KASNAS CITY, Mo. - While many real estate developers are focusing on downtown Kansas City, one builder's eyes and efforts are focused south of Midtown.
"Our strategic plan is to build neighborhoods not just projects," explained John Hoffman the principal with UC-B Properties. "By doing our projects we do energize the neighborhood."
Hoffman hopes that's what UC-B can do for the area along Troost.
"In the next three to five years, the stigma that has been developed over the last 30 to 40 years [about Troost], I think that will be erased," Hoffman said.
In June, the developer will build 50 micro units. Micro units are a lot like studio apartments, except even smaller.
On the east and west coast, developers are building micro units as small as 200 square-feet. Here in Kansas City, UC-B Properties will build the very first micro units at 55th and Troost, and they'll come in right around 300 square-feet.
Would you consider living in a 300 square-foot micro unit apartment?
"Real estate has gotten so valuable that renters can't afford a 1,000 square-foot unit or a 1,500 square-foot unit," he said. "They are young, and they are either students or young graduates and their first jobs and they want something more affordable."
His micro units will go for $700 to $800 a month in rent. Hoffman expects that once housing develops, restaurants, shops, art galleries and the like will follow to the area.
"People really value and urban lifestyle, walkability, density, accessibility to transit, accessibility to cultural amenities," explained Greg Flisram with Economic Development Committee of Kansas City. "That is a national trend that Kansas City is enjoying right now."
Developers like Hoffman now hope to take the highlights that make downtown attractive and spread it to other corners of the city.