A 300-unit apartment complex on the block that formerly held the Hereford House restaurant has taken another step toward city approval.
The Kansas City Plan Commission has approved an initial blight designation for the Crossroads Arts District block bounded by Main, Walnut, 19th and 20th streets.
The designation, sought by the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority, is tied to a $72 million, two-acre redevelopment plan to convert the existing Midwest Hotel to apartments and build about 280 new residential units on most of the rest of the block, excluding the northwest corner.
The hotel faces Main Street next to an empty lot at 20th. The vacant corner was the former site of the Hereford House restaurant that burned down in 2008.
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City Club Apartments of Farmington Hills, Mich., and Wit Solberg of Mission Peak Capital in Kansas City are partners in the project, which aims for a construction start this spring and a planned opening in the fall of 2018.
The blight request needs final approval from the City Council, possibly in March. The plan then is expected to return to PIEA with an incentives request. The developers are expected to ask for a 10-year, 100 percent property tax abatement on the added value, followed by five years at 50 percent.
The proposal would raze existing buildings on the block facing Walnut and erect multistory apartment buildings in their place. The living units would be built atop a 300-space underground parking garage and ground floor commercial space. The proposed commercial development includes a new restaurant at 20th and Main.
The proposed living units would wrap around a central green space, made possible by vacating the alley between Main and Walnut.