Kansas City Council approves billboard condemnation for Crossroads hotel plan

The proposed 110-room Hilton Home2 Suites would occupy the southeast corner of 20th and Main streets, but before it can proceed, a billboard owned by Lamar Advertising has to be removed. The pole sign also has been protected by a “perpetual” visual easement that says nothing can obstruct its view. The council unanimously designated the sign as blighted, beginning the condemnation process.

Canada’s Martinrea will build an auto parts plant in Riverside

Martinrea International Inc., a Canadian automotive parts supplier, plans to build a manufacturing plant in Riverside that will create up to 290 jobs. A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 11 a.m. Thursday at 5233 N.W. 41st St., near Horizons Parkway. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, local officials and company executives are scheduled to attend.

Kansas City finds success with Millennials

We may not be as red-hot as Denver and Portland, Ore., but Kansas City is holding its own when it comes to attracting the Millennial generation, thanks to a vibrant cultural life and inexpensive living. The reasons why many young adults like Kansas City reverberate with other generations.

Two College Boulevard office buildings are sold

The Renaissance Office Park properties, totaling 293,872 square feet, were sold by an investment group represented by Copaken Brooks of Kansas City to CA Office. The seven-story Van Eyck building is on about eight acres at 7007 College Blvd. The seven-story del Sarto building is on 4.9 acres at 7015 College Blvd. The properties were marketed for sale by HFF.

Three downtown projects win approval

Downtown Kansas City scored a triple play when two apartment projects totaling more than 300 units won incentives necessary to begin work and a plan to double the size of the Crossroads Academy charter school was approved.

Indianapolis developer pursuing $125 million downtown apartment plan

An Indianapolis developer with local roots is planning to build three separate downtown apartment projects totaling 661 units in the Quality Hill and West Crossroads areas. Jim Thomas, a partner with Cityscape Residential who grew up in Raytown, wants to enter the urban market in a big way with an investment in new apartment construction totaling $125 million.

Crossroads battle pits hotel vs. billboard

Jason Swords is working on a deal for a 110-room Hilton Home2 Suites on behalf of Overland Park-based True North Hotel Group. The five-story hotel is being proposed for the almost vacant southeast corner of 20th and Main streets along the downtown streetcar route. Towering in the way, however, is a billboard owned by Lamar Advertising. The sign is protected by a “perpetual” visual easement that says nothing can obstruct its view.

Senior living apartments are planned for the Mission Crossing development

A $15 million senior living apartment project is scheduled to break ground next week at the Mission Crossing development off Metcalf Avenue in Mission. Lane4 Property Group is teaming with Welcov Healthcare and Tetrad Corp. to develop the three-story, 101-unit apartment project called The Welstone. It is expected to open in early 2015.

Missouri auditor criticizes historic tax credit program

A new audit of the program, the oldest and largest in the nation, concludes that it has been helpful in restoring many buildings but is not an effective use of state resources. The report by Missouri Auditor Thomas Schweich estimated that each historic tax credit dollar yielded 49 to 85 cents toward rehabilitation costs.

Construction contracts decline in KC area in February

McGraw Hill Construction reported contracts totaling $129.6 million issued last month, compared with $183.7 million in February 2013. Nonresidential contracts were down 25 percent to $64.2 million and residential contracts were down 34 percent to $65.3 million.

Downtown KC charter school wins support to double size

A plan by Crossroads Academy of Kansas City to double its size by this fall with the help of $5.5 million in tax incentives was endorsed Monday by the Kansas City Tax Increment Financing Commission. The fast-growing downtown charter school wants to acquire the building next door so it can expand to include middle school students.

91-year-old woman in Lawrence resists developer

The offer seems a reasonable price for a one-bedroom, 840-square-foot house built nearly 100 years ago: $600,000. But Georgia Bell has turned down a Chicago developer who is planning a five-story, state-of-the-art residential and retail complex with 156 student housing units.

Kansas City-area housing market was stable in February

Average sales prices for new and existing homes were up slightly, according to the Kansas City Regional Association of Realtors. At the current sales pace, there is a 4.4-month supply of existing homes, making it a solid seller’s market. There is a 6.2-month supply of new homes, which represents a balanced market.

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