans to ultimately develop the property,” he said. “There’s clearly a higher and better use for that property.”
Flatland contributor Kevin Collison is the founder of CityScene KC, an online source for downtown news and issues.