By Kathy Feist
A new day was dawning Monday when property development partners Ray Jagoda and Jeff Ellis cut a red ribbon over a large piece of vacant ground commemorating the future build of Forest Ridge Villas Apartments at 134th and Charlotte in Martin City. The celebration was especially notable because it kicks off the first of two multifamily housing projects fully approved in Martin City and the whisperings of a third.
“I’m excited about this project, in part because we miss housing in this area, especially affordable housing. It’s a win/win for the community,” said Sixth District City Councilman Kevin McManus, who along with several partners of the project was invited to the private ribbon cutting on September 13.
The $28 million multifamily development will consist of 194 units set on a 10-acre property overlooking Jackson County parkland at 13401 Charlotte St., a block east of Jack Stack BBQ and Margarita’s. Rent is advertised as market rate, which will range from $897 to $1,119 a month. The complex will include a clubhouse with exercise and theater rooms, a pool and a tornado safe room.
The plan, which began in 2018, has had its share of setbacks, including gaining access from 135th Street, dealing with drainage issues from another property, and securing financing. Forest Ridge Villas is the only planned development in Martin City that did not seek a tax abatement.
A second mixed-use development by Christie Development will break ground by year’s end at the southeast corner of 135th and Holmes. It received a 75% tax abatement. That project will consist of three retail spaces and 180 luxury apartments, all housed in three 4-story buildings on 20 acres. The projected completion date is early 2023.
A third plan, called Tilden Station, has recently been revealed for a 211-unit apartment complex at the southeast corner of 135th and Wornall, behind Martin City Golf. That project, overseen by developer Michael Knight, has also been approved for a 75% tax abatement. Plans are still in negotiations and must also go through the city approval process.
Forest Ridge Villas’ developer Ellis said he expects construction to go vertical this winter and hopes for completion by next summer.
“I have less confidence in that schedule due to supply and labor constraints,” he laughed. “Hopefully the Delta Variant will stay away from this project.”