The Rochester _ 2022

Community Building

Kansas City, MO _ 80,000 sqft
Architecture, Interior Design, Fabrication
Photo Credit _ Michael Robinson

Since 1991, Community Builders of Kansas City has been reviving Kansas City’s east side – a part of the city still suffering the long-term effects of redlining and 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.

The Rochester is an 80,000-square-foot multifamily development and neighbors CBKC’s headquarters on Kansas City’s east side. The property is also 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 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. Throughout his professional career, he worked with multiple citywide programs to support low-income families and feed community growth.

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.