Affordable Historic Preservation Project Receives Honors for Revitalization Efforts

By Erika Schnitzer, Associate EditorKansas City, Miss.—The Missouri Alliance for Historic Preservation (MAHP) will honor the project team of East Armour Apartments, a 303-unit affordable historic preservation project, at the 2009 Preserve Missouri Award.Portland, Maine-based Eagle Point Cos., Kansas City, Miss.-based Rosemann & Associates PC and Shawnee, Kan.-based Straub Construction will be honored.   The five-building, three-site community—comprised of Georgian Court, The Bainbridge and Linda Vista Apartments—is a historical landmark that has played a large role in the community’s urban renewal efforts, which include additional historic preservation projects.Eagle Point Cos. purchased the three properties, which offer one- and two-bedroom residences, in June 2006, raising $78 million in debt and equity financing for the acquisition, renovation and preservation of the project. At the time, they were less than 50 percent occupied, were in HUD foreclosure and the seller was in receivership. The project was financed with tax-exempt bonds, Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and state and federal historic tax credits.As part of the renovation of East Armour Apartments, the buildings were gutted and refurbished under historic guidelines and each property was given its own feel, explain Vickie Stewart, ASID, director of interior design at Rosemann & Associates. Georgian Court, with its marble wainscoting and crown moldings, evokes a traditional Georgian aesthetic, she explains, while Linda Vista utilizes a more old-world, Spanish detailing and The Bainbridge is more traditional.Despite being affordable housing, “These projects provide public areas and units as nice as any market-rate property in the area,” Stewart tells MHN. “The lobbies took on the look of a stylish hotel lobby by providing up-to-date finishes and furnishings.”In Georgian Court’s lower level community meeting area, Rosemann used a green carpet that is a true “cradle -to-cradle” product, says Stewart. “As you can tell, the finishes and furnishings were selected not only for their appearance but for their durability and value pricing.”MAHP annually honors individuals, groups and organizations that have contributed to the preservation of Missouri’s diverse collection of historic resources. Awards are given to outstanding projects in commercial and residential rehabilitation, neighborhood revitalization, landscape protection and archaeology.  In addition to this award, East Armour Apartments has been recognized as an honoree at the 2008 Kansas City Business Journal’s Capstone Award Ceremony and won national recognition with the J. Timothy Anderson Historic Preservation Award in the Affordable Housing category.