Historic Renovation

All-female architecture firm celebrates renovation of historic Liberty landmark

All-female architecture firm celebrates renovation of historic Liberty landmark

Women of A3G (clockwise from top): Owner, Aimee Gray, Melanie Torres (R), Brandi Atwell (Bottom) and Faith Page (L).

Oggi Lofts redevelopment brings 25 market rate units to downtown KC

The former Oggi Modern Furnishings building at 600 Central St. in downtown Kansas City’s former Garment District has found new life as Oggi Lofts, a 25-unit market-rate apartment project.

Ted Murray of Colliers International teamed up with Andy Homoly of Homoly Construction on the $6.7 million redevelopment designed by architecture firm Clockwork Architecture + Design. Rosin Preservation helped secure historic tax credits for conversion of the 110-year old, five-story brick building located on the National Register of Historic Places.

As with any historic redevelopment, Oggi Lofts offered its share of surprises and conundrums.

“Anytime you get into an older building that needs to be gutted, there are always surprises,” said Murray, who pursued the project independent of his role as Co-CEO of Colliers’ Kansas City office. “This project was so different and really created a need for problem solving during the construction process.”

For example, the building’s entire stair tower required full replacement, yet historic preservation standards required that the original hardwood flooring remain. Another hurdle involved successfully obtaining approval from the National Park Service to add windows on the north side of the brick building. But perhaps the biggest challenge involved designing and constructing units around the building’s many columns, which could not be touched in the name of structural integrity.

“We had to conserve space, and Andy (Homoly) and the construction team really thought through how to integrate all the vertical columns into the various units,” Murray told MetroWire Media during a tour of the project.

A hallmark of Oggi Lofts is a rooftop deck with panoramic views of the Missouri River, and Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport. The property includes a basement fitness center and dedicated storage units as well as on-street parking and door locks and utilities with smartphone access. With rents between $1,000 to $2,265, each unit includes hardwood flooring, onyx countertops, and washer/dryer.

For Murray, the historic redevelopment was a refreshing departure from his work with Colliers, which involves primarily office, retail and industrial leasing and sales.

“This has been so much fun,” Murray said. “I love downtown and I’m just thrilled with how this turned out. It’s been a labor of love.”

Oggi Modern Furnishings vacated the property in 2007. Tax abatements were approved through Kansas City’s Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA).

Rosin Preservation savors winning streak despite tax credit uncertainty

Rosin Preservation will close out 2018 with a string of high-profile projects despite uncertainty surrounding Missouri’s historic tax credit program. In October alone, four of the firm’s Downtown Kansas City historic preservation projects will open, beginning with Foutch Brothers LLC’s $39 million redevelopment of Kemper Arena into HyVee Arena, a youth and amateur sports hub.

With $1.6 billion in completed projects over the past 20 years, CEO Elizabeth Rosin said that securing a historic designation for the 1970’s-era venue was among the most challenging projects the firm has undertaken. Although construction took about a year, it took over three years to secure the arena's place on the National Registry of Historic Places.

“The building is less than 50 years old, so we had to figure out why it was historically significant other than its architecture and engineering,” Rosin said. “We ended up talking about its importance as a cultural and social icon for Kansas City because of the wide range of events held there for an entire generation. Everybody has a memory of Kemper Arena, whether it’s Big 12 Basketball, the American Royal, a concert, circus, convention or some other sporting event.”

The redevelopment of the iconic and beloved Savoy Hotel into the 21c Museum Hotel, replete with curated gallery spaced and art installations, was equally challenging. Rosin said the Savoy, which reopened in July, was in much rougher shape than most people realized.

“There are always surprises when you get into a building, and this one-- because of its age-- had a few more surprises so there were plenty of questions to deal with on the fly,” Rosin said. “A big part of our job was making sure that the elements that contributed to the Savoy’s sense of history and the character of the building were preserved.”

The hotel was constructed in five stages between the 1880’s and 1917, which meant it had several types of molding and doors that needed attention and preservation.

“The challenge was helping people understand what all those elements were and what needed to be protected and why-- and then figuring out how to meld that into the building,” Rosin said.

Additional Rosin Preservation projects completed this month include the renovation of the former Brookfield Building into Hotel Indigo, the former Pabst and Pendergast Buildings redeveloped into the Crossroads Hotel, and the old Jensen Salsbery Lab transformed into the new headquarters of Centric Projects and Superior Bowen.

This fall, the old Downtown Lee’s Summit Post Office reopened as the Bridge Space co-working facility, and Rosin also is working on renovating and restoring the Longview Mansion and barns. 

The good news for Rosin and those in the business of preserving historic buildings is that although lawmakers have scaled back funding for Missouri’s historic tax credit program from $140 million to $120 million a year, it remains intact for now. However, it’s unclear how new guidelines will affect the program.

“The bill also included a requirement that DED (Missouri Department of Economic Development) evaluate the ‘net fiscal benefit of applications,’ and we are still waiting to find out what that means,” Rosin said.

Rosin Preservation has completed over $1.6 billion in historic tax credit construction nationwide. Additional noteworthy projects include the Oklahoma State Capitol and the Empire State Building in New York City.

Photo Credit: Brad Finch, f-stop Photography

Developer completes Longview Farms stabilization effort

The stabilization of four historic buildings at Lee’s Summit’s Longview Farm has been completed, setting the stage for full restoration of several structures central to the former show farm’s future redevelopment.

“These buildings serve as a historic cornerstone for Lee’s Summit’s New Longview development area and its $80 million in ongoing housing and commercial projects,” said Mark Moberly, Director of Development with Sunflower Development Group.

The stabilization project included structural repairs and weatherization related work to prevent further deterioration of two red-roofed barns, a farm house, a dairy manger house, and the show farm’s signature arch on the north end of the property.

The City of Lee’s Summit, along with Mariner Real Estate Management, now called Platform Ventures, and Sunflower Development Group, used tax-increment financing to cover costs of the stabilization effort. Full restoration projects will be completed with assistance from TIF district revenues to fund the additional improvements.

The City of Lee’s Summit worked with developers to inspect, plan and design the stabilization work, which will help ensure responsible redevelopment of both Longview Farms and the New Longview area, according to Lee’s Summit Mayor Randy Rhoads “Because historic redevelopment can be complicated and costly, the City was mindful of not over-investing in these structures. The goal was to stabilize, weatherize and shore up the buildings in anticipation of future investment,” said Mayor Rhoads.

In December, Sunflower Development Group announced it would complete $3 million in renovations to the 101-year-old Longview Mansion1200 SW Longview Park Dr., by late 2018.
Sunflower Development Group is known for historic restorations of several downtown Kansas City properties, including conversions to hotel, housing and other commercial uses.

Sunflower will secure private financing for the restorations, but public financial support is still needed to cover the extraordinary costs associated with stabilizing and rehabilitating the unique structures, according to Moberly.

“Working with the City of Lee’s Summit, State of Missouri and National Parks Service to secure the TIF and historic tax credits is extremely important due to the financial gap that exists with rehabilitating each property,” Moberly said.

While work on the Mansion began in February, the timeline for full rehabilitation of the remaining structures is uncertain due to the need for significant new construction commercial projects in the TIF, like a new theater, to happen first.

Sunflower Development Group maintains ownership of buildings it restores and leases them to tenants.

**Picture provided by Sunflower Development Group

Pickwick Plaza gets dolled up for new generation

Pickwick Plaza, the 1930's-era hotel renowned for attracting high-profile visitors like Harry S Truman and Kansas City "Boss" Tom Pendergast, has been successfully transformed into luxury apartments and retail space. Developed by Gold Crown Properties Inc., the East 9 at Pickwick Plaza mixed-use development includes 260 units and 35,000 square feet of street-level commercial space.

East 9 at Pickwick Plaza is poised to attract a diverse group of renters, particularly Millennials seeking a downtown Kansas City address with quick access to nightlife, the central business district, and public transportation.

However, one well-known Empty Nester – Kansas City Mayor Sly James—said he would consider the property when he leaves public office.

“… my wife and I will be looking around town to figure out where we're going to live. This is certainly going to be a place on the list,” James said at the recent East 9 Grand Opening event, adding that he wants to live near the KC Streetcar line.

Construction on the $65 million adaptive reuse project was completed in less than two years, but Gold Crown Properties’ vision for giving the historic hotel a grand make-over dates to 2010. 

More than 70 percent of the units are already leased with full leasing expected by the end of 2017. Amenities include a fitness center, swimming pool and spa, community rooms, business center, wine lockers and wine tasting room, free Wi-Fi, and 314 parking spaces. Commercial tenants include UPS, City Gym and an unnamed restaurant and bar.

Local artist Joe Munson provided design services for the lobby, as well as exterior retail signage. Metropolitan Capital Advisors, MR Capital Advisors, Rosin Preservation, HarenLaughlin Construction, Helix Architecture + Design and Krudwig Structural Engineers rounded out the development team. ThirdRail provided marketing services for the project.