If you regularly drive north into downtown Kansas City on Interstate 35, you've probably watched the rise of the newest apartment building in the Crossroads Arts District: a five-story complex just 20 feet from traffic.
Crossroads Westside Apartments, which celebrates its grand opening this week, was built on a 4.9-acre wedge of land between the Interstate and the West Pennway flyover, which is visible from the community pool.
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Stand outside the building and you'll hear the steady hum of cars, trucks and trains rolling in and out of Union Station.
"A lot of people like that," says Ryan Adams, a development associate with Cityscape Residential. "It's part of downtown living."
Adams says location is Crossroads Westside's best amenity. It even beats the arcade lounge and the dog spa.
"There's obviously a lot of buzz around the Crossroads," he says, pointing out that the development is close to the action on First Fridays and popular restaurants along Southwest Boulevard.
"Everybody wants to be a part of that downtown experience," Adams says.
All that commotion is barely audible inside the building's 221 apartments, which feature high-end touches such as stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, Shaker-style cabinets and wood-look laminate flooring.
Some units have balconies that look out over an urban jungle of bridges, billboards and railroad tracks. Look past all that and you'll see Union Station, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the downtown Kansas City skyline.
From Unit 345, you can watch thousands of cars whizzing by on the Interstate, located 20 feet from a window in the second bedroom. The 1,222-square-foot apartment is still available — for $1,934 per month.
Each unit also has a walk-in closet in the master bedroom and a stacked washer and dryer in the pantry. Prices range from $1,229 for a 669-square-foot one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit to $2,300 for a 2,200-square-foot apartment with two bedrooms and two bathrooms.
About a third of the units have been leased, and a fourth are already occupied, says community manager Nicole Neely.
Crossroads Westside Apartments' prices are in line with those at other newly constructed downtown luxury developments such as Two Light, 1444 Grand Blvd., where 590-square-foot one-bedroom units start at $1,200 per month, and Union Berkley Riverfront, where one-bedrooms rent for $1,250 to $1,500.
Crossroads Westside doesn't have a rooftop infinity pool overlooking the Power & Light District, as Two Light does, or a free coffee bar and pickleball court, like Union. But it does offer some attractive amenities, such as a 24-hour gym with CrossFit equipment and a spinning studio, and a saltwater pool with lots of lounge chairs that look out across railroad tracks to Union Station.
The pool area also features fire pits, barbecue grills and doors that open up to a lounge area with a kitchen, a TV, air hockey, Skee-Ball and arcade games. The communal space is decorated with quirky touches that reflect the creative neighborhood: reclaimed wood, macrame wall hangings, a garden gnome and a shelf supported by two big blue hands.
The building's design, the work of Helix Architecture + Design, BNB Design and Dimensional Innovations, radiates a bright, playful vibe. Peek into the women's restroom near the lobby and you'll see a giant female face on the wall above the sinks. Her reflective sunglasses are mirrors.
At least one hallway has hopscotch grid carpet, and a lime green wall near the building's entrance is decorated with shiny metallic silhouettes of cows
The dog spa — which features bathtubs for large and small pups — has a schnauzer and beagle outlined on the wall. Crossroads Westside also caters to pet owners with a private off-leash dog park.
Adams says many residents work from home, which is why his company added a second conference room during the construction process.
He says the development is attracting lots of young professionals who work for Cerner, H&R Block and the University of Kansas Medical Center. But Crossroads Westside is also home to a handful of senior citizens, including an 85-year-old woman who watched the building go up from her former home in the Westside neighborhood.
"She likes to watch the traffic go by," Neely says.