Union Hill adding last round of single-family homes

05/08/2014 8:32 PM

05/08/2014 8:32 PM

The final round of single-family houses is being built at Union Hill, bringing the redevelopment project that started in the 1980s close to completion.

Construction is underway on 13 homes valued at $5 million total in the historic neighborhood south of Crown Center that dates back to the late 19th century. The homes are joining the final phase of apartment construction, 181 units in five buildings called the Founders at Union Hill, which is expected to be completed this year.

When the current houses and apartments are built, developer Bob Frye said, the rebuilding of Union Hill will essentially be complete.

The redevelopment was first approved by the Kansas City Council in 1980. After a couple of false starts, it began in earnest in 1988 when a development group led by Frye took over the project.

“The biggest thing is, it’s completing the transformation we started,” Frye said. “We’re rebuilding the streetscape that was there for the lots laid out 100 years ago. All these houses are being built on the originally platted lots.”

The homes are being designed to fit in with the historic architecture of the area. The styles are Cape Cod, Shirtwaist, Federal and Victorian. All are two-story, three-bedroom homes, and prices range from $367,000 to $448,000. Furnished models at 3015 McGee St. and 3008 DeGroff Way are open as part of the Spring Parade of Homes tour that ends Sunday.

According to the developer, the first Cape Cod homes on DeGroff Way were built by William Rockhill Nelson, the founder of The Kansas City Star, for newspaper employees more than 100 years ago. The new homes are next door to the originals and include front porches.

The boundaries of the Union Hill redevelopment area generally stretch from Main Street on the west, Gillham Road on the east, 31st Street on the south and Crown Center to the north. It included the neighboring property that gave the area its name, the historic Union Cemetery.

Once completed, the Union Hill project will have spurred well over $200 million in investment in the 16-block area since 1980.

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