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Bringing a School Building Back to Life

LISC has closed a $546,000 loan with Sunflower Development Group to fund part of the acquisition and renovation of the former Blenheim School located in the Tri-Blenheim neighborhood of Kansas City, Mo. Originally constructed in 1924, Blenheim is an historic example of a Progressive Era school in the Moorish Revival style, and is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. The school building occupies 67,760 square feet on three floors.

The size and configuration of the former classrooms in Blenheim lend themselves to adaptive reuse as multi- family housing.  The plan is to redevelop the classrooms and large common areas to accommodate 52 affordable apartment homes. Each apartment will have modern energy-efficient amenities that will include individual HVAC controls, refrigerator, electric range, microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, water heater, and kitchen exhaust fan. The auditorium will be restored to provide community space for the residents and the neighborhood, as well as adding a fitness room and a computer lab. The majority of the Blenheim School Apartments will house residents age 55 and older earning 50% and 60% of Area Median Income (AMI). The unit mix will include a single studio unit, 34 one-bed one-bath units, 2 one-bed 1.5 bath units, and 15 two-bed one-bath units. Thirteen of the units will be reserved for tenants earning 50% or less of the AMI.


Steve Weatherford, Senior Program Officer for Community Development & Lending