Cities across the Midwest are scrambling to build enough apartment units to meet the demand for them. A good example is in Missouri, where officials in the city of Lee’s Summit say they will need thousands of new market-rate apartments during the next decade to meet the demand for multifamily living.
Lee’s Summit, a bit more than 20 miles from Kansas City, isn’t a huge metropolis. But it’s not tiny, either. It ranks as the sixth-largest city in Missouri.
Like most Midwest cities, a growing number of people want to live in apartment buildings here. A 2017 study commissioned by the Lee’s Summit City Council and conducted by Vogt Strategic Insights says that the city could support up to 2,300 new market-rate apartments during the next decade.
“Lee’s Summit continues to see strong activity and interest in multifamily construction,” said Ryan Elam, director of the Lee’s Summit Development Center.
How tight is the city’s apartment market today? The study found that the multifamily market in Lee’s Summit has a 98.4 percent occupancy rate, with about 30 percent of renters coming from outside the area.
And market-rate apartments aren’t the only ones that Lee’s Summit needs. Vogt found that the area could support up to 503 additional units of age-restricted housing and up to 400 new units of affordable apartments.
Like most cities across the Midwest, developers stopped building new apartment projects after the 2008 housing crisis. Last year, though, developers again began adding apartment stock to this city. A good example is NorthPoint Development, which opened Residences at New Longview, a 309-unit luxury apartment community. This project enjoyed NorthPoint’s fastest lease-up ever.
The success of this project hasn’t gone unnoticed.
“New Longview’s success essentially became a proof-of-concept for Lee’s Summit multifamily development,” said Rick McDowell, president of the Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council.
Last year, the city approved five new apartment complexes for a total of more than 1,400 living units.