In Historic Federal Courthouse, Co. Builds 176 Workforce Housing Apartments
- Jan 27, 2010
Madison, Wis.–The Alexander Co. of Madison, Wisconsin, has acquired the historic U.S. Federal Courthouse in downtown Kansas City, Miss. The company will renovate the 72-year old Courthouse into 176 workforce-housing apartments as part of a $35 million public/private partnership.
The project will include 109 one-bedroom apartments with rents ranging from $600-$650 per month, and 67 two-bedroom apartments from $720-$780. There will also be approximately 10,000 square feet of retail space available for lease and the potential for re-use of the historic courtrooms, which will be preserved in the core of the building. Construction will begin this January, with an estimated construction completion and leasing commencement in the second quarter of 2011.
“The Courthouse project is a significant public/private partnership and people at all levels of government have worked tirelessly to see that this project came to fruition,” says Matt Meier.
A product of the “New Deal” program, the building’s foundation was laid on October 20, 1938, and the first federal agency moved in on September 21, 1939. Its quarters served as the setting for several landmark desegregation, anti-trust, and criminal cases during the mid-to late twentieth century. In addition to housing the federal courts and associated judicial offices, more than sixteen different government bureaus and departments also occupied the building, including a post office substation and Harry S. Truman’s local senatorial offices. The building was ultimately vacated in 1998 when the new courthouse was built downtown and since then government officials have been seeking viable reuse alternatives while preserving the historic character of the building.
The U.S. Courthouse marks the second adaptive reuse project The Alexander Company has undertaken in downtown Kansas City in recent years. In July 2006, the company completed the $21 million Professional Building Lofts, a 16-story high-rise building that includes 132 workforce housing apartments and 10,780 square feet of retail space in the heart of downtown Kansas City. The Courthouse and Professional Building Lofts are within blocks of the burgeoning Power and Light entertainment District, and a part of the city’s $4 billion downtown renaissance.
“We are very fortunate to be a part of the transformation that downtown Kansas City has seen in recent years,” says Meier. “The City has done a great job of promoting new urbanism principles, and by providing additional workforce housing downtown, residents of all income levels will have the opportunity to live where they work and play.