When Ken Block, managing principal of Block Real Estate Services, sets his sites on an attractive piece of development ground, he generally gets it — even if it takes a few decades.
Such was the case with an Overland Park soybean field that Block began eyeing more than 30 years ago and where BRES' $350 million CityPlace development is now blooming.
And such was the case with the vacant triangle-shaped parcel that lies south of 46th Street between Roanoke Parkway and Madison Avenue on the west side of the Country Club Plaza.
BRES, which is headquartered just two blocks east of there on 47th Street, will invest $90 million developing a 245-unit apartment project on the site, Block said. Dubbed 47Madison, it will include a 13-story tower, top-of-the-market rents and unparalleled amenities.
Aaron Mesmer, a BRES broker specializing in acquisitions and investment sales, said 47Madison will redefine Kansas City luxury apartment living, with interiors graced by "not just luxury finishes, not just condo finishes" but something more.
In short, Mesmer said, 47Madison will be "a first-class trophy property" and a fitting bookend for the Plaza.
Roxsen Koch, a Polsinelli PC attorney representing BRES, said the firm has been working on the 47Madison project for 18 months.
"But Ken has mentioned that he's been looking at this site for years," she said.
Koch and Mesmer spoke Wednesday during a meeting of the Kansas City Council's Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Committee, which voted unanimously to recommend adoption of a new development plan for 47Madison and deletion of the site from a previously approved development plan.
In 1986, Mesmer explained, the 16-story Plaza West office building was completed at 4600 Madison, immediately north of the 1.5-acre 47Madison site. The previous development plan called for a seven-story office building to be constructed on that site, he said, but that plan never came to fruition.
Thus, Ken Block recently got his chance to acquire the site from its previous owners. The seller, a joint venture between former Country Club Plaza owner Highwoods Properties and an investment group led by Angelo Mariani, also sold the adjacent Plaza West building last year, to Los Angeles-based Stanton Road Capital LLC.
Mesmer said that BRES officials originally considered developing an office building on their new trophy site. But that would have added about 1,000 vehicles a day to a surrounding road network that includes the busy intersection of Roanoke Parkway, Madison Avenue and 47th Street.
BRES opted for the 245-unit residential project to "avoid what would have been a traffic disaster at this location," Mesmer said.
In addition, BRES developed a plan for simplifying traffic movements through the adjacent intersection, he said, and designed the apartment structure with its two- to four-story neighbors to the west in mind.
In addition to the 13-story tower, apartments will be housed in two-story structures along Roanoke that will look like townhomes, with individual entrances for each of the ground-floor units.
Mesmer, who last year saw his firm's $38 million plan for another Plaza-area apartment project get shot down by the City Council partly due to neighborhood opposition, said the West Plaza Neighborhood Association wrote a letter supporting the 47Madison project. In addition, he said, at the conclusion of his recent presentation about the project to a group of Plaza area neighborhood leaders, he got something he's never received from such a group — an ovation.
"This is a well-designed project with great appreciation for its urban setting and the neighborhoods they are going to be in the middle of," said Councilwoman Kathryn Shields, who made the motion to recommend approval of the 47Madison development plan. "And you don't often get this level of quality without having various incentives requested."
Mesmer said BRES would not seek incentives for the project, for which construction is expected to begin in May or June.
Designed by NSPJ Architects, 47Madison will be built by Titan Built, which also has served as the general contractor for other BRES luxury apartment projects in the metro area.
Besides the apartment units, the 47Madison site will include a pedestrian plaza at the tip of the triangle adjacent to the 47th Street/Roanoke/Madison intersection. It will include an outdoor patio, public art, water features, seating, landscaping and a sidewalk constructed of decorative paving.
The project also calls for outdoor rooftop and amenity decks, with the latter including a resort-style pool, cabanas, grill stations and fire pits.
Other site amenities will include a clubhouse and fitness facility with wrap-around porch, an uber lounge in the main lobby, electric-car charging stations, bike racks and storage, bike repair facilities and multiple green technology features.
Parking for the project will be provided by a 322-space garage, which will be wrapped by the apartment units and accessible from Madison Avenue and Roanoke Parkway
Source: Kansas City Business Journal