Multifamily

New hotel+apartment concept opens in Overland Park

Hospitality industry legend Jack DeBoer, founder of Residence Inn, Summerfield Suites and Candlewood Suites, has brought his new concept to the Kansas City area, the first of its kind in the market.

Oakwood WaterWalk is a collaboration between De Boer’s WaterWalk, a unique development concept in the travel industry that combines the space and comfort of apartment living with the services of a hotel, and Oakwood, the premier global provider of furnished housing and serviced apartment solutions.

The gated community, located at 11200 Glenwood St. in Overland Park, Kansas, consists of two separate, four-story buildings - one with 78 all-inclusive unfurnished apartments and one with 75 furnished corporate units. Both have access to a full-range of amenities, including 24/7 onsite staff to take care of anything the guests may need.

With one, two, and three-bedroom apartments, business and individual travelers can book short- and long-term stays and choose from furnished or unfurnished suites.

“In researching emerging markets across the United States, we identified Overland Park as a top priority for growth and development. It’s an exceptional residential neighborhood with a need for more long-term accommodation options, but we also saw an opportunity to expand our short-term housing solutions in a high-traffic, business-dense area. With Oakwood WaterWalk, we can provide both,”said Mimi Rogers, WaterWalk president.

Oakwood WaterWalk pricing includes all utilities, high-speed internet, DirecTV cable television, and phone service for nightly or monthly rates. All guests can also enjoy an on-site fitness center, 24/7 front desk service, and full-size appliances (including in-room washer and dryer) while furnished corporate (Gold) units include a fully-equipped modern kitchen, breakfast delivery and housekeeping.

“Since we announced our strategic partnership, we’ve already seen a significant spike in interest from Oakwood customers and guests, as well as inquiring investors and franchisees,” said Mandeep Singh, Oakwood chief operating officer.

“The Oakwood WaterWalk model fully satisfies the wide spectrum of needs across the extended stay, multifamily and corporate housing segments, and investors are satisfied with the return on investment that is significantly above the hotel industry average – with much lower operating costs as well.,” Singh said.

The surrounding neighborhood includes a mixture of retail, restaurant, lodging, and office and provides easy access to arterial and freeway corridors for accessibility throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area.

“WaterWalk is headquartered in Wichita, and we’re proud to continue investing in and expanding across Kansas. It’s an exciting time for our company. We’ve opened six new locations in key markets across Kansas, Texas and Colorado, and we have a strong development pipeline,” said Rogers.

Oakwood, wholly owned by Mapletree Investments, celebrated the grand opening of its newest Oakwood WaterWalk property yesterday.

Wichita-based JACO Construction served as the contractor for the project; LK Architecture as architect; and WaterWalk RE Development Services LLC as the developer.

EPC's McKeen sees stability in KC multifamily market

By Marcia Charney | MWM Contributing Writer

Stable. Steady. Cautious. Opportunity.

Those are the words Mike McKeen is using these days to describe the state of Kansas City’s apartment market. The principal and president of EPC Real Estate Group, LLC spoke to a record-breaking crowd of more than 150 brokers and real estate professionals at the April meeting of the Kansas City chapter of CCIM

Areas that will continue to succeed in the multifamily market will have “charm, character and are walkable, with jobs in good proximity,” McKeen said, noting that strong players currently include Lenexa City Center, downtown Overland Park, Olathe, Mission; and downtown Kansas City, Missouri, which leads the area in multifamily development. 

The living preferences of Millennials are driving the market. Some of EPC’s current products are Millennial-based, including Avenue 80 in downtown Overland Park, where Millennials comprise 70 percent of the tenant base. Empty nesters, who no longer want to maintain their homes and are seeking to live life a little differently, are another growing tenant segment.  

McKeen discussed how e-commerce is changing multifamily development. With the explosion of package delivery, developers are installing electronic parcel delivery systems, which allow tenants to retrieve packages by entering a security code. McKeen said that without these delivery systems, the buildings would need a massive storage room for delivered packages and staff to monitor receipt and storage.

McKeen said that developers now have to consider for the first time the amenities and unit size that Generation Z wants. He stated that studio apartments are the “quickest thing to fly off our lists right now because they hit a certain price point of affordability but they also cater to that lifestyle of people who spend most of their time playing video games.” McKeen added that the amenity most requested by Gen Z is blackout shades for better game screen visibility. 

McKeen discussed the challenges currently facing multifamily developers which include a decline in the number of skilled craftsmen; the threat of tariffs, causing suppliers to raise prices to offset the impact of possible future tariffs on costs; future tax treatment; the passage of city ordinances which impact the use of development incentives; aging infrastructure; low supply and high demand, particularly for precast concrete products; and rising operating costs.

McKeen also recognized new opportunities for multifamily developers such as the creation of new inventory to meet the demands of Millennials and empty nesters, affordable housing, and opportunity zones. In addition, new product types like micro-units, which range in size from 350 to 500 square feet, are in high demand with rising rents.  

Noting that “site selection is everything now,” McKeen said the average occupancy of multifamily properties in the Kansas City area has remained steady, staying between 93 and 95 percent.  

 

San Francisco multifamily investor enters KC market

San Francisco-based real estate investment firm Hamilton Zanze (HZ)  has acquired the 272-unit Metcalf Village Apartments in Overland Park, announcing plans to rebrand the complex at 16201 Travis St. as Boulders at Overland Park Apartments. 

"This community represented a great opportunity to buy new, stabilized product below replacement cost thanks to robust local market momentum," said David Nelson, HZ managing director of acquisitions.

Built in 2017, the 261,000-square foot community attracted the west coast investment firm in part because of its location in the nationally ranked Blue Valley School District. 

"Overland Park has been a target market for our acquisitions team, and we are excited to have found a perfect acquisition to fit our criteria," Nelson added. "We look forward to further growing our presence in Kansas in the years to come."

Boulders at Overland Park will offer a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom units well-suited for both single and family occupancy. HZ plans to upgrade the property's landscape and lighting. 

Property management responsibilities will be transitioned to Mission Rock Residential, a Denver-based affiliate company of HZ. The purchase closed February 28. For more information, click here.  

Will Mathews, Bob Galamba, and Gabe Tovar of the Colliers East Region Group facilitated the transaction. The community was sold by JA Murphy Group and purchased by Hamilton Zanze.

Since 2001, Hamilton Zanze has acquired over $3.3 billion in multifamily assets in 14 states across the U.S. The company currently owns and operates 83 properties with over 19,000 units. 

West Bottoms’ first micro apartment project moves forward

Cleveland-based developer has secured $52 million in financing for its West Bottoms Flats multifamily project, clearing another hurdle in its effort to redevelop five historic warehouse buildings into so-called micro apartments.

The $66 million redevelopment includes 265 one-room apartments plus structured parking and more than 5,000 square feet of commercial space. Grandbridge Real Estate Capital LLC and Brown Gibbons Lang & Co. LLC facilitated the finance package on behalf of MCM Co. Inc.

With an average footprint of about 600 square feet, micro apartments-or microflats- are considered the next frontier in multifamily housing. Designed to appeal to Millennials, the units are self-contained living spaces that include a kitchenette, sitting space, sleeping space, and bathroom. With completion targeted for 2020, West Bottoms Flats apartments are expected to rent for between $1,000 and $1,200 a month.

“The target market is young professionals who desire smaller units at a lower price point in a heavily dense, urban community with strong neighborhood amenities and connectivity,” said Doug Bates, Grandbridge vice president for the Kansas City market. “The concept is relatively new to Kansas City, but other Midwestern cities have a seen a great deal of deliveries and success with this concept.”

Situated on 2.4 acres between Ninth Street and St. Louis Avenue, Hickory and Wyoming streets, West Bottoms Flats is the first historic multifamily project in the West Bottoms neighborhood just west of Downtown Kansas City and the first metro-area project for MCM Co. Inc.

“Given its linkages to and the strong demand drivers in the neighboring River Market, Downtown, and Crossroads markets, the West Bottoms is well positioned to be the up and coming urban lifestyle community in Kansas City,” Bates added.

The financing package includes more than $24 million in federal and state historic tax credits equity secured through partners Enhanced Capital and Historic Equity Inc., as well as a $31.85 million senior construction loan and $20 million historic tax credit bridge loan. Project lenders include Kansas City-based Blue Ridge Bank & Trust, Jefferson City-based Hawthorn Bank, and Ohio-based Huntington National Bank.

A variety of incentives and abatements were secured through programs administered by the City of Kansas City and Jackson County, Missouri.