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Gladstone announces $28 million apartment-retail project for downtown

Updated: 2013-04-10T05:05:27Z

By KEVIN COLLISON

The Kansas City Star

A $28 million development that will add 222 market-rate apartments and retail space to the effort to rebuild downtown Gladstone is in the works.

The project is to be developed and managed by Flaherty & Collins Properties of Indianapolis. It will include 10,000 square feet of retail space and an interior surface parking lot with 272 spaces, according to Gladstone officials.

“This is a game changer for our community and the central Northland,” Mayor Carol Suter said Friday. “These are market-rate apartments targeted at young professionals, a group of people we’re losing to downtown and Johnson County for this kind of housing.”

The project is planned for the southeast corner of North Locust Street and Northeast 70th Street in a multi-block area that Gladstone officials are calling Linden Square. The mayor said Linden is a community that predated Gladstone, but those older buildings were lost over the years.

Now Gladstone officials are building a new city center in that area, which would include the apartment development, the Gladstone Community Center, the North Kansas City Schools Natatorium and a two-story office building scheduled to open in June.

The new apartment project is called the Heights at Linden Square. The rents will range from $600 to $1,400 a month.

About half the apartments are to be one-bedrooms, 26 percent will be two-bedrooms, 5 percent will be studio units and the rest will be two-level, two-bedroom units with an attached garage.

Ryan Cronk, vice president of development at Flaherty & Collins, said his firm learned about the Gladstone development opportunity about 16 months ago from an advertisement the city placed in a trade publication.

The firm has developed apartment projects at Midwest locations, including Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Minneapolis and the Chicago area.

Construction is expected to begin this summer, and the first apartments are expected to be ready for occupancy in early summer 2014.

A Chapter 100 incentive is being provided to the developer, the mayor said. It will provide a 25-year property tax abatement on the project, and the city will issue bonds to finance the development. The developer will be required to repay the bonds, and the city is not responsible for any shortfalls.

Suter said Gladstone will spend about $3 million to improve streets, sewers and other infrastructure for the apartment project.

A formal announcement of the project is scheduled for Tuesday.

To reach Kevin Collison, call 816-234-4289 or send email to kcollison@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter at kckansascity.

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