Historic Jazz Hill complex in receives $38 million revitalization investment, to become affordable housing

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Kansas City, Missouri – Kansas City’s historic Jazz Hill housing complex is being revitalized thanks to a significant $38 million investment. On Tuesday, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, FHFA Director Sandra Thompson, and various local leaders took a tour of the project to see the potential impact of this funding. Originally constructed between 1896 and 1906, Jazz Hill Apartments are located at 10th Street and The Paseo. Mayor Quinton Lucas emphasized the link between housing and broader city issues such as homelessness, joblessness, transportation, and education, stating that securing housing often addresses multiple challenges.

“If we can build the housing for the future of this community, sometimes it’s rehabilitating housing of the past, then I think we’re doing the work that’s necessary,” said Lucas, as reported by KCTV.

Over the next ten years, his goal is to add at least 1,000 affordable housing units stretching from Independence Avenue to 19th Street, beginning with Jazz Hill Apartments. He remarked on the area’s past prominence and advocated for continued development of this kind in the community. The renovation will transform Jazz Hill into 181 affordable homes, featuring studio, one-bedroom, and two-bedroom options, each receiving around $200,000 in upgrades, amidst rising rents across the city

“I hope it will be about the community instead of high-priced apartments but more like a community back in the day,” said KC tenant Darren Johnson.

Flaherty and Collins Properties reports that Jazz Hill will feature 14 studio apartments, 147 one-bedroom units, and 36 two-bedroom units. Rent prices are set at $600 for studios, $725 for one-bedrooms, and $825 for two-bedrooms. This development is part of a city-wide effort to preserve historic sites, similar to the Parade Park Redevelopment at 18th and Truman. The KC Tenants and Tenant Union Federation have noted that Kansas City landlords increased rents by 16 percent each year.

Read also: South Loop project nears funding goal with $129.2 million raised, aims for 2026 World Cup deadline

Funding for Jazz Hill came from several sources: 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits provided by MHDC, Federal and State Historic Tax Credits, and tax-exempt bonds issued by the PIEA. Merchants Capital played multiple roles, acting as the LIHTC investor, the Federal Historic Tax Credit investor, the construction lender, and also arranged Freddie Mac permanent financing. Monarch Capital invested in the State Historic Tax Credits. Additionally, Kansas City contributed $4.12 million in CCED funds. The project is slated for completion in late 2024.

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