City and Bainbridge owners reach understanding


Social blight, a controversial new approach to forcing change at three Armour Boulevard apartment buildings, is now off the table.

The city and Eagle Point Cos., redeveloper and manager of the buildings, have instead agreed to handle crime problems there with negotiations and meetings.

But a “memorandum of understanding” resolution between the city and the Maine- based company was held Wednesday by the council’s Neighborhoods, Housing and Healthy Communities committee.

That was to allow time for more negotiations, said Councilman Jim Glover, a Hyde Park resident who has long been involved in the issue.

The city filed  to get a finding of social blight on the Armour corridor because of crime at the company’s Section 8 rental buildings, the Bainbridge, Georgian Courts and Linda Vista.

Neighbors and others said the crime infested buildings were a social liability that also prevented the redevelopment of market rate apartments along Armour from spreading east of Troost.

Company officials and their supporters denied that but the company pledged to work with the city on the problems.

Among provisions in the resolution that the committee held Wednesday:

  • “…the parties have reached the conclusion that the blight study will not achieve the effect hoped for by its proponents, and other methods may have a more lasting, positive impact on these communities …”
  •  The city and company will have meetings of all interested stakeholders, among them the Hyde Park neighborhood and police.
  • The city will work with the Housing Authority of Kansas City to contract with a social service provider “to provide services to the low income multi-family properties in the city, including the Armour Boulevard properties, which services will include referrals to other agencies for residents in crisis, assistance in finding employment, tutoring and other educational solutions for the children living in these properties and assistance in finding permanent, stable residences.”
  • The city will work with police to deter and reduce crime in the corridor, “which will include the staging of police officer (s) in the lobby of the Bainbridge.”
  • “Eagle Point will provide an adequate area for the police staging referenced above, in a visible location in the lobby of the Bainbridge.”

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