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Demolition Scheduled For Troubled Student Housing On UMKC Campus

The Oak Park Apartments of 5055 Oak St. will be demolished by the end of June.
Courtesy of University News
The Oak Place Apartments at 5055 Oak St. will be demolished by the end of June.

The Oak Place Apartments were closed in 2018 because of $10 million in design and other problems, displacing nearly 500 students.

Demolition on the long-troubled Oak Place Apartments on the University of Missouri-Kansas City campus will begin in the next two weeks.

Closed since 2018 because of extensive water damage, Oak Place was the subject of a lawsuit the school filed against two companies when 464 students had to move out.

UMKC reached a settlement agreement with the companies’ insurance carriers, which allowed for new plans, Sharon Lindenbaum, UMKC’s Vice Chancellor of Finance and Administration, announced in an email on Monday.

Demolition of the building at 5050 Oak Street, along with reseeding of the area, will be finished by the beginning of the fall semester, Lindenbaum said. A nearby parking structure will remain in place, but may be closed, she said.

“Our vision is still to increase on-campus student housing opportunities in coming years,” Lindenbaum said. “Plus, the plan to extend the KC Streetcar to the immediate vicinity of the site opens up new opportunities for development once the local and national economies recover from the current pandemic.”

The university closed the two wings of the apartment complex two years ago after finding significant plumbing and mold issues in some of the apartments. The damage to the complex was estimated at $10 million.

The Curators of the University of Missouri sued numerous companies that worked on the building, including builder JE Dunn and architect Gould Evans Associates, for breach of contract.

The school says it has reached a settlement agreement with insurance carriers, but “other litigation continues to move forward,” according to a UMKC news release.

The plan calls for demolition of both housing wings and the retail space by the beginning of the fall semester, but the parking garage will stay, the release said. Retail businesses in the building have already closed, and the parking structure will likely stay closed in the fall.

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