New mixed-income apartments open in Pendleton Heights with a focus on local artists

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- By the end of the month, Pendleton Arts Block will be filled with tenants. It's Kansas City's newest mixed-income living space.

"This will be a new neighborhood for me. I came from St. Joseph, Mo. Now I'm relocating back here," freelance artist and new tenant Shamari Robbs said.

Although you don't have to be an artist to live here, they've designated some space for creative tenants. It's one of the building's main draws.

"We're calling it a commercial area, but it's really designated for the artists," said Edwin Lowndes, executive director of KC's Housing Authority. "Some are going to be artisan residents that actually have their own apartment here and other artists from the neighborhood."

The development was partly funded by a $30 million grant from Housing and Urban Development to redevelop an old housing project. Kansas City was one of five cities selected to receive the money.

Developers said with skyrocketing rent prices, this mixed-income housing is needed.

"Mixed-income housing is important because we want people to live in an environment that's organic. We don't just want people who are poor to live in one neighborhood and people who are richer to live in another neighborhood," David Brint of Brinshore Development said.

As for Robbs, she'll move into one of the building's 38 units soon, and she can't wait to meet her new neighbors.

"I'm just very looking forward to making connections. Just being around different types of people and learning their story and telling my story. That's really what I'm very excited for," Robbs said.

The first three phases of this project are complete. Quinlan Row and Quinlan Place, located on 9th and Woodland Avenue and 9th and Paseo Boulevard, will be finished within the next two months.

Lowdnes said the final phase will be north of the river.

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