KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After two years, campus leaders at the University of Missouri-Kansas City are making a final decision to demolish the Oak Place Apartments.
The apartments, located at Oak and 51st Street, were purchased by the school in 2012.
But in March 2018, the school found extensive water damage and mold, forcing UMKC to close the apartments, which house up to 500 students. Hundreds of students had to relocate.
On Wednesday, UMKC Chancellor C. Mauli Agrawal released a statement, saying both wings as well as the retail area on the main level will be demolished. The parking garage will remain.
UMKC said they have reached a settlement in the lawsuit with insurance carriers after suing the companies that worked on the building.
Agrawal said although preserving and repairing the building would have been ideal, “ongoing inspections related to the lawsuit revealed even more extensive damage than previously known. Combined with increases in overall construction costs in the Kansas City market, the university has determined that repairing the building no longer is a viable option.”
The news of the demolition reportedly came as a shock to the businesses on site.
“I’m not really sure what’s going on. I know we were supposed to close for about two weeks during the summer, for construction, but I haven’t heard about the whole retail area being demolished,” said Chris Doyle, an employee of Pickleman’s located on the site.
The estimated demolition time frame is summer 2020.