Kansas City renters have hard time finding place to live downtown and stay within budget

Just 10 years ago, downtown wasn’t yet home to the Kansas City Live! venue, the Sprint Center or new luxury apartments like One Light. Now, 3,900 more residential units are planned for this year. Still, people in the city are having a hard time finding a place to rent on a budget. “I probably looked at 20 different places before I ended up settling here,” said Tricia Zion. Zion recently moved back to Kansas City from Southern California, but her journey back to the metro was anything but smooth. It took weeks of searching before she settled on a two-bedroom in Midtown near Costco. “I’m not looking for something luxury,” she said. “I just need something that doesn’t have rats in it and will take my dog and is livable but it’s difficult to find that here.” The problem she found is there are not enough apartments for rent that young professionals can afford. Zion says she is paying more in student loans then she is in rent, and she’s already stretching her pockets. Let’s compare rent costs. For a studio in the luxury One Light building, you’ll get less than 600 square feet for $1350 a month. That comes with a pool, in-unit laundry and granite. A cheaper option we found is an apartment in the Board of Trade building. That’s downtown across the street from the Kansas City Public Library and by KC Loft Central, which has several units in the greater downtown area. It comes to $950 with free rent this month for about 700 square feet, but this apartment comes with no granite and no stainless steel. Jay says studios in the downtown district cost an average of $1,095 a month and developers can charge a $1.75 a square foot, if not more. What’s unique is Kansas City is actually one of the few places in the nation, Jay says, where its actually cheaper to live in the suburbs. That is because more people want to live in the city than there are rooms. Remember, just 10 years ago, there wasn’t a whole lot downtown. “There’s a big demand out there for people who want to live downtown, but for the longest time there has not been the supply, which is part of the reason why rent prices are high,” explained Jay.     Read Entire Article  
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