Historic Landmark Gets New Lease on Life; Offers Affordable, Energy Efficient Housing to Kansas Seniors

Kansas City, KS – May 16, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Officials from Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC), the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kansas and the Kansas Preservation Alliance celebrated the grand opening of Lowell School Apartments, a new affordable housing development serving the elderly and adults with disabilities. The historic rehab converted a vacant elementary school into 26 energy-efficient, loft-style apartments. Rents for the one, two and three bedroom units range from $450 to $650.

“Five years ago, Lowell Elementary School faced possible demolition. Today, thanks to creative partnerships between the public and private sectors, this historic landmark has a second lease on life, offering quality housing to area seniors,” said Fred Bentley, KHRC’s Rental Housing Director.

Financed in part by a $3 million Tax Credit Exchange Grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Lowell School Apartments feature new Energy Star appliances, an elevator to all floors, a fire sprinkler system, updated plumbing and new wiring. Security features include a fenced parking area with security-code entry and controlled access to the building and apartments. Both the building and garage are ADA-accessible, and a book exchange library and outdoor commons area are also located on-site.

“We appreciate all the partners who worked together to save this important landmark,” said Unified Government Mayor Joe Reardon. “Lowell School Apartments will have a positive effect on the community and the lives of 26 families who call the building home.”
Kansas State Senator Chris Steineger and his wife Shari Wilson of Historic Lowell Lofts, L.L.C. bought the abandoned school in 2006 with the goal of converting the building into housing for the elderly. “Chris and I are very pleased to return historic Lowell Elementary School to service in the community as beautiful, energy-efficient apartments for our seniors,” said Wilson. “It’s taken several years to make it happen, but now we are welcoming new residents to the neighborhood and helping to revitalize the city’s urban core.”

The Board of Public Utilities recognized Lowell School Apartments as Kansas City’s “First Energy Star Apartment Building.” Lowell won the award by making the property more energy efficient with Energy Star appliances, extra insulation and more. As a result of the award, residents will also receive a 30 percent discount on their monthly electric bill. Coming up June 2nd, the Kansas Preservation Alliance will honor the development with the Medallion Award for Excellence, which recognizes individuals and organizations that have made exemplary contributions to saving Kansas’ historic places.

The school’s original eight classrooms were built in 1898 with additions completed in 1905 and 1922. The original building and additions were designed in the Classical Revival style with Beaux Arts decorative elements by architect W.W. Rose. Many historic features of the building have been preserved, including the unique windows, stairwell woodwork, brick sidewalk and classroom chalkboards.

Total cost for the development was $5.2 million. Additional funding partners include the Sherwin-Williams Corporation and Historic Preservation Partners (through purchase of historic preservation tax credits), Community National Bank of Basehor and Federal Home Loan Bank of Topeka. Foutch Brothers, L.L.C. served as General Contractor and nLee Management and Consulting will manage the property.

For leasing information, please call 913-912-1297. Tenants must meet income requirements.

To learn more about affordable housing opportunities made possible by Kansas Housing Resources Corporation, visit www.kshousingcorp.org.

SHARE

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation (KHRC) was formed pursuant to K.S.A. 74-8904(v) per the Governor's Executive Reorganization Order (ERO) # 30.  KHRC is a subsidiary corporation of the Kansas Development Finance Authority. 

The Kansas Housing Resources Corporation mission is to enhance Kansas communities with housing opportunities. This goal is achieved through using a variety of strategies and approaches, including increasing homeownership opportunities, leveraging the construction of more affordable rental housing, preserving existing housing through rehabilitation, promoting energy efficiency improvements for owner-occupied and rental housing, providing affordable housing through rent assistance to low-income families and senior citizens, and creating housing opportunities for previously underserved persons and communities.

Contact:

Kansas Housing Resources Corporation
611 South Kansas Avenue, Suite 300
Topeka, Kansas 66603-3803
Phone: (785) 296-5865
Fax: (785) 296-8985

Previous articleGOVERNOR BROWNBACK PROCLAIMS APRIL FAIR HOUSING MONTH
Next articleREGISTRATION NOW OPEN FOR THE 2011 KANSAS HOUSING CONFERENCE