Dwight Capital Lends $27M on Mixed-Use Build at Former Kansas City School


Dwight Capital has closed on a deal supplying $27.2 million of U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-backed construction financing for a planned mixed-use multifamily development at a former high school site in Kansas City, Mo., Commercial Observer has learned.

The Manhattan-based alternative commercial real estate lender provided the HUD 221(d)(4) loan for the Apartments at Westport Commons project in Kansas City’s historic Southmoreland neighborhood that Andrew Brain of Brain Group and E.F. Chip Walsh of Mercier Street are developing. Steven Hunt, senior originator at Dwight, led the transaction.

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Located at 315 East 39th Street, the property previously housed Westport High School before it closed in 2010. The project will require a “substantial rehabilitation” of the school building, which opened in 1907, and was placed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2015. Financing for the development will utilize state and federal historic tax credits in addition to the debt financing provided by Dwight.

”This project is well-positioned to be successful because of its location and because of the other numerous investments, both public and private, that are being made within the surrounding area,” Walsh said in a statement.

The HUD transaction from Dwight includes a green mortgage premium reduction set at 0.25 percent since the property qualifies as green and energy-efficient housing.

Upon completion, the Apartments at Westport Commons will consist of clubhouse, leasing office, business center, fitness center, dog park, cinema, community rooms and concierge services. Existing classroom space will be utilized for the apartment units across 100,555 square feet while an annex constructed in 1992 will be repurposed to 24,000 square feet of commercial space.

The 4.86-acre site was acquired by HP Development Partners 2 in 2016 for an undisclosed price under a Kansas City Public Schools repurposing initiative that aims to seek innovative ways to promote the reuse of its closed school sites. 

Andrew Coen can be reached at acoen@commercialobserver.com