KCK still faces apartment shortage despite current boom

KANSAS CITY, Kan. - New apartments are sprouting up on the edge of explosive development in Kansas City, Kan., but there is still a housing need in most of the city.

Chantel Young is trying to find an apartment in KCK, but is having no luck.

"There's not a lot of them around here," Young said.

Luckily for Young, that's about to change.

Developers broke ground Friday morning at 110th Street and State Avenue on the Village West Luxury Apartments, which will bring 306 new units near the Kansas Speedway.

"It's an area that I think everybody had been keeping an eye on and so this was just the right time to do it," said NorthPoint Development CEO Nathaniel Hagedorn.

Cerner's new campus and its 4,000 employees made the development decision easy, Hagedorn said.

His project is the second major apartment development after September's groundbreaking of The Heights at Delaware Ridge. A third project, named Prairie Ridge, is ready to go as well.

All together, nearly 900 new units will go on the market at almost the same time.

"More jobs means more people and they need a quality place to live," Hagedorn said.

The boom follows nearly 25 years of almost no new apartment construction in all of Wyandotte County. Still, older parts of KCK are short on apartment options.

Mayor Joe Reardon said focusing on assets already in place, like the University of Kansas Medical Center, will go a long way to bring in more housing.

"I think the seeds are being sewn and we're seeing some of that start to come alive today," Reardon said.

KCK Economic Development manager George Brajkovic said the city has big goals to make up for the apartment shortage in the urban core.

The city wants to bring 5,000 units to the downtown area. Approximately 130 are currently under construction.

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