Neighborhood opposition has prompted significant downsizing in an apartment project proposed for Kansas City’s West Side.
The City Council’s Planning and Zoning Committee on Wednesday is scheduled to review a pared-down version of a multiuse plan by EPC Real Estate that was criticized as too dense for the 17th and Madison area.
Austin Bradley, an EPC project manager, said the smaller proposal eliminates the apartment building’s fourth floor, reduces the number of housing units from 60 to 48 and cuts the overall project size by 28 percent. Earlier plans to build four adjacent townhomes also were scrapped.
The revision also removes a restaurant and patio, halves the original first-floor commercial space and provides for some parking spaces in a planned underground garage that can be used in evening hours by patrons at nearby restaurants.
The developers seek rezoning to allow for high-density residential and partial commercial use. The council committee also will be asked to approve the property’s blight designation, previously approved by the city’s Planned Industrial Expansion Authority.
The blight finding is necessary to make the project eligible for property tax abatement. EPC requested a 10-year, 100 percent property tax abatement, followed by a 15-year, 50 percent abatement, partly to offset the costs to build the West Side’s first underground parking garage as part of the project.
Bradley said the development team gave heavy consideration to the neighbors’ concerns. The location is in an area with narrow streets and parking challenges for homes and businesses, factors that would be exacerbated by the development.
Adding to the concern is that a half block south on Madison, a major apartment conversion is under way in the former West High and Switzer Elementary school buildings, which will add 114 apartment units.
“We’ve moved the entry to the garage to 17th Street, a two-way street — that’s better than the one-way Madison,” Bradley said. “We’ve also removed the outdoor component completely, and there will be no restaurant that concerned the neighbors.”
The project is planned on a site that currently has a vacant former warehouse and an empty lot.
EPC intends to offer about 6,000 square feet of office space on the building’s street level, down from the previously proposed 12,000.