New duplexes add low-income housing on Kansas City’s East Side

This duplex on Norton Avenue between 43rd and 45th streets is one of two apartment projects on Kansas City’s East Side.
This duplex on Norton Avenue between 43rd and 45th streets is one of two apartment projects on Kansas City’s East Side.

Kansas City dentist Zavon Kanion and his wife, Jacqueline Kanion, along with their attorney, Herb Hardwick, have worked three years to form a team and build two new affordable housing developments on the city’s East Side.

Their commitment leads to a grand opening, scheduled for May 5, of 30 new apartments renting to qualified low-income tenants for between $640 and $725 a month.

The developments, built at a $9 million cost by the Kanions’ company, Oak Point Partners LLC, are between 43rd and 45th streets on Norton Avenue and in the 3800 block of Cypress Avenue, a street west of Elmwood Avenue that was added to accommodate the new project.

The new units are all duplexes with the exception of one four-unit building on the Cypress site.

Both locations were vacant land when the Kanions tackled the infill housing project, but the Cypress location had an ignoble residential past. Kansas City had razed a former housing project, the Seven Oaks Apartments.

“It fell to drugs and crime and was demolished before we took on the project,” Kanion said of the demolished apartments.

Each new apartment provides three bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, fully equipped kitchens, central air conditioning and heating, connections for washers and dryers, and attached one-car garages.

“Our desire is to place families in them,” Kanion said. “And we have two of the 30 units that are fully accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act.”

The development team helped Kanion, who has a dental office at 5240 Prospect Ave., work through a web of financing assistance, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits and other federal programs, to make the projects feasible.

In addition to the Hardwick Law Firm, Kanion identified his development team as Rosemann & Associates architects, Straub Construction, Taliaferro & Browne engineers and TSI Engineering.

People interested in rental opportunities at either of the two sites should call Jacqueline Kanion at 816-924-2121.

The opening celebration is set for 10:30 a.m. May 5 at the Cypress location, with several federal and city leaders scheduled to attend.

Diane Stafford: 816-234-4359, @kcstarstafford