Abby Hoover
Managing Editor

The Housing Authority of Kansas City (HAKC) is requesting a release of funds from the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant (CNI), which was awarded to the Paseo Gateway project in 2016.

In a notice published July 30, the City announced it will authorize the HAKC to submit a request on or after Aug. 17 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for the release of the funds.

The CNI Program is HUD’s place-based initiative to support locally-driven strategies to address neighborhoods with distressed public or HUD-assisted housing.

The funds will be applied to a 66-unit public housing project in Clay County. The units will be in six two-story townhouses and apartment buildings.

The 4.8 acre site is formerly an Extended Stay Inn at 2620-2650 NE 43rd St., near I-35 and N. Antioch Road. The property is currently home to four vacant, deteriorated, low-rise hotel buildings and a pool, which will be demolished, according to the notice. A single-story structure will remain to be renovated into a community center.

The location is convenient to public transportation, and necessities like groceries and retail stores. The one to five bedroom apartments will average 616 to 2,028 square feet of living space. With play areas, patio space, vehicle and bicycle parking, the three and four bedroom townhomes will vary between 1,523 and 1,836 square feet of living space.

The project is estimated at $16.8 million, with $6.4 million coming from the released CNI Grant Program funds.

In January 2016, HUD executed a $30 million CNI Grant for the Paseo Gateway project. HAKC and the City of Kansas City, Missouri are co-grantees. The purpose of the five year grant is to replace the 134-unit Chouteau Courts public housing and support the revitalization of the Pendleton Heights neighborhood and portions of the Paseo West and Independence Plaza neighborhoods, all within the footprint of the Paseo Gateway project area.

Chouteau Courts was the fourth public housing complex in Kansas City, built in 1959. The final tenants at the Chouteau Courts housing project officially moved out of the development on Jan. 6, 2018.

HAKC selected Brinshore Development LLC as the master developer in 2013 to construct new mixed-income developments that include public housing units, affordable housing units and unrestricted market-rate units.

The Paseo Gateway project’s housing options include five locations.

Quinlan Place at 1507 E 8th St., has 57 units, and next door at 804 Woodland Ave., Quinlan Row has 22 units. Pendleton Arts Block at 2300 Independence Ave. with 38 units, Pendleton Flats at 539 Brooklyn Ave. with 30 units and Rose Hill Townhomes at 1101 Admiral Blvd. with 33 units.

Phase 1, Rose Hill Townhomes, was completed for occupation in December 2016. Phase 2, Pendleton Flats, was completed and occupied in Fall 2017. Phase 3, Pendleton Arts Block, was completed and occupied in 2019. Phase 4 and 5, Quinlan Place and Quinlan Row, opened earlier this year.

In the 2017 Annual Paseo Gateway Report, Phase 6 and 7 included the housing team seeking sites for the remaining developments.

“Replacement housing for Chouteau Courts will be developed on better sites throughout the Paseo Gateway Neighborhood and at least one phase will be located in suburban Kansas City North,” the report said.

This location was chosen after much consideration. In January 2018, the Northeast News reported that a 25-unit mixed-income development in the Northland had been temporarily put on hold as the Housing Authority faced resistance from residents of the area.

At the time, John Monroe, Director of Planning and Development for the Paseo Gateway Project, had suggested that negotiations with Northland leaders to identify a development site were ongoing.

“We’ve had regular discussions with them to try to move this forward,” Monroe said in 2018. “We’d like to identify and commit to a site within the next 60 days.”

In the summer of 2017, Northland residents stormed a community meeting about the project to voice displeasure about the mixed-income development being considered. Still, Brint remained optimistic that an agreement could eventually be reached.

In December 2017, Brinshore Development CEO David Brint commented on the state of negotiations to identify a development site in the Northland. At that time, Brinshore wasn’t rushing toward a solution for the project’s proposed Northland development.