Published October 26th, 2023 at 10:35 AM2 minute read
Lux Living, the St. Louis apartment developer building the Katz project, has dropped two downtown residential deals but is still pursuing its big apartment and hotel high-rise proposal at 14th Street and Wyandotte Avenue.
Lux scrapped its plan to build at 250-unit apartment development on riverfront property owned by Port KC. The developer also is no longer pursuing the 230-unit Freight House Village proposal in the Crossroads.
Jon Stephens, Port KC president and CEO, said Lux ended its purchase agreement for the riverfront property by mutual agreement.
“There is already very high interest from other development parties regarding the site,” Stephens added.
Vince Bryant of 3D Development confirmed Lux Living was no longer pursuing the Freight House Village. Bryant previously had obtained development rights and incentives for the project in 2021 and had reached a tentative agreement with Lux.
Victor Alston of Lux Living could not be reached for comment.
Lux currently has two other local apartment projects under construction: the 192-unit Katz redevelopment at Main Street and Westport Road; and the 215-unit Wonderland development at 19th Street and Broadway.
In August, the developer was approved for tax incentives for a $194.5 million project at the northeast corner of 14th and Wyandotte. The proposed 27-story tower would have 300 apartments and a 200-room hotel, and be located adjacent to the historic Power & Light Building.
The incentive deal, which includes a 17-year property tax abatement, was approved by the Land Clearance Redevelopment Authority. Dan Moye, LCRA executive director, said the plan was still proceeding.
“We’ve been having calls, exchanging emails and having meetings as recently as this week,” Moye said. “It’s actively being worked on.”
The Lux riverfront apartment plan was proposed in early 2022, but the developer’s request for a 25-year property tax abatement was opposed by Kansas City Public Schools and other taxing jurisdictions as well as the KC Tenants housing activist group.
Lux Living had planned to set aside 20% of its units as affordable housing as part of its incentive application. Lux would have saved about $12.6 million in property taxes over 25 years.
The project still would have yielded $5.5 million to taxing jurisdictions because the Port KC-owned land currently is not taxed.
The Port KC board ultimately decided not to act on the Lux Living incentive request.
Last fall, Lux officials said they still planned to move forward with the $56 million plan, but Port KC said the firm recently allowed its sales agreement to expire.
As for the 14th and Wyandotte project, the tentative timetable calls for work to begin in 2024 and completion in 2027.
Flatland contributor Kevin Collison is the founder of CityScene KC, an online source for downtown news and issues.