Multifamily X Missouri

Modern apartments bring new bustle to Midwest downtowns

Using modern apartments to bring new bustle to Midwest downtowns,ph01

Bustling downtowns are pumping new life into cities across the Midwest. Kansas City, Missouri, is no exception. And the ARTerra apartment project is a main reason why.

Developed jointly by Altius Properties and Copaken Brooks, ARTerra will rise 12 stories in the air once it is completed, the first high-rise apartment building to be built in the Crossroads Arts District of downtown Kansas City. The building will contain 126 residential units, a mix of studios, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments.

Lance Cage, managing principal for the St. Louis office of architecture firm HOK, said that the high-rise continues an effort by Kansas City officials to boost the residential offerings in its downtown. This, of course, is not a rare effort: Officials across the Midwest are encouraging developers to build modern apartments in downtowns as a way to turn these downtowns into 24/7 hubs.

ARTerra features expansive views of the Kansas City skyline, an outdoor pool and terrace and balconies that are staggered to create a dappled pattern along the building’s north facade. There’s also a glass walled lobby and 2,000 square feet of retail space.

Cage said that ARTerra will only add to the commercial activity now taking place in the Crossroads district.

“The district has definitely been on the upswing,” Cage said. “But the area does need new residential. The developers of this project felt strong about the market for this kind of product in the district.”

Cage said that a growing number of renters today are searching for new construction apartments. Many Midwest cities, especially in their downtown areas, are still dotted with older apartment buildings. These buildings don’t contain the amenities – such as pools, onsite fitness centers and rooftop decks – that renters are often looking for today.

“There are a lot of great old buildings in Kansas City that have been renovated,” Cage said. “But there isn’t as much new product out there for renters. People are searching for new apartment projects with more contemporary design elements but that still fit in with the rest of the neighborhood.”

That, of course, was HOK’s goal when designing ARTerra: Create an apartment building that is modern and filled with higher-end amenities, but make sure it meshed well with the buildings already making up the Crossroads Arts District.

To do this, HOK designed the building’s exterior out of a brownish brick. Much of the buildings in the Crossroads area use red brick. The brownish brick of ARTerra will stand out a bit from this, but is still brick and still blends in with the rest of the neighborhood.

Cage said that he considers ARTerra’s 1,200-square-foot social lounge area at the top of the building to be its top feature. ARTerra is one of the taller buildings in this section of Kansas City. Residents relaxing at the lounge will enjoy those views of downtown Kansas City. Just as important, visitors to the downtown can look south to see the ARTerra rising in the distance.

“That social lounge at the top of the building is a great identifying feature,” Cage said.