Development

Developer plans River Market apartment project

Updated: 2013-12-05T21:42:43Z

By KEVIN COLLISON

The Kansas City Star

A 56-unit apartment project is being proposed for a vacant lot in the River Market, an example of the development encouraged by the planned downtown Kansas City streetcar line.

KC Commercial Realty Group wants to begin construction on the $8 million project on the southeast corner of Fifth Street and Grand Boulevard early next spring. The firm is seeking a 25-year property tax abatement from the city to help make it financially viable.

Justin Cottrell, a principal for the firm, said the prospect of the new streetcar line, scheduled to open in 2015, contributed to the decision to develop the site.

“It did have an influence because we know in other cities that streetcars are a positive for residential development,” Cottrell said Thursday.

He added KC Commercial also has become knowledgeable about the area since it took over the city management contract for the nearby City Market a year ago. The other principal at the firm is David Bayer.

This would be the first residential development by the group.

The plan calls for a five-story building with parking for 56 vehicles on the ground floor. The market rate project would include 52 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom units. The development is being called Centropolis on Grand.

The name is a nod to a historic hotel at this intersection of the River Market from 1880 to 1940, according to the developer. Centropolis was a phrase coined in 1859 by Maj. William Gilpin to refer to Kansas City and its proximity to the center of the country.

Leasing is expected to begin in early 2015. The project was designed by NSPJ Architects of Prairie Village and is intended to fit with the historical fabric of the River Market area.

This is the second new residential development planned for the River Market this year. A 137-unit development called River Market West is now being built at 228 W. Fourth St.

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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