California REIT Buys Kansas City Apartments

Steadfast Income REIT Inc. has acquired Library Lofts East in Kansas City, Mo., for $12.75 million. The property is a 118-unit historic loft conversion in downtown, an area that has been renovated extensively in the past decade.

Kansas City, Mo.—Steadfast Income REIT Inc. has acquired Library Lofts East in Kansas City, Mo., for $12.75 million. The property is a 118-unit historic loft conversion in downtown, an area that has been renovated extensively in the past decade.

The Kansas City apartment market, like most nationwide, has shown good health in recent years, though in terms of vacancies at least, it seems to have reached a plateau. According to CBRE, vacancy during 4Q12 was 93.4 percent, slightly below the 93.6 percent rate a year earlier. Annual rent growth in 2012, however, was 3.1 percent, which is above historic norms.

The Kansas City Fed predicts that the metro area will create a net of 21,200 jobs in 2013, compared with 17,400 in 2012. But it isn’t clear yet whether the trend will benefit the rental market in quite the way new jobs have in recent years, since the local for-sale housing market is recovering as well.

Library Lofts East consists of a six-story building originally built in 1906 and a conjoined 10-story building built in 1923. The property was fully renovated and retrofitted in 2003 by Master Realty Properties Inc., which gave it shared entrances and hallways throughout.

The studio, one- and two-bedroom units range in size from 610 square feet to 1,240 square feet; some units also have skylights. Residents have access to a clubhouse, connected parking structure, fitness center, tanning beds, Jacuzzi hot tub and an indoor swimming pool. Library Lofts East is in the Library District, which is named after the city’s new central library, which is adjacent to the property.

This is the fifth Kansas City-area property for the Irvine, Calif.-based REIT. In 2011, it acquired Clarion Park in Olathe, Kan.; Truman Farm Villas in Grandview, Mo.; and EBT Lofts and Prairie Walk in Kansas City, Mo. Including Liberty Lofts East, the REIT has acquired over 7,000 apartment units in 10 states for $618 million.