A plan by developers Doug Weltner and Bryan Johnson has earned unusually clear support for a 67-unit apartment building just north of the Country Club Plaza.
The Kansas City Plan Commission on Tuesday unanimously approved the 46Summit proposal, buttressed by letters of support from several neighborhood groups. The plan is scheduled to go before the City Council’s Planning & Zoning Committee Wednesday.
Commissioners approved the L-shaped, three-story apartment building on what is now partly vacant land after no one testified against it. That’s a marked difference from several other recent apartment proposals for the Plaza area, one of which was killed by public opposition. Several letters of support were entered into the record.
Patty Noll, a member of the city’s planning staff, credited months of pre-development meetings with neighbors, particularly with residents of two nearby condominiums, the Brentwood and 46Jefferson. Noll said 46Summit was a well-designed project that satisfied most development guidelines set by the Midtown/Plaza Area Plan.
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But because the number of apartment units on the 1.3-acre site would exceed the area plan’s guidelines, it required an amendment to the recommended land use for the site from “residential high” to “residential urban.” It also required a slight rezoning change to allow for smaller apartment units on the site.
Those changes and the complete development plan were approved by the commission, and Weltner said he hopes to break ground in mid-2017, with opening expected after 14 months of construction.
The design for 46Summit by Hoefer Wysocki Architecture uses a mix of wood, stucco, brick, stone and metal for what was described as a “residential feel.” The surrounding neighborhood is a mix of single-family bungalows, duplexes, multifamily apartment buildings and a hotel, ranging from one to eight stories.
The plan calls for one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging from 750 square feet to 2,400 square feet. It includes 102 parking spaces in a two-level garage beneath the apartments, with access to the garage off Summit and 46th streets.
Several other residential and commercial development projects are proposed for sites within a block or two of the 46Summit site. Recent neighborhood objections to rejected projects have centered on size, density and traffic concerns on the fairly narrow streets between the Plaza and Westport.
Weltner characterized 46Summit as “a real transitional piece of ground” between existing high-rise buildings and bungalows. He said the project presented Tuesday represented significant downsizing from a proposal aired a year ago.
“It was scratched and we started over,” Weltner said. “We listened to the neighbors.”