Library Lofts East, a 118-unit apartment project that helped launch the current downtown housing resurgence 10 years ago, has been sold to Steadfast Income, a real estate investment trust based in Irvine, Calif.
By KEVIN COLLISON
The Kansas City Star
The historic renovation project at 1004 Baltimore Ave. was developed by Master Realty Properties.
Together with the 168-unit Library Lofts West, the two developments converted several early 20th century office buildings into a new neighborhood with 300 apartments along 10th Street between Wyandotte and Main streets. The district is anchored by the Kansas City Downtown Library, which also was a historic preservation project.
John Bennett Jr. of Master Realty Properties said that with the downtown rental market at more than 90 percent occupancy, this was a good time to sell.
The rental market is very strong right now, and there are buyers looking for acquisitions that generate a good yield, Bennett said.
Library Lofts East was the third downtown housing project sold recently to to out-of-town investors.
Master Realty also sold the 102-unit EBT Lofts at 1601 Walnut St. to Steadfast Income REIT last year. Last fall, the 323-unit Market Station apartments, the largest residential project to go up in downtown Kansas City in recent years, was sold to MAA, a REIT based in Memphis, Tenn. Market Station opened in the River Market in 2010 and was developed at a cost of $45 million by the Morgan Group of Houston.
Bennett said his firm was continuing to look for opportunities to develop housing downtown but noted its becoming more difficult to do historic renovation projects. The stock of older buildings available for redevelopment has been reduced, and the state historic tax credit program, a vital financing tool, is being threatened with cutbacks.
In addition to Library Lofts West, Master Properties continues to own several renovated residential buildings including the Stuart Hall Lofts, the Campbell Lofts and Freight House Lofts. The firm has more than 600 apartments in its portfolio.