Plans Underway for 505 Central Housing Project in Kansas

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A high-rise apartment complex known as the 505 Central housing, is set to be developed in Kansas City’s historic neighbourhood of Russian Hill by Sunflower Development Group. Recently, the local developer received approval from the Unified Government (UG) of Wyandotte County and Kansas city to rezone the property and also alter the city’s master plan to high-density residential.

The 505 Central housing project the cost of which is approximately $40 million, was originally intended to be a 142 unit market-rate apartment complex, but after several criticisms from neighbours, the building was reduced to 129 apartments units to avoid blocking the onion dome view of the Orthodox Church.

According to Mark Moberly, the Sunflower director of development, an agreement was reached at the commission meeting in April, concerning the transition of the project into more of a mixed-income community. The developers worked with the Unified Government staff on this and were able to reduce the number of two-bedroom units, with more focus on the attainable housing costs of the studio and one-bedroom alternatives.

Features of the 505 Central housing project

The 505 Central housing project will be developed on a 1.09-acre plot, located at the corner of Sixth Street and Central Avenue near the end of Moulder’s block. The 129 apartment complex will be eight stories high and feature a mix of 18 studio apartments, 103 one-bedroom apartments and 8 two-bedroom units. A 136-capacity parking lot will be added to the bottom floors of the building.

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The major bone of contention for the 505 Central housing project’s opposition group was the building’s height, which still hasn’t changed. This eight-storey tower is seen as rather excessive and out of sync in a neighbourhood, where the majority of the homes don’t go above the one-story height margin.

However, Moberly pointed out that the height of the 505 Central housing project wouldn’t cause the building to tower over the surrounding single-family homes, because it will be built into the base of the hill. He said the property would actually align quite well with the homes on top of the hill.

Although the master plan amendment plan has been approved, other details of the 505 Central housing project are still yet to be finalized and are awaiting the city’s approval later this year. If the project gets approved, the developer has also agreed to contribute nothing less than  $250,000 to provide upgrades to the area such as pedestrian improvements and bike access.