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While some builders aim for profit, one builds for the common good.
Consider Alhaven Apartments. This project was a partnership between Save Inc., a local non-profit devoted to emergency housing for the city’s most vulnerable, and long-time OWN, Inc. client Vecino Group, a developer based in Springfield, Missouri, with a focus on community housing and redevelopment.
The challenge: construct a new 4-story, 40,000-square-foot structure with 50 apartment units on less than an acre of land at 31st and Harrison in Kansas City, Missouri.
Seventeen of the units would be reserved for children aging out of foster care and designated for those with AIDS. Knowing the cause, the team was excited to answer the call.
This lot was part of an established neighborhood within the city limits. As undeveloped land becomes rarer and cities hunger for redevelopment, projects like these are becoming more and more common.
Redeveloping older properties in any major city comes with challenges – you never know what you’re going to find until you dig in. In this instance, the property was originally developed in the 1940s and ‘50s and was a parking lot since 1955.
The OWN team learned that easements were cutting up the lot and utilities were crisscrossing the property. Relocation of overhead power lines would be needed. In addition to replacing an existing ancient storm sewer, the client also updated the water main and made storage improvements to stormwater.
The lot sat in a combined sewer overflow district, a feature unique to Kansas City. Any efforts to try and develop in the district required the storing of additional stormwater that leeches out in a more manageable way.
No stranger to these types of challenges, OWN went beyond to design a permeable pavement solution in concert with a subterranean water storage – essentially building a gravel aquifer under the parking lot. This, coupled with careful grading, helped to facilitate more gradual drainage.
Over the course of the project, OWN delivered Civil Engineering, Land Survey, Geotechnical Engineering and Entitlements including site planning, sewer capacity analysis, and platting.
Today, a beautiful new apartment building sits on land that used to be a decaying parking lot. And vulnerable young adults have their choice of studio, 1- or 2-bedroom apartments and a supportive community in which to flourish.