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Approval of riverfront apartment development fails at Monday's Port KC meeting

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Posted at 5:17 PM, May 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-16 19:17:12-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A change of heart by one Port KC commissioner during a vote Monday may have killed a proposed riverfront apartment development.

The vote to approve the Lux Living apartment complex stood at two comissioners in favor of the project and one against when it was Vice Chair Henok Tekeste's turn to vote.

He expressed doubt about the project after hearing objections to the plan from members of KC Tenants and other opponents.

He withdrew his motion to advance the development. That refusal stopped the vote and for now, stopped the project.

Lux Living, the developer, wanted to build a $55 million complex on roughly two acres of land along the riverfront.

The plan called for 250 units and 250 parking spaces, according to information from Port KC.

According to a presentation at Monday's Port KC meeting, the project would be the first multi-family project to demonstrate the ability to meet the city's ordinance on affordable housing, with 50 affordable housing units.

Critics accused Lux Living of poor maintenance and management at developments in St. Louis.

Port KC staff said they did not find any issues related to poor maintenance or staff management in their property tours.

“The Port KC team works very hard to bring forward well negotiated and thoroughly vetted projects that meet community needs and goals," said Jon Stephens, President and CEO of Port KC, in a statement "These projects are presented multiple times at public Commission meetings for discussion and debate. We value

and respect this process, and believe in the merits of thoughtful deliberation and community input. The Port KC Commissioners, who are volunteers, work exceptionally hard to represent our community in positive ways.

Today a particular project was considered but no action was taken due to some concerns expressed by Commissioners. This project would have been the first project in Kansas City to meet the City’s affordable housing ordinance, and on remediated land that has never been taxable. In the coming weeks, I will be

discussing the future of this project with the project developer and the Commissioners.”

There has been no word Monday on whether the company will resubmit its proposal.