The neighborhood at 18th and Wyandotte streets in the Crossroads Arts District is a magical place. Diana Swezy, who lived in W Lofts on that corner for 11 years, said this urban neighborhood is unlike anything else in Kansas City.
“Kansas City is a fabulous city and has many remarkable areas,” Swezy said. “But most places where people live downtown aren’t really a ‘neighborhood.’ Eighteenth and Wyandotte is. It’s like something in New York or Chicago where people shout from their balconies to their neighbors walking down the street.”
And it’s a street filled with activity, she added. “This is the epicenter of the Crossroads for First Fridays and gallery crawls. You’re living right there amongst the painters, print makers and young people who understand technology. Incredibly brilliant people live around here.”
Although Swezy enjoyed the 11 years she lived at 18th and Wyandotte in W Lofts, it is time for her to transition to another period in her life. Her specially designed one-bedroom loft is now for sale, listed by Boveri Realty Group at $279,000.
When Swezy bought her loft it was raw space and she worked with El Dorado Architects to create the loft that fit her needs. She loves to cook and entertain, so the kitchen has high-end Bosch appliances. The kitchen features Baltic birch and maple cabinets with Ceasar Stone counter tops. The floors are white epoxy and the 13-foot ceilings have rough hewn beams. The exposed brick walls have double-hung windows. One of the two fireplaces is in the large bedroom. The large covered balcony overlooks 18th Street. The loft comes with one secured carport parking space and a 10- by 15-foot storage space in the basement.
At the time Swezy bought the loft, she was seeking a lower maintenance lifestyle that would allow her to do the things she enjoys most. She was moving from a Donald Drummond-designed home in Overland Park with a large yard whose care consumed her weekends.
One of her pleasures is tending to her plants and the large balcony at her loft allowed her to do that. She also needs quiet time, so her loft has a minimalist design, a space that she says is Zen-like and peaceful.
Swezy also appreciated the style of the W Lofts building, which is a boutique condo project with just 16 units. “The W building was part of the film industry and was where cellulose film was processed, so it has incredible fireproofing to protect the film.”
But one of Swezy’s three degrees is in art and she enjoys being in artistic surroundings, as well as the street life that vibrates around 18th and Wyandotte. The annual 18th Street Fashion show is staged right outside her door, and lights for the show have been hung from her balcony.
“We have our own Fat Tuesday and Mardi Gras celebration,” Swezy said of the neighborhood. “There is a gathering of the most fabulous crazy artists at the crack of dawn at 18th and Summit. We stage a parade that winds from Summit with a full brass band and the sound is astounding when it passes under the interstate. The parade continues across Broadway to in front of YJ’s (Snack Bar at 18th and Wyandotte). Everyone goes home to recoup and then gathers again in full costume at 18th and Vine.”
YJ’s is one of Swezy’s favorite neighborhood places. “If I didn’t feel like cooking, I could walk across to YJ’s, buy something wonderful for dinner, take it home on a china plate, eat at home, wash the plate and take it back in the morning.”
But YJ’s isn’t the only neighborhood restaurant she enjoyed. She also frequented Pizza Bella and Michael Smith’s. “I had a standing reservation at Michael Smith’s for First Fridays. It was a great place to eat and watch the crowds passing by.”
All sorts of entertainment is nearby. “The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is right up the street,” Swezy said. “It’s an excellent location for access to multiple performing visual arts. It’s right in the middle of it.”
To schedule a tour of this loft, call Gina Orndorff with Boveri Realty Group at 913-787-1045. For more urban listings, visit BoveriRealty.com.
Boveri Realty Group
Listing location: 1803 Wyandotte St., Kansas City.
Contact: Gina Orndorff with Boveri Realty Group at 913-787-1045.