As SomeraRoad Inc. prepares to start a $500 million slate of development projects in the West Bottoms, it hired a local leader from a Kansas City company that knows a thing or two about building big.

The New York real estate development and investment firm hired Grant Hromas to lead its recently established Kansas City office as a vice president of development. Hromas will help spearhead SomeraRoad’s local project activity — chiefly, a “live-work-play” redevelopment of almost 22 acres the firm owns or controls in the central West Bottoms.

“I’m thrilled to join the SomeraRoad team and contribute my skills and experience to the company’s growth,” Hromas said in a release. “SomeraRoad brings a bold, visionary approach to commercial real estate in a market that clearly appreciates its unique assets. From Downtown’s Lightwell to the transformative efforts to reinvigorate the West Bottoms, I look forward to helping create places people want to be and doing so with a world-class team.”

SomeraRoad in December won the City Council’s approval for a predevelopment agreement. The agreement established a framework for how it and the city will advance phased private commercial projects, including 1,250 new apartments, and public infrastructure in the West Bottoms. Its next steps could include submitting development plans and incentive requests for several initial historic building conversions, for multifamily and hotel uses, plus demolition of the Weld Wheel Industries Inc. building for a new apartment complex.

“(Hromas’) strong acumen for design, architecture and development makes him the ideal fit to not only lead our West Bottoms redevelopment project, but to oversee a number of key projects across one of our most exciting markets,” Andrew Donchez, partner and head of development at SomeraRoad, said in the release. “As a local Kansas Citian, Grant exemplifies our ‘boots on the ground’ approach as we continue to expand our platform across the country.”

“We like surrounding ourselves with highly passionate, highly competent, best-in-class human capital,” Ian Ross, founder and managing partner at SomeraRoad, said in the release. “Grant’s local expertise and experience in development and architecture will be invaluable to SomeraRoad and we are eager to see what he is capable of in his new seat.”