The rush to redevelop Troost Avenue is continuing with a $14 million apartment project that its developer hopes will be a “catalyst” for economic growth along the corridor.
Kansas City-based UC-B Properties won approval Thursday from the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority for tax incentives to build 89 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments on the southwest corner of Linwood Boulevard and Troost Avenue. Pending approvals from the city council, developers hope to break ground next summer and open in the fall of 2020.
“This is really the early stages, I think, of opportunity for the economy to grow east,” Lance Carlton, a developer with UC-B, said at the PIEA board’s meeting Thursday.
UC-B’s project is one of several underway along Troost Avenue, Kansas City’s historic racial dividing line. Other projects in the works are the redevelopment of the Wonder Bread building to the north and Mac Properties’ proposed redevelopment of all four corners at Armour Boulevard and Troost.
Carlton said apartments will rent for $800 to $1,200 per month, and there will be nearly one parking spot per unit in a surface lot behind the building. Developers aren’t planning for a garage because of the building expense.
UC-B is bucking the recent trend of high-end amenities, like dog parks and rooftop pools, found in other Kansas City apartment developments. The building will have a workout room and may have a rooftop deck depending on the budget, Carlton said.
“Our main motive here is to really bring people to the area, and to do that, you need some amenities, but you don’t need — we don’t think you need — pools and all that because that’s not an appropriate amenity for this area,” Carlton said.
Carlton told board members he hopes the Linwood and Troost project performs like UC-B’s development at 63rd and Holmes. After the company put new apartments there, he said businesses followed.
“This project that you have in front of you today really hopefully is that catalyst for people to come in and say, ‘Hey, UC-B came in here, this area. I see the bones of the street.’ Hopefully we can get businesses both east and west of Troost here being part of the redevelopment,” Carlton said.
Because the Linwood and Troost project is in a continually-distressed census tract, Carlton was able to get a 100 percent property tax abatement for 10 years and a 50 percent abatement for 15 after that. Under a city ordinance, projects typically can’t get more than 75 percent of their property taxes abated for the first 15 years. After that, the cap is 37.5 percent.
The project also won a sales tax exemption on construction materials.