People with deep pockets buy and sell homes more than the rest of us. The owners of Unit 107 in the Sulgrave Regency are no exception.
They moved from a large home into another condominium in the Sulgrave Regency, a luxury residential building just south of the Country Club Plaza, several years ago after their adult children had all left home. Not long after, they adopted a dog and decided that they’d like the dog to have access to a yard and — what do you know — Unit 107, just across the hall, was empty and had a yard. So they bought it, gutted it and turned it into a luxury condominium.
Now their children are having children and they need room for their expanding brood, so they’ve bought a large house and moved into it. Unit 107, which has two bedrooms and 2.5 baths, is now on the market, listed for just under $1.25 million. Additional monthly expenses for taxes, condo fees and insurance premiums run another $2,300.
The Sulgrave and Regency buildings were converted from apartments to condominiums in 2001. Two of the apartments on the first floor were merged to become Unit 107, which is just over 2,300 square feet.
“The builder who built out the inside is known for his high-end woodwork and finishings,” says Amy Greif, listing agent with Better Homes & Gardens. “He doesn’t do anything cheap. Everything is custom and the highest of high end.”
One place where this is abundantly clear is the powder room, where a gleaming copper bowl sink sits atop an elaborately hand-carved wood vanity. Across from it are wall-to-ceiling custom wood cabinets.
Just inside the front door of Unit 107, the foyer opens onto a large open space with an upper and lower area. The lower area comprises a sitting area with a fireplace surrounded by a regal hand-carved wood mantel, a formal dining area that looks out onto a patio and an open kitchen with high-end appliances, including a wine refrigerator and a large island.
The upper area contains another seating area surrounding a flat-screen TV, and a corner desk with more solid wood custom cabinetry. Greif notes that there are two types of hand-carved, solid wood in Unit 107: cherry and alder.
The master bedroom, in all honesty, is rather ordinary, and the master suite doesn’t have the huge walk-in closet that you typically see in homes in this price range. It does, however, have two large closets and a large, double-vanity bathroom with gobs of floor-to-ceiling cabinetry made of custom woodwork.
“Wait until you see the outside,” Greif says. “That’s what makes this particular condo feel so unique.”
Both the lower and upper spaces have large sliding glass doors that open to patios featuring several areas for outdoor lounging, watching TV, dining and cooking. Lush and elegant landscaping surrounds the patio, which also has a fountain, and a gated fence leads to Wornall Road.
Unit 107 also has a state-of-the-art sound system throughout, two parking spots and two storage lockers.
Its current price is $126,000 lower than it was when first listed in April but still about $200 more per square foot than other units in the building that are for sale. Greif says this is because of the unusual outdoor access. Most units have small balconies.
Part of the appeal of Unit 107 is that the Sulgrave Regency has been a historic and acclaimed address since the 1960s, when the buildings were erected.
“It definitely has a luxurious reputation,” says Beth Rice, general manager of the Sulgrave Regency. “It always has. Even before 2001.”
Rice has staff on-site around the clock, seven days a week, to greet guests and delivery people. They also provide an extra layer of security to the 40 cameras surrounding the property.
“We’ve had instances where family lives out of state and weren’t able to get a hold of older relatives, so we sent staff to check on them,” she says. “Our staff also picks up on (our tenants’) habits and reads their personalities. Some just want to go home and be left alone and others want to visit with the staff.”
That staff also puts out coffee and fresh-baked cookies every day, and they’re a big hit. A resident came to inquire about them while Rice was giving a tour early one afternoon, but they were all gone.
Residents also have full use of the building’s amenities, including a large outdoor pool, conference rooms, a 17-seat theater with a 96-inch screen and surround sound, and a recreation room with a pool table. There’s also a fitness center with locker rooms, massage rooms, saunas and personal trainers.
The former ASAI Architecture was hired in 2001 to design an entry that would merge the first floors of the Sulgrave and Regency buildings. The result is a stunning, modernist concrete and wood structure over walkways and a fountain with water flowing down a set of stairs.
A two-story, sun-filled ballroom with a similar concrete and wood modernist feel was added to the rear of the building. Tenants of the buildings can reserve the space for meetings, events, parties, weddings, whatever they want.
Rice also showed off one final gem inside the building: a beautiful and intricate mosaic wall, by Gabriella Polony Mountain, surrounding the bank of elevators on the 48th Street entrance of the Regency building. Polony Mountain was well known in Kansas City and around the country for her sculptures, stained glass, weavings and, of course, mosaics, including the one on the floor of Kansas City’s Central Library downtown. The library exhibited her work in 2015.
“Someone had covered it over with mirrors. Can you believe that?” Rice says. “It’s my favorite part of the (Regency) building.”