Photo: JPL Development began clearing property in June at 104th and Wornall in preparation for its 160-unit apartment complex. Photo by Bill Rankin
The rise of the apartment complexes
South KC experiences a growth in multi-family housing
By Kathy Feist
Covid-19 may have slowed down construction, but it has certainly not slowed plans for multi-family housing in the southland. We take a look at planned developments in our readership area..
Construction is underway on a long-vacant piece of property at 104th Terrace and Wornall Road for a 160-unit apartment complex named The Edison at Bridlespur. The apartments will range in size from studio to one- and two-bedroom, and should be completed by April 2021.
Crews removed some trees in the northeast corner to grade the site, but left a 75-foot buffer strip on the east where it backs up to existing homes, said Rodney Jones of St. Louis-based Quadrant Communities, which recently merged with JPL Development. He said the project will be well-landscaped and additional trees will be planted in the northeast area to replace those taken down. In addition, a 6-foot privacy fence will run along the eastern edge.
Jones and his partner plan to construct four buildings in the 6.24-acre site, each with three stories. The units will rent for $1,200 to $1,800 per month.
Amenities will include a community room, pool, fitness center, barbecue grills, dog park, cyber lounge, Lyft/Uber waiting lounge.
Some of the units will be built with special soundproofing in the windows to deflect highway noise from nearby I-435, and a right turn lane on 104th Terrace is being added to allow vehicles to go north on Wornall.
Forest Ridge Villas – Over 10 acres at 133rd and Charlotte St., immediately east of Jack Stack BBQ in Martin City, will be the site for the 195-unit ski lodge style apartment complex overlooking 300 acres of scenic Jackson County parkland. Rent will range from $897 for a one bedroom to $1,119 for a two bedroom apartment. Amenities include a clubhouse with an exercise room, theater room and pool, as well as a tornado safe room.
J.W. Ellis Development has already begun clearing the property as it awaits grading permits from the city. “Everything is moving slowly in the construction industry,” says Jeff Ellis, referring to Covid-19’s effect on product delivery and workers.
Currently there is no start date scheduled.
135th & Holmes Apartments – Plans for a $36 million apartment complex with commercial retail space has undergone a slight change. Instead of three retail spaces, there are now two, with one having been sacrificed for a widened 135th Street right of way, according to David Christie of Christie Development Associates
The mixed-use complex will consist of 200 luxury apartment units housed in eight 3-story buildings on the 20 acre lot.
Christie is still working with the City on tax abatement. He is hoping for more than 50 percent, which has been suggested. Christie maintains that no new mixed-use development has been built in south KC. “There are no new projects to measure the level of rents that this project will be able to secure from tenants,” he says. “All the comparables in the feasibility study included Leawood and Lee’s Summit apartments.” Because Martin City is a submarket, with different demographics, the high-end south KC project is a gamble for Christie. “That’s the reason for us to feel like we need relief on the property taxes for a period of time,” he says.
Waldo Ice House – “As you know, the old Waldo Antiques building was in terrible condition due to many years of neglect,” says Waldo developer Diane Botwin. “We tore down the old building and prepared the site for construction of our new mixed use building.”
The five-story Waldo Ice House, being built off 75th and Wornall, will consist of 44 apartments with a ground floor commercial space. A local optometrist will occupy the 4000 square foot commercial level. (Another 800 square feet is still available.)
Parking will be available behind the complex.
“We really want our residents to explore Waldo so we aren’t building a gym or swimming pool or club and party rooms,” she says.
Rent will range from $1000 to $1600. Completion is expected in the spring.
135th & Kenneth Rd – Two years ago, plans were approved by the City of Leawood for a $135 million mixed-use project on the southwest intersection of 135th and Kenneth Rd. It included high-end village-style houses, luxury apartments, an assisted living facility and retail space. Amenities included a pool, clubhouse, two pickleball courts and walking trails.
Today, plans for Regency Park include 60 townhomes, 81 maintenance provided villas (starting at $600,000), and 183 luxury apartments in 5-story tall buildings that would include ground floor retail/office space and a restaurant.
Developer Rick Lashbrook recently added the new town home concept to the City of Leawood Planning Commission. “I’m excited to introduce the town homes which offer prospective residents another choice and price point,” said Lashbrook. “These town homes will occupy an intimate enclave within the Regents Park development surrounding a centrally located park.”
It’s been 18 years since multi-family housing was built in Belton. That has now changed. Plans for a $44 million, 322-unit apartment complex at the intersection of 163 St and Turner Rd have recently been approved by the City of Belton. NorthPoint Apartments will consist of six 4-story buildings, a swimming pool, clubhouse, walking trail and dog park. Rent will range from $850 for studios to $1600 for two-bedroom apartments.
The developers, NorthPoint Development, expects to break ground on the 11.6-acre site in the spring.