Living Design

CBKC announces master plan for new Offices at Overlook development in KC Opportunity Zone

‘Transformational’ and ‘catalytic’ are just a few adjectives that have been used to describe the newest Community Builders of Kansas City (CBKC) project, Offices at Overlook. When complete, the multi-phase 11-acre development will invest an estimated $80-100 million into eastern Kansas City.

Located at the corner of Swope Parkway and Chestnut Avenue, the Offices at Overlook site was recently classified as blighted by the Kansas City Planned Industrial Expansion Authority. The site also falls within the Swope Park Opportunity Zone.

Since 1991, CBKC has been reviving eastern Kansas City through commercial strategic development. CBKC’s mission is to change the “landscape by igniting and fueling equity, access, opportunity and advocacy.” This
passionate mission statement formed the base of our team’s thought process for the overall master plan and early phases of the development. The architecture must be energetic in response to CBKC’s goals. This energy begins with the site.

“Offices at Overlook is another CBKC transformational initiative taking place east of Prospect,” said Emmet Pierson, Jr., CBKC President and CEO. “The class-A office space, amenities and housing will revive underused land,
enhance quality of life and help our community grow and thrive.

Conceived as an active community-based amenity, the mixed-use master plan includes a playground, outdoor fitness area, event and market spaces, all connected by a mile-long wellness trail. Lighting will ignite the site at
night as daytime office activity fades into the movement of a future multi-family community. In developing the master plan, parking has been a careful consideration for the team. To avoid large lots that would stifle activity and pedestrian traffic flow, the plan integrates street traffic all throughout the site.

The first project on the site is a 60,000-square-foot class-A office building. The form shifts and folds to create outdoor collaboration balconies, igniting the plan and exterior of the building with activity. The metal skin is articulated with angled tile to reflect light during the day and night, fueling the façade. The result is an iconic architectural language that forms the base of a transformative development.

The building’s interior is defined by a priority of health and wellness. In the core, a 3-story atrium space will be filled with vegetation to maintain clean air quality for each of the floors. Hands-free entry and plumbing fixtures will help minimize the spread of germs. Calming wellness rooms will be clad in wood and available for tenants to use.

“Working on the design for this important project has been a real honor,” Hufft co-founder Matthew Hufft shared. “CBKC made it clear that the architecture and masterplan are to be transformative. We rose to the challenge, designing a site that will be a constantly active amenity to the surrounding area, with particular attention to landscaping and site programming, the play of light throughout and an emphasis on the interchange of indoor and
outdoor uses.”

Additional phases of the masterplan include mixed-use spaces on the site and more than 150 multi-family unit. CBKC is seeking tenant prospects that will help positively impact the surrounding community by providing in-demand services or amenities. Demolition and site clearing are slated to begin later this year, with phase one construction scheduled for a December start. Turner Construction is the general contractor.