Once people move downtown, they are reluctant to live elsewhere, even when circumstances dictate a change. Four residents, three of whom have listed their condos with Boveri Realty Group, believe downtown Kansas City offers a vibe not found anywhere else.
Boveri Realty Group
Steve Franke bought a penthouse in Wallstreet Tower seven years ago as a second home. Franke’s primary home is in Chillicothe, Mo., where he owns Midwest Gloves, but when his son enrolled in Pembroke Hill High School, he needed a second home in Kansas City. Franke’s son and wife lived full-time at Wallstreet Tower and he joined them on the weekends.
“My son also was swimming for the KC Blazers competitive team at the time,” Franke recalled. “We wanted a convenient location that had all the amenities of living at home.”
Wallstreet Tower at 1101 Walnut was the perfect place. “We had access to easy parking, numerous restaurants and shopping,” he said. “We walked to places for dinner and brunch on Sundays and we could walk to events in all different directions.”
Franke also appreciated the view. “I could gaze out over the downtown airport, see the gold steeple at the cathedral and watch the activity on the street when there was a big concert. We could watch the seasons change, the trees and flowers budding in the spring and the leaves turning in the fall.”
The lock-and-leave lifestyle also proved to be an asset when the Frankes traveled to their son’s swim meets.
“It’s a fun place to live,” Franke said. “It has a mixture of young, middle aged and baby boomers — a variety of age groups. Most of the residents are professionals — doctors, dentists, nurses, attorneys, bankers.”
But now that Franke’s son is in college, he and his wife don’t get to Kansas City as much and it’s time for them to sell the penthouse. The two-bedroom, 21/2 bathroom penthouse is priced at $525,000. For information call Christina Boveri, owner/broker of the Boveri Realty Group at 816-606-1398.
Warren Traynor and his wife moved downtown 10 years ago, first to Wallstreet Tower and then six years ago to Western Auto Lofts. The church where Traynor is a pastor was opening a downtown campus and he was charged with helping pioneer it.
“For us, downtown is the heart of the city,” Traynor said. “It’s the center of business, government and art. I’ve always wanted to live in a ‘destination’ and downtown is a destination. It wasn’t when we moved here, but it’s become that way.”
The Traynors have taken advantage of all downtown has to offer. They’ve enjoyed restaurants, live theater, musical theater, bands and performing arts. At various times, they’ve had season subscriptions to the symphony, Quality Hill Playhouse and the ballet.
“We’ve taken our grandsons to the symphony’s Family Concert Series and they love going to the Kauffman,” Traynor said.
Walking has been their primary mode of travel. “Living at Western Auto, we could walk all over,” Traynor said. “We are near Crown Center yet in the Crossroads District so we could walk to galleries and the restaurants we love.”
He added that every Saturday morning they go to City Market to buy produce, a tradition they plan to keep even though it is time for them to move back to Leawood to be closer to their grandchildren and their activities.
Their one-bedroom condo with a large balconay is on the market for $197,00 and listed with Christina Boveri. Call her at 816-606-1398 for information.
Chris Branch, who works in sales in the transportation industry, and his wife have owned a one-bedroom loft in the Garment District at 700 Broadway for eight years, a location that he says is ideal. “It is equal distance from anywhere in the city, whether you’re going to Johnson County, north of the river or Arrowhead for a game.”
He particularly likes living in the Garment District on the north edge of downtown because it’s near interstate access yet within walking distance of many of his favorite destinations.
“We like the restaurants and bars in the area, especially the Peanut and the Majestic,” Branch said. “And we can walk to City Market, the Sprint Center and the Power & Light District.”
The Branches’ condo has a large balcony where they can legally grill and they enjoy inviting friends to dinner. It is also the perfect place to watch the air show at the downtown airport.
Although they have loved living downtown, the Branches now are ready to move to the Northland to be closer to family. Their one-bedroom condo with oversized windows and exposed brick walls is now for sale for $119,000. Call Michelle Van Trump with Boveri Realty Group at 816-213-1350 for information.
Susan Lawrence, who lives at Santa Fe Place, has no intention of selling her condo but recommends the lifestyle to those seeking an urban experience.
Lawrence lived in a third-floor walk-up on the Plaza before moving downtown several years ago when she needed someplace to live that had an elevator. She first rented at the Professional Building but bought a condo at Santa Fe Place six years ago because parking was an issue for her guests.
“I love it here,” she said. “My condo overlooks the garden and since I’m on the third floor, it’s like living in a treehouse. I can walk to Crown Center and to Union Station on the Link without ever going outside. And from Union Station, I use the bridge to get to Lidia’s and Grunaeur’s.”
Lawrence is a fan of public transportation and takes the bus to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Plaza and numerous other destinations. “I still use my car, but the bus is so easy.”
Those who want a similar living experience may contact Christina Boveri at 816-606-1398 to view a Santa Fe Place one-bedroom condo overlooking the garden. It is listed for $105,000.