Local architect invests in downtown KC with green incentives

KANSAS CITY, MO - A local architect is going green thanks to some incentives from the government.  Jay Tomlinson said he and his wife walked past 1515 walnut streets for the last seven years, dreaming about what it could be.

Jay is a principle with Helix Architecture and design. He and his wife decided to renovate and transform the downtown building into six eco-friendly apartments.

 "We want to participate in the greening of the environment. We need to figure out how to make these buildings better stewards of the resources they consume so we're going to lower the resources that we consume in the building by putting solar panels on it," he said.

The apartments will be mostly powered by 4,000 square feet of solar panels on the roof. He and his wife plan to live in an upstairs apartment in the building. Jay Tomlinson said state and federal tax credits saved him and his wife more than $160,000 dollars on initial costs.

"It's the right thing to do because it's starting to make more and more financial sense. When you lower the energy consumption of a building, you're doing good things for the environment; you're making the carbon footprint smaller."

Jay Tomlinson said the solar panels will generate about 70 percent of the power for the building, leaving future tenants with little to no energy bills.

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