"Kansas City officials and Power & Light District developer Cordish are in discussions about a plan to convert the historic Midland office building into 100 units of affordable housing.
The 100 apartments at Midland would be in lieu of affordable units in three of Cordish's existing or planned luxury high rises. Two Light, with about 300 units, is scheduled to open this summer. Construction on Three Light, also with about 300 apartments, is expected to begin before the end of the year at Truman Road and Grand Boulevard.
The company said the financing structure of Three Light did not permit affordable units. But it offered to reduce the 99-year agreement by half and set aside 10 percent of units beginning with Four Light.
Schulte said Monday that the scenario under discussion calls for Cordish to convert the Midland building, at 13th and Baltimore, to affordable housing at the same time it is constructing Three Light. In exchange, the city would still build the $17.5 million garage and appropriate an additional $3.8 million to pay for additional parking.
Mayor Pro Tem Scott Wagner, who attended the editorial board meeting along with Council members Jolie Justus and Jermaine Reed, said the idea seemed to address concerns about affordability. He also and that it was not fair to ask Cordish to reconfigure Three Light to include low-income units at this point.
"You're looking at steel tariffs. The cost of construction is going up, the cost of borrowing is going up," Wagner said. "All of those things are moving.