Incentives request to turn former AT&T office location into apartments

January 2022

By Madison Parry

Renewed efforts to turn the vacant 13-story downtown office building has arrived as an application for property tax breaks and credits from Bernstein Cos. Bernstein bought the building from Maxus Properties Inc. in November for $13 million.

In April 2019, Maxus Properties bought the 1.3 acre building and surrounding property for $6.85 million. In 2021, the property management company had itself filed an application to construct roughly 280 apartments and 30,000 square feet of co-working space.

After selling to Washington D.C.-based Bernstein Cos., the company filed its own application to turn the location in apartments, according to a Dec. 17, 2021 filing with the Economic Development Corp. of Kansas City.

According to a property overview page, there is 340,272 square feet of rentable space within the 13 levels. There are also six levels of on-site parking.

In the filing, Bernstein notes it is looking for $23.8 million in federal and state historic tax credits. 

Originally constructed in 1973 as the Southwestern Bell Administration Building, the property located at 500 East 8th Street has been added to the list of National Register of Historic Places. Because of this, planned renovations to turn the property into living space are exempt from Kansas City’s affordable housing set-aside ordinance, passed in 2021.

According to the the filing, Bernstein anticipates renovation costs to reach around $91 million. The company is also hoping to score a 15-year property tax abatement at 100 percent for 10 years and 50 percent in the following five years.