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New Track for Proposed Freight House Apartment Project

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1 minute read

By Kevin Collison

The Tracks 215 apartment proposal for the Freight House District, first unveiled in early 2019, has picked up a new developer with a track record of bringing residential projects to fruition.

Milhaus, the Indianapolis firm behind the recently-opened Artistry KC apartment project, has joined the project planned for a parking lot next to the historic Freight House Building, partnering with Vincent Bryant of 3-D Development.

John McGurk of Milhaus and architect Doug Stockman of Helix Architecture + Design are scheduled to brief a Crossroads Community Association committee next week about the change in ownership.

McGurk declined to comment.

Test drilling was underway this week at the proposed location of The Track apartments, a parking lot west of the historic Freight House Building. (Photo courtesy Chris Stritzel)

The new project, renamed The Tracks, is expected to be similar to the plan originally proposed by Bryant with about 200 apartments in a seven-story building. It also will include a 265-space garage.

Bryant was successful last spring in obtaining tax incentives for what was described then as an approximately $70 million development. The unique incentive deal involved both the use of tax-increment financing and property tax abatements.

The garage proposed for Bryant’s Tracks 215 project was intended to replace the 150 surface spaces lost by the development and currently used by business tenants, and add another 150 spaces for apartment residents.

The developer obtained a 15-year property tax abatement  to help finance the apartment side of the project. The TIF funding intended to help build the garage came from revenues generated by other nearby properties owned by Bryant.

Milhaus recently completed the 338-unit Artistry KC apartment development in the East Crossroads.

Bryant, who’s other projects include the ongoing renovation of the historic KC Star building into the Grand Place mixed-use project and the renovation of the building now called Corrigan Station into offices, originally had lined up Greystar, a national apartment developer, as a partner.

Greystar however, dropped out of the deal in May. At the time, Bryant said he would seek another residential partner for the deal.

Milhaus entered the Kansas City market in September 2017 when it won approval for a $24 million apartment project at 27th and Troost with 182 market-rate residences called Marcato.

Since then, the firm has developed 920 apartments between the Artistry, Gallerie and Marcato projects, and negotiating with the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority to develop a 52-unit apartment project at a lot owned by the agency at 31st and Troost.

While The Tracks proposal already has its tax incentives lined up, it will require rezoning. If successful, construction could begin before the end of 2021.

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