Urban Explorers: Velvet Freeze Building, 31 Levy
Join Historic Kansas City on September’s Urban Explorers tour of the Levy Building which is also known as The Velvet Freeze Building now soon to be known as 31 Levy!
From the El Dorado website, “The historic Levy Building is a 35,471 square foot, 3-story structure constructed with cast in place, board form concrete and masonry infill. Originally built in 1925, the building was designed for a small-scale butcher production facility, Levy Brothers Meat and Provision Company (Levy Bros), with a south facing storefront on the first floor. Velvet Freeze Ice Cream occupied the space from 1947 to 1985. As a cold storage and production facility, the concrete structure was designed to support large machinery while each floor included multiple insulated spaces and the first floor included structural glass storefronts; the structural integrity of the building was left completely in tact and in good condition.
Since early last year El Dorado, Inc. has been working with Epoch Development on 31 Levy, a set of two mixed-use, multifamily residential buildings, one an adaptive re-use of the century-old cold storage facility and the other, new construction just north of the original Levy Building site. Both buildings are connected by a mission to promote alternative means of transportation with significant bike-friendly support systems included in the designs. For example, a bike wash station and maintenance facility will be included in the parking garage in the new building and bike ramps will be included within stairwells. Each unit will have individual bike storage as well as larger storage facilities in the lobbies of both buildings. Two miles from both downtown and Westport, and one mile from the Crossroads Arts District, located on two major bus routes and a Parks and Boulevards regulated street, the project is prime for creating a bike friendly community.
Using the original footprint of the Levy Building, 34 studio, 1 and 2-bedroom units ranging from 460-1050 square feet are situated on the first through third floors. Floor plans in the century-old building were designed around the existing structural floor-plate, and accentuate the history of the building by integrating elements such as concrete columns and exposed masonry walls in each unit. Window openings will be widened to provide better natural daylighting within each unit. A 5,200 square-foot fourth floor penthouse will be added to the building with 6 units that each feature walk-out balconies. All units, including studios, feature custom-made bike storage solutions, promoting the mission of the project.”
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