Kansas City’s Citadel neighborhood could soon see $200 million redevelopment

Business

UrbanAmerica have presented new concepts for its SouthPointe at 63rd Street development (Rendering courtesy BRR Architecture)

The development team behind a $200 million reinvention of a long-derelict corner in Kansas City’s Citadel neighborhood is making aggressive strides toward breaking ground on the first components of a proposed “live-work-play” community.

Representatives for Miami-based UrbanAmerica have presented new concepts for its SouthPointe at 63rd Street development — on largely vacant land northwest of 63rd Street and Prospect Avenue, just north of Research Medical Center — and fielded questions from residents living nearby since receiving the City Council’s approval of a general development plan in August.

UrbanAmerica’s plan follows city redevelopment attempts dating to 1994, when tax increment financing incentives became available. Multiple blight studies have been conducted in years past, and at least three previous projects have been pitched — most notably Citadel Plaza, whose developers sued Kansas City for allegedly failing to issue an approved cash advance for the project and later pleaded guilty to improper removal of on-site asbestos.

“We’re very excited to be in the Kansas City market,” Robert Farmer, senior vice president with UrbanAmerica, said during a Nov. 8 neighborhood meeting. “We come into these communities as guests, and we’re very sensitive to the community, what they want to see, what they want to support and how it is that we can help make the dreams of communities such as this one into a reality.”

Central to the project’s first phase is a 250-unit workforce housing community with a mix of one- and two-bedroom residences, to be co-developed by UrbanAmerica and Gateway Properties LLC, an affiliate of Jersey City-based Gateway Merchant Banking.

The complex will comply with Kansas City’s affordable housing ordinance, with 25 apartments reserved apiece for tenants earning up to 70% and 30% of the city’s median family income (MFI).

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