Join our family of curious Kansas Citians

Discover unheard stories about Kansas City, every Thursday.

Thank you for subscribing!

Check your inbox, you should see something from us.

Sign Me Up
Hit enter to search or ESC to close

Port KC Approves $1B in Projects From the River to Waldo Projects Include More Than 1,600 Apartments

Share this story
Above image credit: Port KC has approved a development framework for the $140 million 4711 Belleview apartment development that would rise 13 stories above the east side of Belleview near the Country Club Plaza. (Rendering | Port KC presentation)
Sponsor Message Become a Flatland sponsor
4 minute read

Port KC’s growing influence as an economic development agency was on full display Monday with the board either approving or reviewing incentives for more than $1 billion in projects stretching from the Missouri River to Waldo.

Top of the list was unanimous approval to issue $800 million in revenue bonds along with accompanying incentives for a major development planned near the new KC Current women’s soccer stadium now going up on the riverfront.

Far afield from the river, the commissioners unanimously approved a $90 million bond and accompanying incentives for a 278-apartment project at 74th Street and Broadway in the Waldo neighborhood tentatively named 74 Broadway.

But the most discussion was over a proposed 328-unit project just west of the Country Club Plaza. That $140 million development would rise 13 stories on the east side of Belleview Avenue taking up two-thirds of the block between 47th and 48th streets.

The 4711 Belleview development planned by Lane4 Properties was approved by the City Council last year. It would be located on property that includes the former JJ’s restaurant, which was destroyed in an explosion in 2013.

The Port KC board approved the framework of a deal that would provide the developer with a 20-year property tax abatement, 10 years at 85%, five years at 80%, and five years at 75%.

Aerial map of the 4711 Belleview site.
The 4711 Belleview development would occupy two-thirds of the block on the east side of Belleview Avenue between 47th and 48th streets. (Port KC presentation)

Other proposals have been made for developing the site, but none have progressed as far as the Lane4 plan.

“The site has been vacant for 10 years,” said Brandon Buckley of Lane4.

“Three other projects at least have been proposed for this site. All three failed due to the challenges of the site. This project certainly wouldn’t pencil without your approvals.”

The 4711 Belleview proposal has the backing of top city officials, but as has often been the case, is opposed by the Kansas City School District.

Kathleen Pointer, a senior policy analyst for the school district, accused developers of “incentive shopping” by going to Port KC.

“People are coming here not because they’re getting the incentive they need, but the incentives they want,” she said. “Every time we give dollars that are unnecessary to a development project we are taking dollars from schools.”

The site of the apartment proposal currently generates $41,000 annually in property taxes, or $1.1 million over the life of the agreement. The abatement would save the developers $28.9 million in property taxes during that period.

An artist’s rendering of the 4711 Belleview project proposed near the Country Club Plaza.
An artist’s rendering of the 4711 Belleview project proposed near the Country Club Plaza. (Contributed)

The project would still yield $19.5 million in new property taxes during its term to taxing jurisdictions including the schools, a fact emphasized by Commissioner Katheryn Shields, who formerly represented the area on the City Council.

“The assumption from the school district is that if this project isn’t done with incentives then some other project will be done without incentives that will bring them this property tax,” Shields said.

“We have 10 years of evidence since the demise of JJ’s that hasn’t happened.”

The proposed market-rate development would include 108 studio apartments; 154 one-bedroom units; 45 two-bedroom units, and 21 three-bedroom units. The apartments would be built above a 418-space underground garage.

While the 4711 Belleview development does not include affordable units, the developers would contribute $1 million to the city’s Housing Trust Fund.

Port KC estimated that would subsidize the development of 73 apartments in other projects, meeting the city’s set-aside requirement for units affordable to people earning up to 60% of the area median income.

The metro Kansas City AMI per federal guidelines is about $67,700 for a one-person household and $77,500 for two people.

While the Port KC board unanimously approved the framework and incentives in the 4711 Belleview proposal, it still will have to review its request to issue $143 million in revenue bonds.

Buckley said if the necessary approvals are obtained, work is scheduled to begin next year with an opening in 2026.

Rendering of 74 Broadway project.
The 74 Broadway apartment project in Waldo would be built on the current location of The Well bar and grill at 7421 Broadway. (Rendering | Port KC presentation)

The board’s consideration of the two other major projects on its agenda went quickly, since both had their development agreements already approved.

The board approved the $800 million bond for the project proposed on the riverfront near the KC Current stadium unanimously with little discussion. The project would be built in phases over 10 years.

The master developer is an affiliate of the women’s professional soccer club and its co-owners Chris and Angie Long. It would include more than 1,000 apartments in several towers, 210,000 square feet of office space and 53,000 square feet of retail.

The Port KC board approved a 15-year property tax abatement for the commercial space, 70% for 10 years and 30% for five; and a 15-year abatement for the residential component, 95% for 10 years and 90% for five.

A sales tax exemption on construction materials also was approved. Because the land is publicly owned and doesn’t generate taxes currently, the development is still expected to yield $30 million for local taxing jurisdictions over 25 years.

While renderings have not been prepared, the development schedule presented to Port KC indicated the first phase would include a nine-story apartment project with later phases calling for 11-, 14- and 16-story apartment buildings.

A five-story office project also is part of the plan. The development would include 1,070 structured and surface parking spaces.

The 74 Broadway apartment development is planned for the current site of The Well at 7421 Broadway. EPC Real Estate Group is cooperating with the Lewellen family, the owner of The Well, on the project and a new Well would be located on the ground floor.

The Port KC board approved a 20-year property tax abatement starting at 90% the first year. It would then drop to 85% for years two through five; 75% for years six through 10; 55% for years 11 through 15, and 25% for years 16 through 20.

The $90 million, 278-unit development would include 25 studios, 176, one-bedroom units and 77 two-bedroom units. It also would set aside 20% of its units for households earning 60% AMI.

Construction on the six-story development, which includes a 364-space garage, could begin by late fall or early next year and be completed in fall 2026.

Flatland contributor Kevin Collison is the founder of CityScene KC, an online source for downtown news and issues.

Like what you are reading?

Discover more unheard stories about Kansas City, every Thursday.

Thank you for subscribing!

Check your inbox, you should see something from us.

Enter Email
Reading these stories is free, but telling them is not. Start your monthly gift now to support Flatland’s community-focused reporting. Support Local Journalism
Sponsor Message Become a Flatland sponsor

Ready to read next

Nick's Picks | New Zoo Aquarium, Busy Labor Day Weekend

Peak Festival Season

Read Story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *