AP NEWS

UMKC to close 12-year-old problem-prone apartment building

March 5, 2020 GMT

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The University of Missouri-Kansas City says a student apartment building that was open only ten years before it was shut down cannot be fixed and must be demolished.

Officials said in a statement that repairing the Oak Place Apartments “is not viable,” so both housing wings will be torn down this summer as well as associated retail space. The building’s parking garage will stay, The Kansas City Star reports.

Oak Place Apartments opened in summer 2008, initially housing about 500 students. It was built by a private developer, which leased the land through a public/private deal. UMKC purchased the building in 2012 for $40.8 million but then shut it down in 2018 following complaints about major pipe leaks, sagging floors and mold problems.

The University of Missouri curators then sued the building’s construction and design companies, alleging they were “reckless” in the way they designed and constructed the building. The university said Wednesday that it had reached a settlement agreement with insurance carriers this month but didn’t release details.

The university said in the statement that “ongoing inspections related to the lawsuit revealed even more extensive damage than previously known.”

Plans are in the works for another student housing and retail development on the site.