Helix Architecture has designs on KCAI student living center expansion

Helix Architecture + Design has been chosen to design a new 250-bed student living center and dining hall for the Kansas City Art Institute. Construction will begin in 2018 on the project, which was made possible by a $10 million anonymous gift through the Greater Kansas City Community Foundation.

Several firms submitted proposals for the student living center, but Helix' plan stood out because it created connections and emphasized relationships between the new student living center, the new garden space and current housing, according to KCAI President Tony Jones

"The result will be a thoughtful design that takes into consideration the needs of our students while respecting our historic Rockhill and Southmoreland neighborhoods, and advancing the college's extensive landscape plan," Jones said.

Helix partnered with Denver-based consulting firm Christopher Carvell Architects to land the project. Carvell has developed nationally recognized expertise in the design of "Next Generation" student life facilities.

"It is an honor to work alongside one of the country's leading arts education institutions to redefine the student housing experience and create a space that nurtures the creativity of these young artists," said Reeves Wiedeman, founding principal with Helix Architecture + Design. "KCAI's new student housing project will be a beacon for attracting talent to the campus and our city."

Helix is an award-winning, Kansas City-based design firm consistently ranked among the best in the nation by Architect Magazine. The firm's diverse portfolio of work includes extensive experience with higher education institutions throughout the region. According to a release, the KCAI student housing project includes contemporary dining that will be open to the public and a large terraced garden. 

Located at 4415 Warwick, KCAI is a private, independent four-year college of art and design awarding the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with 13 studio majors. KCAI also offers continuing education courses. Founded in 1885, KCAI is Kansas City's oldest arts organization. For more information, visit www.kcai.edu. 

Village at View High vision comes into focus with multifamily site prep

Site preparation and infrastructure construction officially is underway for Meridian at View High, a 312-unit luxury apartment community planned for the northeast corner of 3rd Street and View High Drive within Lee's Summit's Village at View High mixed-use development.

"Over the next few months, construction crews will build sewers, roads, and a retention pond on the development site. It is exciting to see this important first piece of Village at View High begin to take shape," said John Bondon, president of Parrot Properties LLC, master developer of the Village at View High.

Parrot Properties chose Indianapolis-based Cityscape Residential to develop Meridian at View High's 18 buildings, with vertical construction expected to begin in early 2018 and units available for lease by the spring of 2019. 

"The partners of Cityscape Residential have seen the attractiveness of investing in Lee's Summit since making our first luxury apartment investment in the city over 15 years ago," said Jim Thomas, Cityscape Residential partner. "High quality of life, excellent schools, proximity to good jobs, and thoughtful local leadership have all led Cityscape to make Lee's Summit a significant part of our $250 million investment in the Kansas City metro area."

When completed, the 74-acre multifamily project will feature walkability, high-end retail and a true "live-work-play" lifestyle desired by Millennials and empty nesters alike, according to a release.

Village at View High is located in the heart of Lee's Summit's View High corridor on the city's west side and overlooks the Fred Arbanas Golf Course in Longview Lake Park, a 4,800+-acre green space with plentiful outdoor recreational opportunities. 

"It is rewarding to see dirt moving on Meridian at View High, as it is a critical 'domino' for the overall Village at View High project," said Rick McDowell, president of the Lee's Summit Economic Development Council. "A high-quality, plentiful, and diversified housing stock is central to our mission of promoting Lee's Summit as a model community for economic innovation and growth."

KC land transfer plan offers key piece for Paragon Star development, infrastructure

The Paragon Star development team is hopeful Kansas City leaders will see a 96-acre annexation request from the City of Lee’s Summit as a win-win for both cities.

The undeveloped land sits on the north side of Paragon Star’s sprawling development area and would provide the final piece of land required for an $8 million extension of View High Road connecting Bannister Road to I-470.  

“A parkway with a similar route has been on the city’s master transportation plan since the 1970’s, and city staff believes this would be a good way to get the road built. We think it's a win-win for both communities,” said Bill Brown, Paragon Star principal. “There’s not a lot of development on that land right now, so it isn’t producing significant tax revenue. However, the creation of a new regional trafficway would stimulate new development in both Lee's Summit and Kansas City.”

A newly created regional Transportation Development District would fully fund planning and construction of the new road adjacent to the future $220 million youth sports complex and entertainment destination just north of I-470 along View High Drive. At full buildout, Paragon Star will include sports fields, restaurants, retail, a hotel, residential, and office buildings.

Under the proposal, Kansas City would "detach" the 96 acres and Lee's Summit would annex the land. The new parkway and additional sports fields and other recreation opportunities envisioned on the 96 acres creates a strong value proposition, according to Brown. 

"The KCMO Plan Commission unanimously recommended approval of the plan to the KCMO City Council, and we're hopeful that the Council will agree with the recommendation," Brown said. "Otherwise, I don't see the parkway and the associated development occurring anytime in the near future, and that would be unfortunate.”

A decision should come in mid-December.

 

Tuscan design makes a comeback in new Barsto multifamily project

Barsto Construction officially broke ground on The Villas at Ridgeview Falls, a 237-unit luxury apartment complex on the northeast corner of 119th Street and South Ridgeview Road in Olathe.

Developed by J.A. Murphy Group based in Knoxville, Tenn., The Villas at Ridgeview Falls was designed by NSPJ Architects P.A. and will typify a highly detailed, large scale Tuscan Villa through traditional design elements. 

NSPJ brought the vision to life yet maintained "human scale" by using materials true to the original vernacular, according to a release. Visitors will be greeted by lush landscaping at the main entrance, with a single-story club/amenity center just off the main drive for easy access. The rooflines will be sloped to create the sense of a single-family home entrance, opening into a large courtyard that serves as the development's centerpiece.

Additional community amenities include private grilling areas, center pavilion, resort-style pool, fire pit, and fitness trail. Apartments will include large floorplans with luxury finishes, 9-to-10-foot tall ceilings, and 8-foot tall doors. 

Site preparation is underway with plans to go vertical in the first quarter of 2018 and the first units ready for occupancy in the fall. 

This is the third project for the team of Barsto Construction and J.A. Murphy Group, which recently completed the $32 million Metcalf Village Apartments at 162nd Street and Metcalf Avenue.

 

Lanter lifts Hunt Midwest’s 3PL footprint to more than 1 million square feet

Lanter Distributing LLC has expanded and consolidated its regional warehouse and distribution operations into a 126,000-square feet facility in Hunt Midwest SubTropolis. The Madison, Ill.-based refrigerated LTL and trucking company provides freight consolidation, distribution and deliveries to retail and wholesale customers throughout the Midwest and southern half of the U.S.

“Time and again, companies from a wide range of industries - including third party logistics, animal health and automotive upfitters - perform their due diligence and ultimately choose SubTropolis for its location, efficiency, and value proposition,” said Hunt Midwest President and CEO Ora Reynolds.

Lanter’s expansion brings Hunt Midwest’s total logistics footprint to well over one million square feet, with a total of eight 3PL companies operating in either SubTropolis or Hunt Midwest Business Center, according to Mike Bell, Hunt Midwest vice president of commercial development.

“We are seeing a ‘cluster effect’ of 3PL companies in SubTropolis and our surface business park, Hunt Midwest Business Center,” Bell said. “These companies are looking for access to labor and logistics to fuel their growth.”

Additional 3PL tenants include Advanced Logistics Fulfillment (ALF), American Central Transport (ACT), FW Warehousing, Ground Freight Expeditors, Hallmark Cards, Paris Brothers, and Rossi Motor Freight.

“The ability to quickly and easily scale operations is often top-of-mind for growing companies, and we are able to deliver space in SubTropolis in a timely manner because there are no weather delays or lengthy permitting processes,” Bell added.

Lanter initially leased 21,000 square feet in SubTropolis for dry and refrigerated warehouse and distribution space in 2012. According to Lanter Distributing Vice President Ryan Behrmann, SubTropolis is ideally suited to the company’s requirement for dry and refrigerated storage facilities.

“The customized space, combined with the central location, enables Lanter to continue to provide customers with an industry-leading, cost-efficient, multi-temperature logistics solution while offering on-time deliveries and exceptional service,” Behrmann said. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with Hunt Midwest and growing our business within SubTropolis.”