Although SomeraRoad Inc. hasn’t yet drawn up concrete plans, it envisions a strategic — and collaborative — approach as it hones concepts for an expansive live-work-play development in Kansas City’s West Bottoms.
The New York developer and investor shared the broad strokes of its efforts to carry out a five-phase redevelopment of more than 20 acres it now owns or controls in the historic district during a neighborhood meeting Wednesday evening at the Faultless Event Space. At least 50 people attended, including numerous West Bottoms residents and business owners.
“We’re hopefully coming at this in a way that’s respectful of the progress and the investment and the people that are already here,” Andrew Donchez, development director with SomeraRoad, told attendees during the Wednesday meeting. “This is an incredible place, and we are incredibly fortunate to be a small part of it, and to be a small part of its history and hopefully future. We take that responsibility seriously.”
In early May, SomeraRoad applied to rezone 21.85 acres to an urban redevelopment district, setting the stage for what submitted materials show as up to 1,238 apartments, mixed uses and open-space amenities developed through 2035.
Between November and late March, the developer came to own 20 properties through transactions with seven sellers. Included among these were 14 buildings, many of them historic, such as the Moline Plow Co., Avery “Poe,” Laramie Tires and Perfection Stove Co. buildings.
Of those buildings, eight are eyed for full preservation with adaptive reuse projects, and two more, at 1220 and 1226 Union Ave., for partial preservation. The remaining four buildings, including the Weld Wheel Building and another housing a boxing gym northwest of Mulberry and 11th streets, are to be demolished, making way for what SomeraRoad representatives described as “contextually appropriate” new projects.