Photo: Planners say the Martin City apartment complex would be similar to this Township 28 in Springfield, MO. Photo Township 28
Apartment/Retail plans for Paintball property presented
By Kathy Feist
Developers presented their design concept for a $36 million apartment complex which includes three restaurants to the Martin City Community Improvement District (CID) Board on October 10. The 20-acre development would be located at the southeast corner of 135th and Holmes Rd. where Martin City Paintball currently stands. For now, the plans presented by Martin City Properties, LLC, and Miller Commerce developers are preliminary and must first go through the approval process.
The complex, which is yet unnamed, will consist of 200 multi-family apartments. Most will be housed in eight 3-story buildings. Some lofts and studios will be part of the retail buildings. Sizes vary from studios at 592 sq. ft to 3-bedroom apartments at 1300 sq. ft. Prices range from $900 to $1900 which planners say qualifies as affordable housing. Plans include an amenity center with a swimming pool and workout space and a potential puppy park.
The complex will be patterned off of Miller Commerce’s upscale Township 58 apartments located in Galloway, a small, once forgotten quarry town within Springfield that has been redeveloped into a hip destination. “Martin City is in somewhat the same place,” says Andrew Doolittle, consultant for Miller Commerce. “We’ve had much success in areas that are overlooked. We are excited to bring our product here.” If the plans succeed, it will be the first project for the Springfield developer in the Kansas City metropolitan area.
An agreement on a 700-foot east extension of 135th Street must be met between the developers and the City of Kansas City. The extension would benefit both this apartment complex and another planned immediately north of the street. The City is asking the developers to extend the street, while Martin City Properties would rather see the City incorporate the project into the Holmes Rd. redevelopment plans.
Once built, the apartments would be managed by TLC Properties based in Springfield.
Christie Realty Group which purchased the property has partnered with attorney Ferdinand Niemann IV and formed Martin City Properties, which will oversee the development of three restaurants, also called retail spaces. Each restaurant sets east of the apartment complex near Holmes Rd. One will be wrapped by 18 studios/lofts while another will have five. The third restaurant is a one level building with a rooftop hospitality deck.
Martin City Properties is seeking a 10-year 75 percent abatement and a 15-year 37.5 percent abatement. “We can’t build this quality of product without incentives,” says Niemann. The tax incentive process could take three to six months. If approved, the developers will then go through the process of getting the plans approved by the City.
Niemann says taxes from the retail businesses could potentially bring in $40,000 to the Martin City CID. While this brought enthusiastic support from those at the CID meeting, at least one remained cautious.
Dr. Kenny Rodriguez, Grandview’s Superintendent of Schools, voiced his concerns about the tax incentives. “They take money away from the schools,” he said. “I don’t always believe promises once abatements come true.”
Niemann, a former county property assessor, said he had a “deep understanding” of his concerns and pointed out that they were following the newer, stricter and more generous guidelines for abatements.