Bancroft redevelopment project in Green Impact Zone 2-20-12
On Feb. 20, 2012, Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II and Kansas City, Mo., Mayor Sly James announced the decision of the Missouri Housing Development Corporation to approve a Low-Income Housing Tax Credit application that will allow redevelopment of the vacant Bancroft School, located at 43rd and Tracy in the Green Impact Zone, to move forward.

Redevelopment of the school has long been a priority for neighborhood leaders in Historic Manheim Park, one of five neighborhoods that make up the Green Impact Zone. More than a year ago, representatives from the Make It Right Foundation — the organization founded by actor Brad Pitt to build affordable housing in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina — approached Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II about housing opportunities in the Green Impact Zone. After numerous tours and meetings with Green Impact Zone staff and the Manheim neighborhood leadership, the foundation focused on the Bancroft project and developed a partnership that includes a local developer, Dalmark Development Group; Kansas City, Mo., Neighborhood Housing Services; BNIM Architects; the Historic Manheim Park Neighborhood Association; MARC; and the Green Impact Zone.

“This project really began at the grassroots level, with residents in the neighborhood telling the funders and other partners what type of development they wanted to see,” said Green Impact Zone Director Anita Maltbia. “We’re excited to see it move forward, and also excited about the possibilities it brings to the rest of the Green Impact Zone.” Even in its planning stages, the Bancroft redevelopment project has become a catalyst, raising developers’ interest in the surrounding area.

The $14 million Bancroft redevelopment will include 50 affordable housing units — 29 in the remodeled school building and 21 in new townhomes to be constructed on school grounds. The Make It Right Foundation will donate $2.3 million toward construction costs. The project will also receive $1.4 million in federal and state Low-Income Housing Tax Credits; $3 million in federal and state historic preservation tax credits; and $676,000 in Affordable Housing Assistance Program tax credits.

The Bancroft School renovation will meet LEED Platinum standards for green design. BNIM Architects’ proposed design for the project was recently honored with a Social Economic Environmental Design (SEED) award, which recognizes excellence in public interest design. The Bancroft project is one of six SEED honorees selected from among 45 submissions from 14 different countries.

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