KCMO, LCRA beckon developers for Beacon Hill opportunities

Bob Mayer, Arrow Commercial Realty, and Stuart Bollington, deputy director of housing services for the Neighborhoods & Housing Services Department of the City of Kansas City, Missouri.

The largest urban residential development sits in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri, waiting for a breath of fresh life from a developer who will take a chance on an often overlooked part of the city. The neighborhood, bordered on the southwest side by 27th and Troost Avenue and Highway 71 to the northeast – has seen momentum build over the last few years. In fact, homes worth more than $300,000 are being built in the neighborhood. But a few eyesores remain. That’s where the City of Kansas City, Missouri is stepping in, looking to attract and incent the right developer to take a chance on a few redevelopment opportunities.

The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority (LCRA), in partnership with the Beacon Hill Developers L.C. and City of KCMO are looking for a sub-developer for a high-quality residential/commercial project at 27th and Troost.

Stuart Bollington, deputy director of housing services for the Neighborhoods & Housing Services Department, laid out the parameters for the RFQ/RFPs at a recent gathering of KCRAR Commercial members. Guidelines set forth for interested developers note that the area is under-retailed,despite its central location and relatively high population density. City officials believe the regional employment clusters in the area – Crown Center/Hospital Hill, the Central Business District and the Crossroads Arts District – act as a stabilizing force that strengthens the area. The neighborhood is also served by two transit lines.

These three properties/parcels are available for redevelopment. The city has proposed three ideal scenarios where these properties are turned into a mix of uses including single- and multifamily housing, retail and public spaces. Specific parcels and/or properties ripe for redevelopment include the following:

A 4.056-acre vacant lot bordered by Troost to the west, Forest to the east, 27th street to the south and 26th street to the north. This site is currently zoned for a 45,000-square- foot commercial development; A URD site plan amendment will be required for any proposal that deviates from this plan. Another vacant lot at 2701 Troost Ave. is available and measures .34 acres, or 15,156 square feet. 

The former Alana Apartment Hotel, located at 2700 Troost. The 11,345-square- foot two-story building is designated for mixed-use and is eligible for historic tax credits. The parcel size is .34 acres and the building is currently unused. The city has set forth a number of ideal scenarios for the properties, all of which incorporate single-family and multifamily housing, added retail, new parking, and some element of mixed-use. The city also identified urban design principles to which it would like to see new projects conform. These principles include human-scaled streets, more types of housing options, efficient parking, mixed-use opportunities, public space for shared or temporary uses, active streets and facades, and alley vehicle access.

“To make mixed-use redevelopment at 27th and Troost work, design features should be included that enhance the public realm and foster a sense of place,” the RFP says. “A primary goal… is to encourage the creation of new public spaces and pedestrian-oriented streets.”