The Cordish Cos. to Start 2 Kansas City Projects

The firm is developing a 288-unit high-rise and transforming an office building into affordable housing.
Rendering of Three Light Luxury Apartments. Image courtesy of The Cordish Cos.

The Cordish Cos. is scheduled to begin construction of the $140 million, 288-unit Three Light Luxury Apartments development in downtown Kansas City, Mo., in May and the Midland Lofts, a 139-unit, affordably priced adaptive reuse project, this summer.

Three Light is expected to deliver in May 2023 and the Midland Lofts renovations are slated for completion in late 2022.

The two projects will create more than 1,000 construction jobs and a sense of optimism for future of the city’s downtown Power & Light District following the pandemic, according to Nick Benjamin, executive director of the Power & Light District and managing director of multifamily development for The Cordish Cos.

The firm developed the Power & Light District, which included more than $10 billion in public and private development.

Three Light will be situated at the corner of Truman Road and Main Street at the intersection of the Power & Light District and the Crossroads Art District. The 26-story building will join two other multifamily high-rise properties developed by Cordish in the Power & Light District.

In August 2017, Cordish topped off Two Light Luxury Apartments, a 24-story, 296-unit tower. The 25-story, 307-unit One Light Luxury Apartments opened in November 2015. One Light was the first high-rise apartment building in downtown Kansas City in 50 years.

JE Dunn Construction has been the contractor for all three of the towers. Hord Coplan Macht is the project architect for Three Light and Two Light.

The newest luxury tower will have 19 floors of studio, one-bedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse apartments, a seven-story garage with 472 parking spaces, and 7,600 square feet of retail space on the first floor.

Three Light will have more than 30,000 square feet of amenities including a deck overlooking 14th Street, an infinity pool, bar, demonstration kitchen and theater room. A sky bridge will be constructed above Walnut Street connecting Three Light to Two Light so residents of both towers can share amenities.

Midland Lofts

Construction on Midland Lofts, which will be located in the former Midland Office Building at 1222 Baltimore Ave., could begin as early as July. It will be directly connected to the Midland Theater and along the KC Streetcar line.

Neighborhood offerings include Cosentino’s Downtown Market, Onelife Fitness, and dozens of restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. Monthly rents for the units, which will include open-concept studio and one-bedroom floorplans, will start at $700.

Amenities will include a street-level lobby with large windows to bring in natural light, multiple seating areas and a coffee bar and entertainment kitchen. The building will feature a conference room, fitness center, music room, theater, rooftop deck and various amenity spaces throughout the building.

Helix, a local architecture and design firm, is the project architect. The firm was also responsible for the historic renovations of the Midland Theater and Mainstreet Theater in the Power & Light District. RD Jones is the interior designer for the amenity spaces at Midland Lofts and Three Light.

Downtown Rents

Emelyna Aurich, director of property management for Cordish Living, said in a prepared statement the company hoped the rental prices at the Midland Lofts would be a catalyst to bring more moderately priced apartments to the downtown.

Original plans for the Midland Lofts project called for it to have 68 apartments with one-third of the units affordable to renters making 80 percent of the area median income. Cordish more than doubled the number of units in the building and priced all the units below 80 percent AMI. The company said 20 percent of the units at Three Light will also be below 80 percent AMI.

According to a recent Yardi Matrix Multifamily Kansas City Report, downtown Kansas City was the city’s most expensive submarket with rents about $1,336 per month, down 2.1 percent year-over-year.

According to Yardi Matrix, Kansas City had 7,117 multifamily units under construction as of January, most of them aimed at high-income renters. About a quarter of the total—1,776—were being built in downtown Kansas City. Seventy-six percent of the pipeline is set to deliver this year. Another 26,000 units were in the planning and permitting stage as of January.