The St. Louis developer eyeing apartments in place of a former Faultless Healthcare Linen industrial building in the Crossroads Arts District simultaneously is advancing a proposal for the historic Katz Drug Store building in Kansas City.
Lux Living submitted a plan Tuesday to city staff for Katz on Main, a six-story multifamily addition behind the vacant building at 3948 Main St., featuring 192 apartments above a 175-space parking garage as well as apartment amenities and offices within the former Katz Drug building and a rooftop pool.
The vacant building originally was constructed in 1934 as the first Katz Drug Store location outside the city's central business district, with art deco influences from architect Clarence Kivett incorporated into its iconic clock tower. It later was listed on the Kansas City Register of Historic Places.
In 2011, Redeemer Fellowship Church acquired the building at auction and from 2012 to 2019 operated The Drugstore, with collaboratively run studio space for up-and-coming artists.
Historic Kansas City, a preservation organization, listed the property on its 2019 list of most endangered buildings, which denotes valuable sites at possible risk for demolition, after the church put the property up for sale, citing high costs for utilities and maintenance of the deteriorating structure.
The pandemic in March cost Redeemer Fellowship Church a buyer it had lined up the previous winter, but as of mid-September, representatives went under contract with Lux Living, the church's Director of Operations Andy Bean wrote on its website.
Lux Living now plans to repurpose the former drugstore to house amenities and offices for the apartments, including a rooftop pool abutting the clock tower.
After the necessary city approvals are in hand, Lux Living CEO Victor Alston told the Kansas City Business Journal he hopes Katz on Main could start construction in the latter half of 2021.
Currently, the development is in its early stages, and Lux Living's first step is to work with the city and neighborhood groups to get feedback on project aspects like density and height, he said.
"It's a difficult site because you've got to preserve that (historic) building and the remaining land you have to work with is very small, very dense," Alston said.
Lux Living is reviewing whether to seek historic tax credits for the project, with any other incentive requests dependent on that decision, he said.
Katz on Main sits along the future 3.5-mile southern Kansas City streetcar extension from Union Station to 51st and Main streets, near the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus. The proposal becomes one of several burgeoning redevelopment sites.
The City Plan Commission is scheduled Feb. 16 to review Lux Living's request to rezone the 1.3-acre site to an urban redevelopment district.
Development team members include Leawood-based architecture firm Hoefer Wysocki and Lincoln-based engineering firm Olsson.