Boulevard Lofts Will Foster Renewed Neighborhood in KCK
Boulevard Lofts, a mixed-income community and agrihood, was designed specifically for a range of households to maintain healthy, highly social and active lifestyles. The project breaks ground today.
Vitality and a strong sense of place will be established by in the heart of Kansas City, Kansas, on a parcel of land that previously had been undeveloped. The unique typography includes a creek and heavy natural landscape.
Prairie Fire Development worked with the Unified Government to acquire and develop the land with a plan to improve the surrounding community. This process included partnering with the CHWC and involved multiple user group and stakeholder conversations who helped develop the aesthetic for the site.
The larger building contains 32 units with a variety of one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. The north side of the development includes walk-up units with patios that reflect the scale and architectural quality of the neighborhood.
Safety was an important component in the design and redevelopment of the area. Sidewalks and parking areas are well lit, retaining walls lining front yards create defined “defensible space” and landscaping softens wrought iron gates with secure entry points limiting access to backyards and doors, providing passive street surveillance.
The overall architectural concept is meant to create a hierarchy of space for residents – public, private and shared.
Facades are articulated in the same rhythm found in surrounding neighborhoods with porches and front doors overlooking the street. While new housing lines the perimeter of blocks, backyards within the block’s interior features shaded green spaces lots between existing houses.
The area is planned with the integration of an urban farm, an ‘agrihood’ which includes an orchard, gardens and beehives. Gardens are intended to be integrated with the natural landscape with a mix of pollinator gardens, orchards of natural foods that residents can enjoy such as berries, and honeybee colonies.
The amenities in the apartment building include a demonstration kitchen with roll-up doors that allow for a farmer’s market and an educational area that opens out to the community green.
Within walking distance are a new grocery store and YMCA, a dog park, downtown café and Jefferson Center. Following the ideas within the neighborhood’s master plan, a new park including a playground will be created adjacent to the site on Ninth Street. The Boulevard Lofts community fills in the gaps between Douglas Elementary, Sumner Academy and several churches.
The goal for the new residences is to create a charming, traditional neighborhood feel and encourage activation of the area.