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Sunflower Development Group could start downtown apartment work by spring

12/17/2013 5:00 AM

12/17/2013 6:19 AM

Two of the three downtown apartment buildings a Kansas City company is looking to convert into affordable housing. WICHITA — Kansas City-based Sunflower Development Group still has plans to renovate historic apartments from the early 1900s across from WaterWalk, but the project probably won't start until early spring.

"We're going to close first quarter next year," says Jason Swords. "It's a deal that's moving forward."

His group is buying properties at 507 and 509 S. Market and 514 S. Main to redevelop them as affordable housing. The almost $6 million development will be a mix of studio apartments and one-bedroom units.

"The issue that we've had is tax credits have been harder to broker on the federal side than they used to be, and we expect that to ease up after the first of the year," Swords says.

He says 90 percent of Sunflower's work is with historic rehabilitation.

Swords is interested in Wichita for a number of reasons, including that his wife is from here.

"I've been to Wichita ... a number of times," he says. "It's a quick run from Kansas City."

Swords also likes the older buildings here.

"There's a great building stock that needs to be redeveloped."

About Carrie Rengers

Carrie Rengers joined The Eagle's Business team in 2002 despite her inability to even balance a checkbook. Fortunately for her, and readers, her Have You Heard? blog is about business scoops and contains lots of news but almost no math.

A Michigan native, Carrie’s father was quite tragically transferred to Little Rock, Ark., in the middle of her sophomore year of high school. To make matters worse, her parents put her in a girls school. She recovered, though, and went on to enjoy being an English major at Hendrix College (the Harvard of the Ozarks, don’t you know). She worked for the weekly Arkansas Business and the statewide daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before moving to Wichita to be with her favorite writer and cook, husband Joe Stumpe.

Carrie encourages readers to contact her with tips, questions, behind-the-scenes business news and even funny quotes from business people. Reach her at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com

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