Kansas City added more than 16,000 jobs in the 12 months ending in February, keeping the employment trend steady, after a drop which spanned the last couple of years. As the city started to attract large employers and grow its population, development activity in the multifamily sector has been picking up as well. Last year was the second-best year of the past seven in terms of completions, according to the most recent Kansas City Yardi Matrix report.
Investment activity, however, has been tempered by rising per-unit prices, with the total sales volume only slightly surpassing $600 million at the end of 2017. As Kansas City is becoming a business-oriented metro, more out-of-state capital is expected to be invested in the multifamily market, leading to the diversification of the property owner sector. As shown below, many of the city’s top apartment owners are currently local companies, some of which have been in the business for almost a century.
10. Axiom Equities
The Kansas City-based investment firm has a real estate portfolio of 22 properties located in Houston, Kansas City and Omaha. Their value exceeds $200 million while the total number of units is 2,550. The company owns and manages 18 properties in Kansas City, the majority of which is clustered in the Olathe, Gardner and Shawnee submarkets. The assets provide a total of 2,076 units, all market rate. The largest property is Arbor Square, located at 7613 Flint St. in Shawnee. Completed in 1971, the community consists of 11 buildings and 195 units and features a fitness center, tennis court and two swimming pools.
9. Worcester Investments
The family-owned-and-operated company was founded in 2006 in Kansas City and specializes in the acquisition, renovation, development and management of multifamily communities. Its portfolio consists of 16 properties located across the metro, encompassing a total of 2,317 units, 52 of which are fully affordable. Except for two upscale communities in Crossgates, the portfolio is made up of market-rate assets. The largest one is Southridge, located at 1100 County Line Road in the Kansas City-West submarket. The property provides 372 units with an average monthly rent of $715.
8. Prism Real Estate Services
Prism Real Estate Services is another local investment firm that has been operating in the area since 2012. After starting as a management company, it soon began to provide construction, lawn and landscape services through its affiliates. The company owns and manages 15 multifamily properties across the metro, totaling 2,357 units. Arbor Mist Townhomes, located at 4780 N. Corrington Ave. in the northern part of Kansas City, is the most luxurious asset. It was finalized in two phases, between 2009 and 2014 and was purchased in 2016 from Randall Willbanks for $14.8 million. The 200-unit property features a fitness center, business center, clubhouse, community room and swimming pool.
7. The Yarco Co.
The company began operating in the property management sector in 1923, having expanded its presence into eight states in the Midwest and several others in the South in the interim. Its national portfolio consists of 33 properties and a total of 4,049 units, more than half of them—2,543 units—being located in the Kansas City metro area. The largest of all 21 properties that The Yarco owns and manages is Parvin Estates, a 300-unit community located at 4033 N. Bellaire Ave. The asset was completed in 1970, it is partially affordable, and features a community room, playground and swimming pool, among other amenities.
6. Sentinel Real Estate
Despite a number of recent sales, including the 448-unit Churchill on the Park in Dallas, Sentinel’s portfolio consists of 88 properties nationwide, nine of which are in Kansas City. The majority of the 2,566 units is in Class A communities. One of the newest ones is The Haven at Shoal Creek, a 275-unit property located at 8261 N. Tullis Ave. and completed in 2016. Sentinel bought it the same year it was delivered, from AG Spanos Cos. Monthly rents here are at an average of $1,165.
5. Landmark Realty
Landmark owns six properties in the Kansas City metro area, totaling 2,624 units. Three of the communities Landmark owns are located in the Marlborough Heights submarket, including Willow Creek, its largest asset. The community was completed in two phases between 1971 and 1986 and features 31 buildings and 986 units. Willow Creek offers residents a fitness center, business center, clubhouse, tennis court, two swimming pools and a covered parking. Landmark bought it in 2015 from Price Brothers for $78.5 million through a $58.9 million Fannie Mae loan provided by Wells Fargo Bank.
4. Maxus Realty Trust
The REIT has invested in multifamily and retail properties in 12 states, being the owner and manager of more than 40 properties nationwide. Its Kansas City portfolio encompasses 2,736 units, the 10 properties being located in the Lenexa, Overland Park, Lawrence, Liberty, Gladstone and Downtown submarkets. The majority of assets ranks as upscale, such as The Village at Lions Gate, a 360-unit community at 14631 Broadmoor St. in Overland Park. Property amenities include a clubhouse, gazebo with picnic tables, billiards room with large screen TV, resort-style swimming pool, access to the lake with a half-mile nature trail as well as gourmet coffee bar.
3. NFI Management
NFI Management owns and manages 15 properties and 3,178 units in the metro, the majority of which are clustered in the Kansas City-North, Gladstone and Overland Park-North submarkets. The largest community is Colonial Gardens, located at 8747 Broadmoor St. in Overland Park. Completed in 1962, it is also one of the oldest in NFI’s portfolio. The property’s unit mix consists of 414 one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments ranging in size between 530 and 1,650 square feet. Average monthly rent was $735 as of May.
2. The Peterson Cos.
Headquartered in Northern Virginia, the company has built up a real estate reputation in the Washington D.C., market since 1965. Nationwide, it owns 29 multifamily properties and more than 7,500 units, two thirds of which are located in Kansas City. Fox Run is the largest of the 18-asset portfolio that The Peterson Cos. owns in the metro. The asset was finalized between 1969 and 1972 at 7650 Goddard Drive in Shawnee and features a waterscape, fitness center, tennis court, swimming pool, as well as fireplaces in all units.
1. Price Brothers
The Kansas City-based company has been operating in the field for more than a century, having developed and managed primarily residential and retail properties. Its portfolio in the metro consists of 33 properties and 8,430 units, more than half of which are high-end. The largest clusters of communities are located in Lenexa and Overland Park. In Lenexa, the company is about to finish its most recent development, Prairie Creek Phase II at 9395 Scarborough St. The community totals 75 units with an average monthly rent of approximately $1,400.
Images courtesy of Yardi Matrix
This list highlights the metro’s top 10 private, REIT and institutional investor apartment owners, based on unit counts, according to Yardi Matrix data. The total number includes units within projects which are completed and under construction.