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Old 10-29-2012, 10:11 AM
 
1 posts, read 959 times
Reputation: 10

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Hi I'm moving to Kansas City next year and will be working near the Rockhurst/UMKC Campus just south of Volker boulevard.

I was thinking to rent an apartment in the Plaza or Westport area so that I could walk or bicycle to work. I've never been to KC before and unfortunately I won't be able to visit KC before I actually move there (living overseas right now), so I'm doing all my apartment hunting online. So it would be really great to get some insight from people with experience renting in this area. Some places I looked at were Fountain View on the Plaza and Montreux on the Plaza. After reading some posts here I see that these are not actually "on the Plaza" so to speak.

From what I gather, Fountain View seems to be marketed as a luxury apartment community, but I see quite a lot of very negative reviews online, mostly about flooding and water damage. Has anyone out there rented from them???

Montreux is also close to where I will be working, so if anyone has experience with them would be keen to hear it.

Also would love to get other apartment recommendations for the area. I'm looking for a 1-bedroom in the $800-$1000 range but I would go higher if something is really nice.

Also I don't know this area at all so is riding a bicycle/walking around a reasonable thing to do?? From some posts I have read the area east of Troost Street has been suggested to be unsafe.

Any sort of advice you can give me would be really greatly appreciated.

Many thanks!
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Old 10-29-2012, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Tower Grove East, St. Louis, MO
12,064 posts, read 27,237,390 times
Reputation: 3739
Biking to UMKC from either the Plaza or Westport would be no problem at all -- in the winter months you can also take the bus, which is probably worth considering if there's ice/snow on the ground. (Google Maps is a great resource for figuring out the bus routes)

I always try and encourage people to stay away from the bigger complexes and rent from a private landlord, but because you won't be here to look around, renting in a larger complex probably does make the most sense.

What kinds of neighborhoods do you like? The Plaza and Westport are next to each other and are both quite urban, but there's also very different from one another. Westport is more about the bar, coffee shop, vintage clothing kind of scene and the Plaza is more upscale, focused on high end shopping and chain restaurants like PF Chang's and the Cheesecake Factory (though there are also some nice independent or small-chain restaurants as well!)

I'll also add that one benefit to Westport is that you'd be an easy walk/bike from a grocery store. The Plaza doesn't have an options super close by (though the new Whole Foods near UMKC will open in 2014)

So which sounds more like you?

If you do decide to go for Westport, City Place and Westport Manor are both solid options. We lived in Westport Manor and really loved the location and the apartment itself, but at 550 sq/ft their 1 bedrooms were really just too small for 2 people and 2 dogs. Perfect for 1 person though!

Your budget, FWIW, should be more than sufficient.
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Old 10-31-2012, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Middle America
35,822 posts, read 39,431,510 times
Reputation: 48626
I rent immediately on the Plaza, in a small complex. Many of the people in my complex are UMKC students and bike/walk. I also previously lived about a block off the Plaza, in a different building under different management. The hill leading up north from the Plaza into Westport is also full of rentals, both complexes of varying sizes and stand-alone houses. When I was looking, most were managed by management companies, even in the few cases where they may have been a private owner. Several property management companies seem to have the Plaza pretty much sewn up.

The only amenity glaringly absent from the Plaza is a grocery store, as noted, but I get by okay because there are several options that are on my route to and from work, making it easy enough to stop off when I'm coming home. Everything else I need is imminently walkable.

Both Fountain View and Montreux are on the opposite side of Main from the Plaza, which does put them a bit "off" the Plaza, as that street is wide, busy, a main bus line, and serves as a pretty distinct boundary. Not saying it's a big deal, but they are somewhat separate from the general Plaza scene. I'm not as familiar with Montreux, but I did look at neighboring buildings that weren't that great, and Fountain View is generally considered to be fairly overpriced, was initially presented as very upscale but didn't take long for the cracks (and bugs) to start showing. It is RIGHT on Brush Creek, which can be unpleasant during heavy rains (it is a flood control canal).

Your budget is completely doable...you'll find lots that you can afford.
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Old 10-31-2012, 03:14 PM
 
1,830 posts, read 3,114,153 times
Reputation: 532
Whole Foods will be going in near the Plaza by UMKC and Sunfresh is not very far but yeah, it's really disappointing there is no longer a market directly on Plaza. KC markets/groceries operate on lowest margins of any retail, rent is too high on Plaza for anyone to bite.
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