Published April 28th, 2022 at 11:30 AM3 minute read
By Kevin Collison
A mixed-use tower with up to 240 apartments being proposed for KCATA property at 10th and Main could break ground by summer 2023 and open by early 2025, according to a tentative schedule outlined Wednesday.
The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority board received a progress report on the ambitious development concept being pursued by a team led by Edgemoor Infrastructure and Real Estate. Edgemoor also is the firm developing the new airport terminal.
In its presentation, the development team called Live & Ride KC estimated the tower would be about 20 stories tall and would set aside 20 percent of its apartments to meet the affordability standard established by the City Council.
“Some of the benefits we see in in this opportunity is leveraging this fantastic site right downtown on the streetcar line with bus next door and trying to go above the city ordinance on affordable housing,” said Geoff Stricker, Edgemoor senior managing director.
Ten percent of the units would rent at 30 percent of area Median Family Income (MFI), 10 percent at 70 percent MFI and 10 percent at less than 120 percent MFI. The MFI for a one- person household locally is $60,700; two-person, $69,300, and four-person, $86,600,
Other elements of the proposal include up to 30,000 square-feet of office space for the KCATA, a 10,000 square-foot mobility plaza and ground floor retail and café space. The number of apartments could range from 170- to 240 units.
The briefing occurred at the halfway point in the 90-day predevelopment agreement between Live & Ride KC and RideKC Development Corp. The team has until the end of May to complete its research before negotiations would begin for an actual development deal.
The Live & Ride KC team, which also includes Community Builders of Kansas City and Parson + Associates, was chosen by the KCATA after responding to a request for proposals for the 10th and Main site, the authority’s former downtown transit station.
The half-acre site was vacated last summer when the KCATA opened a new transit center at 12th and Charlotte in the East Village area. The 10th and Main site also is where the William T. and Charlotte Crosby Kemper Memorial Fountain is located.
During their presentation, the team said several issues are yet to be determined about the proposed project including its height, the number and types of apartments, providing parking and how it can meet its affordability goal.
“The biggest challenge we’re working on is parking,” Stricker said.
“We’d like to reduce parking, but we know its a tenant amenity that residents want and its a small one-half acre site. We’re working strategies to leverage any existing parking in district without having to build very expensive structured parking.”
The development plan also is opposed by its influential neighbor Commerce Bank, and the bank’s landlord Tower Properties. Bank and Tower officials prefer the site be used for a park, and also question the financial viability of the proposed tower.
Details on financing are still being worked out, the development team told the KCATA board.
“In all likelihood, like most multi-family projects are funded, we’ll bring in equity and get construction loans,” Stricker said. “Upon construction, we’ll seek some subsidies from the city and others, and we may or may not seek tax credits.”
The team has been in discussions with city elected officials and staff, and has had a positive response, according to Jason Parson, who’s handling communications and marketing for the Live & Ride KC.
Parson also said a public outreach program is underway and a public meeting on the proposal is planned for next month.
“We know there’s a lot of whisper campaigns that can happen on a project like this where some folks may not want to see this go through, but there are many people that do, many people that are excited,” he said.
The pre-construction work is being done by Clarkson Construction Group, which also is working with Edgemoor on the airport project. The pre-design is being done by Gould Evans.
Stricker said the development team would strive to attain the same affirmative action goals of the airport project with 20 percent of the professional service contracts going to minority-owned businesses and 15 percent to women-owned businesses.
KCATA commissioners were supportive of the work done so far by Ride & Live KC.
“I like this project as a great starting point for our initial Ride KC Development project,” said Melissa Bynum, chairwoman.
“That’s a pretty fantastic way to come out of the gate. We have more work to do together to get there, but it’s an exciting project.”
Liam Dai contributed to this report