Development

Thirteen-story apartment tower proposed for west of Country Club Plaza

Looking north from 47th Street, this architectural rendering shows how 47Madison would fit between Madison and Roanoke Parkway, just west of the Country Club Plaza.
Looking north from 47th Street, this architectural rendering shows how 47Madison would fit between Madison and Roanoke Parkway, just west of the Country Club Plaza.

A 13-story, 257-unit apartment complex has earned an important green light for a prominent site at 47th Street and Roanoke Parkway, just west of the Country Club Plaza.

The Kansas City Plan Commission on Tuesday approved the multifamily development plan from property owner Block Real Estate Services LLC.

The development, named 47Madison, would rise on land that has been vacant since the former Junior League of Kansas City clubhouse was razed in the 1990s. The site had been proposed for an office tower that was never built.

The plan calls for no public incentives.

Block officials said they expect to take the proposal to the City Council in January and to begin site preparation in the second or third quarter of 2017.

Aaron Mesmer of Block said the company generally expects the apartment units to rent from $900 a month for the smallest units and upward from $2,500 a month for the penthouse units.

The project, with architecture and landscape design by NSPJ Architects, would include a three-level parking garage topped by apartments, a pool deck and rooftop activity space.

Most of the units would be in the tower, basically fronting Madison, but some would be set in a five-story building fronting Roanoke, designed to provide a lower-scale transition to other apartments to the west.

The triangular lot would feature public green space and water features at its southern point, which is a high-traffic intersection between northbound Madison and southbound Belleview.

Joe Rexwinkle, representing the City Planning & Development Department, said the proposal fully complies with zoning restrictions for the site and generally complies with height guidelines for the neighborhood.

Mesmer said the Block team had met with the West Plaza Neighborhood Association and received enthusiastic response to the proposal. The commission accepted a letter from the association, signed by president Joe Montanari, that stated the neighborhood was “enthusiastically unopposed” to the plan.

That response came in contrast to repeated neighborhood opposition to higher or heavier developments around the Plaza.

One neighbor, who lives in the 4600 block of Jarboe, did express concerns that the apartments would be one story higher than the nine- to 12-story guidelines in the Midtown-Plaza Area Plan. But city staff members said the project’s overall height fits with a 156-foot height reference in the area plan.

Mesmer said the developers tried to be sensitive to traffic and parking concerns. The plan calls for one garage parking space to be provided for every bedroom in the development, which is more than one space per unit. It also provides for bicycle parking spaces and what he called an “Uber lounge” for people to wait for summoned transportation.

Commissioners urged the developers to work with the city to expedite a traffic study and lane improvement project to better handle traffic at the 47th Street intersections.

Shafer, Kline & Warren is the civil engineer on the project. Documents did not list a general contractor yet.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford

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