Revel in the Revival

Kansas City was recently ranked 10th out of 28 must see travel destinations in 2019 by National Geographic!

Most visitors to this Midwestern city come for the barbecue and all that jazz but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance. Recent additions include the 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City, a $50-million reinvention of the 1888-built Savoy Hotel and Grill, and the free RideKC streetcar. The two-mile route stops near the National World War I Museum, where Great War Centennial Commemoration events continue in 2019. In the historic 18th and Vine jazz district, visit the side-by-side American Jazz Museum and Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. West of downtown, empty industrial buildings in the West Bottoms now house retro-cool retailers and clubs, like The Ship, a restored 1930s speakeasy. “To me, West Bottoms speaks to the history of Kansas City: the stockyards and trains and commerce moving through the middle of the country,” says KC native Chris Goode, CEO and founder of Ruby Jean’s Juicery. “But no matter where you go in Kansas City, it will feel like home. The city just has soul.”

HOW TO GO: Walk and roll through downtown, learn about recent revitalization efforts, and hear stories of Kansas City’s colorful past on the Original KC Streetcar Tour.

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Thanksgiving Special – No Rent Payments until 2019!

For a limited time only at Board of Trade an apartment in November and your rent is free until 2019!  This historic property is located in Downtown Kansas City’s Library District and was originally erected in 1924 by the Kansas City Board of Trade. At Board of Trade you will find a scrumptious selection of studios, one and two-bedroom lofts at an affordable price. Bountiful amenities including a fitness studio, indoor swimming pool, social lounge and putting green. This pet-friendly urban oasis is perfect for those wanting seconds, at Board of Trade Lofts you’ll enjoy the best of loft living at an affordable price!

Available Now: Studios starting at $890/month, 1 Bedrooms starting at $999, 2 Bedrooms starting at $1235

Contact us today at:

Update 12/15/18 – This special has ended, please check in with us to hear about our newest offers!

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Coming Soon…Downtown YMCA

The $35-million renovation and reconstruction project is expected to be completed by spring of 2021. It’s funded by $16.9 million from the 11th Street Corridor Tax Increment Financing District, additional funding from the Missouri Development Finance Board, as well as charitable gifts from foundations and individual donors. “The new Y builds on the success of Kansas City’s Downtown revitalization, and will bring much-needed community programs to this diverse and growing community,” said David Byrd, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Kansas City. “This is a new chapter in history for our Y and for Kansas City as we transform the historic Lyric Theatre building into a community center that will benefit generations for years to come. We are so grateful to all of our donors and partners for their support to make this project possible.” The Y will be named the Kirk Family Community Center. The Kirks are longtime YMCA of Greater Kansas City donors and supporters of the new Downtown Y. The family includes the late Phil Kirk, the former chairman of DST Realty, now part of SS&C Technologies. He played a key role in Kansas City’s Downtown revitalization and was instrumental in bringing the new Y to the former Lyric Theatre. Features of the 62,000-square-foot Downtown YMCA/Kirk Family Community Center:
  • Preservation of the facade and lobby of the historic building including the original marble floors, ceiling tiles and more to become the new Y entrance.
  • A 42,000-square-foot section of new construction built on the north side of the lobby featuring a contemporary design. Behind the building, there will be a small green space for events and youth sports.
  • Dramatic two-story windows will be inserted into the new limestone walls along Central bringing natural light into the space and creating a contemporary, eye-catching look to the building’s exterior. The limestone will come from the same quarry that provided the limestone for the original Lyric building.\
Amenities inside the new Downtown YMCA/Kirk Family Community Center:
  • Three community rooms to give members and the community the opportunity to host meetings, celebrations of family and friends, and more. One of the community rooms will feature a teaching kitchen for healthy eating, nutrition and cooking classes.
  • A Kids Zone constructed near the entrance that will provide a safe and fun place for kids to learn and play.
  • An indoor family pool and lap pool to bring year-round life-saving swim lessons, exercise and recreational opportunities to families downtown for the first time.
  • An enclosed wood-floor gymnasium that can be used for basketball, volleyball, and other youth and adult sports.
  • A large health and wellness area offers a space for guests to improve their health through cardiovascular exercise and strength training featuring the latest state-of-the-art equipment.
  • Three studios for group exercise.
  • A suspended indoor walking and jogging track that will offer views of the lower levels of the center.
Truman Medical Center to offer a medical clinic at the new Downtown Y
The YMCA and Truman Medical Center will team up to offer a medical clinic at the Downtown Y. The two organizations first partnered to open TMC’s University Health Clinic adjoining the Linwood YMCA/James B. Nutter, Sr. Community Center in February 2018.
The Linwood Y partnership has already proven that working together toward a common vision and mission can improve community health at a time when chronic disease is rising and access to quality health care remains a challenge for many.
The Downtown clinic will make health care more accessible to Y members, as well as those in the surrounding area.
“It is part of our mission to get out of the four walls of the hospital and bring health care where it’s needed,” said Charlie Shields, president and CEO of Truman Medical Center. “We are excited about the construction of this new University Health clinic, because it’s in the right place, at the right time. The power of our combined services will make a great impact on the area’s health and wellness.”
TMC’s University Health Clinic is planned for the lower levels of the building. TMC also will partner with Cerner to bring advanced technology to the patient experience at the clinic.
“Bringing this Y and medical clinic to Downtown is truly a game changer and an important milestone for the Kansas City community,” said CiCi Rojas, chief volunteer officer for the YMCA of Greater Kansas City.
“We look forward to the completion of this project so that the Y may impact more lives for the better,” Rojas said. “There are still opportunities to give. The new Y will allow us to meet the changing needs of the community as more young professionals, families and empty-nesters call Downtown home, and will serve as a destination for the entire metro.”

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KCLoftCentral Sweet Deals!

Halloween is officially over but there are still some sweet deals at KCLoftCentral this week.  Stop by today or setup an appointment for this weekend; if you RENT an apartment WITHIN 24 HOURS  of your FIRST visit we will give you a $250 VISA gift card at move in!*  Check out our current SPECIALS below:

  • Board of Trade Lofts #803 (1st month free!) Airy 2 bedroom/bathroom loft with spectacular northern view.  This corner apartment has large windows looking to the north and west, restored concrete flooring, stainless steel appliances and a large walk in closet in the master bathroom.  $1,385/month includes water sewer trash.  Tenant pays electricity and cable/internet.  Pet friendly. This apartment has been leased.
  • EBT Lofts #217 (1st month free!) – Spacious 1 bedroom/bathroom loft with heavy timber ceiling and colorful brick walls.  This beautiful loft has stainless steel appliances, washer dryer hookups, and a massive walk-in closet. Don’t miss your chance to live in the heart of the Crossroads Downtown.  EBT Lofts is only 1 block from the Streetcar and two blocks from the Power and Light District. $1,195/month includes water sewer trash.  Tenant pays electricity and cable/internet.
  • New England #205 (special price!) – Open studio loft with high ceilings and architectural appeal.  This corner studio has an efficient layout that provides a comfortable living environment at an affordable price.  Inside you’ll find a modern kitchen with gorgeous stone counter-tops and slate appliances, a large tile shower, and a built in washer and dryer.  $960/month includes water sewer trash and electricity.  Tenant pays cable/internet. Pet Friendly. This apartment has been leased. 

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KCLoftCentral Supports the Veterans Community Project!

Thanks to all our residents and employees who helped support the VCP in 2018! KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The 13 tiny houses sit in neat rows on the small plot of land in south Kansas City. There’s a comforting uniformity to the group, each structure a simple A-frame or slant roof, painted a rich hue: deep blue or dark maroon, slate gray or mustard yellow. An American flag flies outside most of the homes. The lives inside also match. The men and women here have all served their country in uniform. And every one of them was homeless before arriving this year and being given their own address and key. “We build communities — communities that are the beginning of a journey for those who said yes to this country and need someone to say yes back to them,” said Brandonn Mixon, an entrepreneur who helped to found the Veterans Community Project out of frustration with the usual efforts to get veterans off the streets. Come November, the size of the “village” will double, thanks in part to a corps of volunteers and support from the city. The endeavor here is a determined response to the seemingly intractable issue of homelessness in cities nationwide — an issue often exacerbated by an extreme shortage of affordable housing and complicated by policy debates about the use of shelters and treatment programs. While the first of its kind in Kansas City, VCP mirrors the increasing number of tiny-house projects that nonprofit groups, churches and other organizations have been building in recent years — from Seattle to Nashville, from Austin to Detroit to Upstate New York, where 15 “Second Wind Cottages” symbolize second chances in the small town of Newfield. These miniature abodes, which generally measure between 100 and 400 square feet, offer a mix of independence, stability and compassion on what supporters consider a critical micro level. “If you’re living in a tent on the street by yourself, with all your belongings, you’re not going to move into a shelter,” said Sharon Lee, the founding executive director of Seattle’s Low Income Housing Institute. “You don’t want to sleep next to someone you don’t know. You’re worried about bed bugs. You’re worried about getting your stuff stolen or being assaulted. “You move into a tiny house, you lock the door. You’re safe.” But in a country where more than half a million people experienced homelessness last year, there’s tension even among supporters over what constitutes a tiny house and how much of a macro-level solution it can try to be. Early on, some structures were mounted on wheels specifically to avoid zoning and building code requirements. Some are still derided as little more than “sheds with beds” — lacking utilities or other basic necessities and support — and those places are the ones more likely to face pushback, if not sharp opposition, from potential neighbors as well as some advocates. Kevin Polk, executive director of the American Tiny House Association, considers it “incredibly important that we use this resource to help the people who are most in need.” Yet he notes that housing for the homeless and transitional housing are subjects that challenge many communities. “There is an unfortunate phenomenon in the United States, which is that what communities would really like homeless people to do is go someplace else,” he said. In Kansas City, the Veterans Community Project tackled fears early — with a bit of help from the moon bounces and barbecues the organization hosted for anyone interested in its housing plan, as well as the tiny-home model that the VCP took on the road. “We just went around and started engaging people, talking to them, saying, ‘This is what we’re going to do. What are your concerns?’ ” said co-founder Bryan Meyer, who remembers being asked whether homeless men and women were just going to be dumped in shacks on the site. No, he reassured VCP’s future neighbors. Still, he acknowledges that it took tangible evidence to help others fully understand the concept of the village. The model home, with new white cabinets, recessed lighting and Ikea-style beds, “broke down a lot of barriers,” he said. Leo Morris, who is one of the newest residents, moved to the village in August after he lost his house in a fire. The 82-year-old Air Force veteran arrived with his dog, Petey, and since then has been busy making #3 his own. “I’ve had more visitors than when I had a house,” he said last month. “They’re helping me decorate to help it seem a little bit more like me. One’s going to have a housewarming for me in a week.” The U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) supports the potential of tiny houses, though a 2017 report included strong caveats that they not be separated from “the broader community” and that they be part of a “coordinated system” of temporary and permanent housing opportunities to make a sustainable difference. Council Executive Director Matthew Doherty worries about smaller also being lesser. What often has been erected, he stresses, bears no resemblance to the tiny homes the public sees featured on HGTV shows and in blogs as a chic way to live a minimalist life. “I just want to make sure that we’re not creating a separate standard of housing that we have somehow deemed as acceptable for people who are homeless, that we would not see as acceptable for anybody else in our community,” Doherty said. Perhaps no corner of the country has turned to tiny houses more than the Pacific Northwest, especially the Seattle area, where such structures account for nearly 13 percent of the shelter space in which public officials have invested.   The Low Income Housing Institute manages nine tiny-home villages and has two more in progress for a mix of constituencies. Its still-controversial approach is evolving. Early on, given a 2015 emergency mandate as Seattle grappled with burgeoning tent encampments, the structures built were less than 120 square feet and were mounted on pier blocks and 4×4 skids so they could be easily moved. The goal was speed, to get tiny structures up quickly, and to circumvent city ordinances and building code. (Seattle is being sued for alleged legal violations in issuing a permit for one of the pending projects.) The villages have communal kitchen and laundry spaces and separate bathrooms. Lee talks about a recent callout to artists to help decorate one village’s doors and walls and praises the less-specialized volunteers who continue to support project after project. “The community buys in,” she said. One retiree remains committed to building one tiny house a month, “and he gets all his neighbors to come.” Some people have even bought and donated tiny houses as wedding gifts. And the effort has yielded results, according to Lee, with a 2017 city evaluation finding that those who live for a year in tiny houses have greater success at being employed and moving into permanent housing than they would have had they remained in tent encampments. Compared with Seattle and other high-cost cities, Kansas City does not have an affordable-housing crisis. In fact, the Interagency Council last year declared that the city had “effectively ended homelessness among veterans” through the city’s participation in an Obama-era initiative. But Mixon, who was deployed to Afghanistan with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, and Meyer, who served five years in the Marine Corps, kept seeing real problems among local veterans. They and their buddies started using their own money on hotel rooms for veterans rejected by shelters or other transitional housing because of previous infractions, addiction issues or ineligibility based on the extensive benefits criteria of the Department of Veterans Affairs. Surely there was a better approach, they thought. At first, the group planned to refurbish an apartment complex or other building and provide not just transitional shelter but case management services. With the encouragement of Kansas City Councilwoman Teresa Loar, they adopted tiny homes as their model. VCP was able to tap into a “groundswell that we never saw coming,” Meyer said, with interest and monetary contributions from Kansas City and beyond. VCP has sought no federal funding. Construction has been volunteer-driven, and contractors have discounted their work. “I’ve never been involved in a project so full of passion and full of energy, motivation and momentum,” said Loar, who now chairs VCP’s board of directors. The founders had expected the first 13 homes would take nine months to build. But after buying a five-acre property for $500 from the Kansas City Land Bank — an empty lot surrounded by a storage facility and apartments and duplexes — they ran hard into reality. The lot didn’t have a sewer line, and part of the group’s deal with the city in securing its blessing was that the village would be fully compliant with municipal codes and use public utilities. Adding that sewer connection set the project back one year and $1 million. Meyer is quick to point out that although VCP is a village of tiny houses, that was not the primary motivation when the organization was created. Simply giving a homeless person a house “doesn’t fix anything,” he said. So there’s a focus on addressing the big picture: health, financial independence, education or training, networking and support. Each applicant is evaluated for his or her needs and must be stable enough to fit into the community, where residents can live rent-free for up to 18 months as they work toward attaining permanent housing. For those with substantial addiction or psychiatric problems, VCP works with other organizations to find more suitable transitional housing and treatment programs. Along with a 5,000-square-foot community center, the second group of tiny houses is nearly finished. A few important design changes were made on the basis of the several months that Meyer lived in unit #5 this summer as a sort of quality-control experience. (Among his observations, he realized that the air-conditioning unit needed to be repositioned for better circulation.) The village ultimately will have 49 homes. The four co-founders think theirs is a model that can work elsewhere, and they say they have fielded inquiries from hundreds of groups in other cities. VCP also intends to replicate its own work elsewhere, with negotiations underway with officials in Nashville; Longmont, Colo., north of Boulder; and O’Fallon, Ill., a suburb of East St. Louis. “There’s a lot of very smart, educated people that believe this is a true, viable option for homelessness,” Meyer said. “We’re trying to make sure that we’re doing it justice.”

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