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Three projects are part of a surge in downtown KC apartments

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Summit on Quality Hill

View of part of the Summit on Quality Hill project, centered at 12th and Washington, looking south from across 12th Street. Jill Toyoshiba

Cityscape Residential is adding a total of 390 units on Quality Hill

Biggest project at northwest corner of downtown is a striking skyline addition

Former Jones Store warehouse in the Crossroads is razed for more apartments

A stretch of bright green walls, looming above the bluffs of Kansas City’s downtown, radiates to passing drivers on Interstate 35 below that there is a lot — really a lot — of apartment construction in the central business district.Those green walls are a temporary layer before exterior treatment is applied to five new apartment buildings clustered at 12th and Washington streets. When clad, the Summit on Quality Hill apartments will add earthier tones to their 5.25-acre development.

But while their color will be quieted, there appears to be little muffling of the residential march toward the city’s core.

Cityscape Residential, the Indianapolis-based company developing the 252-unit Summit on Quality Hill complex, also is behind a nearby project, Apex on Quality Hill, which is adding 138 apartment units at 10th and Jefferson streets.

The company’s belief in downtown’s surging residential market is echoed in the Crossroads Arts District, where its 221-unit Crossroads West is planned for the site that formerly housed the Jones Store warehouse, which was razed recently, just off Southwest Boulevard.

Cityscape’s 611 new units represent about a third of the approximately 2,100 apartment units currently under construction in and near downtown. And that’s not counting another 1,500 or so units that have been announced but not yet started.

Is it too much? Will supply exceed demand? Only time will tell. But planning experts think the developers — many of them attracted to Kansas City from out of town — have good odds for success.

“Downtown occupancy is at 97 percent right now,” said Tommy Wilson, who keeps track of such numbers at the Downtown Council. “One Light is 100 percent leased. So is the Argyle building,” a newly renovated former office building on 12th Street.

One Light, the glassy 25-story tower that opened six months ago at 50 E. 13th St. and quickly filled its 315 luxury units, sold out its priciest units — costing more than $3,000 a month — first. It made a big splash in a central business district that hadn’t had any new apartment construction for decades.

Two Light, a second tower by the Cordish Co., is being built now at Grand Boulevard and Truman Road and is targeted for a Spring 2018 opening.

Meanwhile, other new apartment construction is underway in the River Market north of downtown, in Columbus Park just to the northeast, and in the Crossroads, Union Hill and Hospital Hill areas to the south.

Most of the built-from-ground-up units followed residential conversions of former office, warehouse and school buildings throughout the central business district. That conversion trend isn’t over yet. Apartments recently were announced for two more old office buildings on Broadway.

Wilson, at the Downtown Council, said the greater downtown area’s residential population, estimated at about 24,000 now, could rise to nearly 29,000 with the announced apartments. Five years out, the best guess indicates that nearly 33,000 people will call the core home.

Cityscape Residential Closes on nearly $175 million in financing to develop four multifamily communities

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Multifamily real estate development and construction firm Cityscape Residential announces that it has recently closed nearly $175 million in joint venture financing in a round led by a long-term institutional equity partner, a private equity group and including funds from six commercial banks.

Continuing to expand its footprint across the Midwest, the four new communities further expand the Cityscape footprint in the Kansas City, Mo. metro area and also represent the firm’s second major transaction in the Louisville, Ky. Metro area.

In Kansas City, Mo., Cityscape has begun work on its 252-unit Summit on Quality Hill community and 138-unit Apex on Quality Hill community, located only a block away. Overlooking the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas Rivers, these communities are two blocks west of downtown Kansas City and are nestled with the historic Quality Hill neighborhood, the first luxury neighborhood of Kansas City in the 1870s. Located adjacent to the site of Kansas City’s new urban dog park, these pedestrian-friendly communities also feature underground garage parking, private terraces and sweeping views of the nearby river bottoms and of downtown Kansas City.

Also in urban Kansas City, Mo., Cityscape is beginning construction on a 221-unit Crossroads Westside community at the junction of the landmark Crossroads Arts District and the historic Westside neighborhood of downtown. A vibrant section of town known for its galleries, extensive dining and entertainment options and flourishing tech employment concentration, Crossroads is one of the signature districts of urban Kansas City and is located immediately south of downtown and north of the historic Union Station and Crown Center.

Cityscape’s second apartment community in Louisville, Ky. is the 300-unit Axis Apartments. Located near NuLu and a short walk from the restaurant and retail corridors of Bardstown Road, Frankfort Avenue and the Highlands, Axis Apartments is a nine-acre property that will offer first of its kind luxury and amenities in urban Louisville. To date, Axis Apartments ranks as the largest investment in an urban Louisville multifamily complex by an out-of-town developer.

“Our team is dedicated to developing Class-A, institutional-investor-quality, multifamily communities through strategic alliances with long-term capital relationships,” said Brian Cranor, partner of Cityscape Residential. “Such alliances allow Cityscape to streamline deal structures and close quickly once a targeted project has been agreed upon, and this round of financing is an excellent example of the benefit of such alliances.”

In addition to these four communities, Cityscape has additional communities in development and planning throughout Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri and Kansas. In particular, Cityscape plans to start construction in mid-2016 on a 306-unit suburban Indianapolis community to be located in Plainfield, Ind., adjacent to the Shops at Perry Crossing lifestyle center. Cityscape has also commenced zoning approval for a 261-unit community with structured garage parking on the northeast side of Louisville. Ky., located near Brownsboro Road and the Paddock Shops, and has additional sites under contract in the Kansas City, Mo. market.

Article by Staff Writer RE