Living Design

Construction nears completion on The Rochester, CBKC’s newest multi-family property

Visit The Rochester’s website for more information or to submit a lease inquiry.

Since 1991, Community Builders of Kansas City has been reviving Kansas City’s east side – a part of the city often overlooked for development opportunities. The mission of CBKC, a not-for-profit and Kansas City’s largest urban core developer, is to fuel equity, access, opportunity and advocacy through community development. To date, CBKC has backed their mission through investments totaling more than $225 million. Construction is nearing completion on one of CBKC’s newest projects, The Rochester.

Our design approach merges client and context into a cohesive concept. The consideration of people, places and concept is our guide for creating meaningful work.


The development is named after CBKC’s late founder Rochester “Chuck” Gaston. Chuck grew up on the city’s east side and brought his passion for community development to multiple professional ventures. Gregarious, joyful and a perpetual optimist, Chuck dedicated his life to developing community spaces for all to feel welcome, safe and loved. Throughout his professional career, he worked with multiple citywide programs to support low-income families and feed community growth. He received numerous leadership awards including the James A. Johnson Fellowship from the Fannie Mae Foundation, which recognizes leaders in affordable housing and community development. The Rochester will bolster and serve the same community Chuck spent his life working for.


The 64-unit multi-family development totals more than 80,000 square feet and neighbors CBKC’s headquarters on Kansas City’s east side. The Rochester is one of the first projects to break ground in a Kansas City-area Opportunity Zone, and the first market-rate multifamily development east of Prospect Avenue.

“The Rochester brings a residential option to this corridor that does not now exist,” said Emmet Pierson, Jr., CBKC president and CEO. “The Rochester adds another dynamic element to CBKC’s Blue Parkway campus that already includes more than 430,000 square feet of diversified office, retail and service providers. This residential development marks the first of a number of projects CBKC has planned along the Blue Parkway corridor and throughout the east side.”


As our team worked through the design, they were inspired by Chuck Gaston’s legacy, and his passion for community building. The mission was to create a warm, welcoming, connected community.

The building’s angular design maximizes outdoor community space, with a public front lawn and private backyard, all accessible from the ground floor units. At the most prominent corner of the building is an all-glass community space, with a lounge, gym and meeting spaces forming the ground-floor amenities. The site’s unique location, flanked by Brush Creek to the north and mature forest to the south, is celebrated in views from every public space and living unit. A rooftop patio provides covered and open-air space for residents to enjoy, host family and friends, or organize events.

The work CBKC is doing for Kansas City’s east-side residents is inspiring, and long overdue. It has been an incredible honor to work with them and support their mission through The Rochester. Other project partners include general contractor Straub Construction; landscape design firm Land3; and Artin, Custom Engineering, FSC and Taliaferro & Browne as our engineering consultants.