West Bottoms

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.

Superior Bowen paves way for growth and diversification with new HQ, hires

Superior Bowen is capping off its 70th year with new Crossroads digs and a flurry of projects in the pipeline.

The third-generation asphalt and paving contractor is growing its SiteWorks portfolio, recently winning contracts for Metro North Mall’s redevelopment and Johnson County’s new Indian Creek Library, while building its bread-and-butter business of large paving projects such as the Ford Claycomo Assembly Plant and Cerner Corporation's Innovations Campus.

“We’ve been incredibly busy and continue to diversify into business ventures necessitated by expansion and growth,” said Brian Johanning, Superior Bowen vice president of business development. “We are continuing to beef up our corporate resources and strengthen our foundation for growth.”

Superior Bowen doubled its footprint when it consolidated operations into a 30,000 square feet office in the historically renovated McQueeny Lock Building, 520 W. Pennway. Previously, staff had been cobbled together in a workshop and three mobile trailers adjacent to one of the company’s six asphalt plants at Manchester Trafficway and I-70.

The makeshift campus embodied Superior Bowen’s trademark grittiness and offered clients an up-close view of the plant and equipment, but Owner Trey Bowen recognized that the company needed a change of scenery to grow. After searching unsuccessfully in the West Bottoms for new digs with plentiful parking, Bowen opted to join Centric Projects and Inspired Homes in the century-old brick building.

“When it came to recruiting and retaining the next generation of talent, we needed to be where that talent wanted to be, and that is here in the Crossroads,” Bowen said. “This is an established, vibrant area.”

Superior Bowen also added four positions to its leadership team in 2018, hiring new vice presidents of marketing, human resources and business development, as well as a new safety director. Each hire is more than just an employee; they’re an investment in Superior Bowen’s future.

“When people come here, they don’t leave. During the Great Recession, nobody was laid off,” Bowen added. “We have room to grow here, which is purposeful.”

East and West Bottoms visionaries unite

East and West Bottoms visionaries unite

In the late 1800s and early 1900s, the West Bottoms was home to churches, public buildings, schools and residents, until the floods of 1903 and 1951 led occupants of the river basin to seek higher ground, leaving behind a ghost town of abandoned buildings. That's finally starting to change, thanks to residents and stakeholders who have a greater vision for the community.