Development

Smaller West Side apartment project emerges from controversy over density and parking

A downsized apartment complex is planned for the southwest corner of 17th and Madison streets on Kansas City’s West Side.
A downsized apartment complex is planned for the southwest corner of 17th and Madison streets on Kansas City’s West Side.

After wrangling for months over plans for an apartment project on Kansas City’s West Side, EPC Real Estate is moving forward with a smaller version that doesn’t need city incentives.

Plans for a downscaled 32-unit apartment building and four townhomes at 17th and Madison streets were approved by the City Plan Commission.

“It will be a nice project… brick, stone, metal and wood panels with a contemporary flair but with a warm, timeless feeling,” said Austin Bradley, EPC project manager.

What it won’t have is an underground parking garage, commercial or public space. All surface parking spaces and building amenities will be for tenants only.

The downsized project had sought property tax abatement to help cover the costs of digging an underground garage, proposed as a way to alleviate some of the long-standing parking problems in the 17th and Madison neighborhood.

But the developers faced strong opposition from some West Side advocates who said the project would add to the area’s traffic, density and gentrification.

Bradley said EPC aims for a groundbreaking in spring 2017 and occupancy in spring 2018. He said the apartments — referred to as 17Madison — will range from 500-square-foot studios to about 1,400-square-foot, two-bedroom units. The adjacent townhomes will be 1,750 square feet or 2,000 square feet.

Rental prices are expected to be “about $2 a square foot — maybe at the high end of market rates,” Bradley said.

The smaller project won’t include “affordable” or “workforce” housing. Under the former tax-subsidized plan, about one-fourth of the units would have been allocated for lower rents than market rate.

Moving forward with a smaller apartment plan was one of three options considered by EPC after it abandoned its incentives request. The company, which has owned the property for a year, considered selling the property or letting it sit idle.

The property now has a decaying warehouse on one end and vacant land on the other.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford

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