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Pickup Helps Persuade Planning Board to Back Apartment Tower

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2 minute read

By Kevin Collison

More windows and a pickup truck helped persuade the City Plan Commission to support a proposed 12-story apartment project at 1818 Main in the Crossroads Tuesday.

Consideration of the 112-unit project planned by Copaken Brooks had been delayed when neighbors at the 1819 Baltimore condo building next door expressed concern it would obstruct alley access to their parking garage.

City planners also weren’t thrilled about the building’s proposed facade, saying it lacked transparency.

So with the help of a video showing test runs of vehicles, including a full-size pickup, accessing the 1819 Baltimore garage and the addition of windows to improve the exterior design, the developer brought their project and won the day this time.

“I hate we had to delay it, but feel that it ended up in the best situation,” said Commissioner Tyler Enders.

More windows were added to the facade of the project at the request of city planners. (Rendering by Generator Studio)

His motion to endorse the project was approved unanimously. The project is now expected to be introduced to the City Council on Oct. 11.

And while the demonstration that SUVs, pickup trucks and other vehicles could make it into their garage, Chris Abele, a resident of 1819 Baltimore, remained concerned.

“We do take a little bit of reassurance but we can’t lose sight of fact this is a diminution of access for us,” he said.

The 1818 Main apartment tower proposal was first introduced about a year ago.

The project calls for 10 stories of apartments above a two-level, 102-space garage. The mix would be 32 studios, 68, one-bedroom and 12, two-bedroom units.

About 1,800 square-feet of ground-level commercial space is part of the plan.

The development will require the demolition of the former Southwest Boulevard State Bank which opened in 1915, and two adjoining properties that had been used as a night club in recent years.

Earlier this year, the Port KC board approved an 18-year property tax abatement for the project. The agreement is for 90 percent in years years one through five; six through 10, 75 percent; 11 through 15, 50 percent, and 15 through 18, 25 percent.

Street view of the proposed 1818 Main apartment development. (Rendering by Generator Studio)

The property will continue to pay the current tax and is projected to generate $2.7 million in revenue over the life of the incentive while saving the developer $3.9 million in property taxes during that period.

Port KC plans to issue a $36 million bond for the project that would be repaid by the developer.

Ten percent of the units would be set aside as affordable for households earning up to 60 percent of Area Median Income. The Metro Kansas City AMI for a one-person household per federal guidelines is about $67,700 and $77,500 for two people.

An earlier proposal to set aside 20 percent of the units as affordable was dropped when the developer’s application for $3 million from the Kansas City Affordable Housing Trust Fund was turned down.

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