Michael Bushnell

It’s been exactly one year since two development teams attended the January 2023 Scarritt Renaissance Neighborhood Association meeting to pitch redevelopment proposals for the long-vacant Scarritt Elementary School at the intersection of Lexington and Askew Avenues.

Timelines advanced by each development team were in the 24-36 month timeframe for ground breaking and relied heavily on Historic Tax Credits to make the project viable financially. Those tax credits however, seem to be fading quickly after a consultation with a local historic preservation consulting firm that stated that the building would not qualify given the original school structure is no longer  standing and there is no consistent and prevailing architectural style of the building given the many additions that were made to the school over the years to accommodate student population growth.

inside condition of scarritt school

“The District was hopeful, that due to the significance of the school’s name,  it could qualify under a specialized criteria,” said Jesse Lange with the Kansas City Public Schools redistricting office. “The next solicitation will include the eligibility qualifications and the feedback from the preservation consultant,” Lange said.

That information was shared with the two presenting developers, Exact Architects and 405 Development, said Lange.

Lange also indicated that there was still significant interest in the site but that the project would be difficult to do without tax credits.

The next step is reopening the bid process which should take place around the first week of February. The bid window would remain open for 30-60 days or until a viable redevelopment bid is received. Once that occurs, the bid package or packages will be shared with the neighborhood.