The Blenheim School in Kansas City, Missouri has been closed since 2009. Built in 1924, the shuttered school is now set to become 52 affordable apartments for seniors 55 and older, thanks to Sunflower Development Group.
The Missouri Housing Development Commission awarded low-income tax credits to the developer. Sunflower also secured historic tax credits since Blenheim is eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places.
Mark Moberly, Director of Development for Sunflower Development Group, said, "We're in predevelopment right now. We're designing the building. We're bidding the building. We fully intend to start construction by the fall of this year."
The target date to open is Fall 2018. In the next 45 days, Sunflower hopes to begin the redevelopment.
The Local Initiative Support Corporation, or LISC, provided the predevelopment loan to get the ball rolling. LISC Senior Program Officer for Community Development and Lending, Steve Weatherford told 41 Action News, "We've actually done a similar project on the Faxon School."
In March 2016, Sunflower opened 46 units of affordable housing in what was once Faxon School. It sold out in just 30 days.
Moberly says the company is grateful its tax credits for the Blenheim project have been approved because the programs, "Are very much in danger in the state of Missouri with the current governor looking at all tax credit programs."
A community meeting about the Blenheim redevelopment is set for July 18.
Joyce Combs, who lives across the street from the school, said, "They need to hurry up and get it done so they can come and have somewhere to stay at. I'm just waiting for it to happen."