KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Christopher Stewart, born and raised in south Kansas City, is passionate about building a foundation for affordable living in KC.
“If you’re going to rent, you might as well rent something that is nice and updated, and that's our goal," Stewart said. "If we are going to rent it, it’s going to be nice. It’s not going to be run down or dated properties."
Stewart is the sole owner of Stew’s Hardwood Flooring. Alongside his business partner at KCS Culture, both companies are covering up cracks and patching holes across homes on the east side of the city.
“It came about just wanting to get rental properties,” Stewart said. “Everything is going up, so houses that were $40,000 five years ago are $160,000, $170,000. So if you’re going to spend that amount of money, you should have something nice.”
Through purchasing rental homes and giving them new life through remodeling and refurbishing, Stewart says he hopes to see his community at its best, especially as rent continues to increase along the Troost Avenue corridor.
“Everything east of Troost is going up now. It’s just everything," Stewart said. "The property value is inflated, so everybody is moving to where it’s affordable, and that’s where it’s affordable and that’s where the more ran down areas of the city are."
Working daily on flooring, painting and wiring, Stewart wants to see his work help others attain better-quality homes in this part of town.
"I mean that’s just it, no matter where the property is, I want it to be done right and be nice,” Stewart said. "Everybody deserves it — they’re going to pay it, they might as well get something nice. Everybody deserves something nice ... it’s nothing wrong with having something new, even if it’s on a lower budget.”