More Unaffordable Housing Proposed Near Campus

In a time where the fair market rent in Manhattan is $944, there needs to be a focus on affordable housing. Unfortunately, developers are continuing to gentrify the campus area, where affordable housing is desperately needed.

Back Nine Development has already planned to build more luxury apartments around the Bluemont and Manhattan Ave area, pushing several low-income renters out of their current homes for more unaffordable housing. And now, Prime Place KSU is planning to build six story high apartments where Anderson Village currently stands.

In an email that developer Chris Elsey sent out, he encouraged his residents to pressure decision makers in letting this happen. The email is as below:

$50 Million Dollar Project Needs Your Support

1449 Anderson Ave

I would like your support for a proposed 50 Million Dollar Mixed use Development located at 1449 Anderson Ave, Manhattan, KS adjacent to K-State Campus. The project will have ground floor retail, a hotel, apartments, and an underground parking structure (drawing file attached) Link to Hotel/Apartment Concept video.

Why should I support this development?

1. Right Location, people can walk to KSU, Aggieville and City Park rather than drive

2. Helps Manhattan, Kansas attract more people by projecting a prosperous image of the community

3. Increased Tax basis from 3 Million to 63 Million to be invested into the community

Support This Project

ASK YOURSELF THIS QUESTION? WOULD THIS DEVELOPMENT HELP ME SELL MANHATTAN KANSAS AS A DYNAMIC, PROSPEROUS COMMUNITY TO A FUTURE EMPLOYEE, STUDENT/ATHLETE, FACULTY MEMBER, OR BUSINESS PARTNER? IF YOUR ANSWER IS "YES" PLEASE SIGN HERE SO YOUR SUPPORT CAN BE SHARED WITH CITY PLANNING & COMMISSION.

Regards,

Chris Elsey

Location doesn’t matter when the people who desperately need to live there are priced out of the market. We need to ensure that any new housing that is built is affordable and accessible to those who need it. This is gentrification at it’s finest; building more premium housing for those who can access it. We don’t need more expensive housing. Period.

Manhattan is not a prosperous location. Even the citizens of Manhattan recognized this in the Community Survey, pointing out that the lack of affordable housing and the quality of rentals are the most dissatisfying items in our community. If Mr. Esley was truly interested in improving Manhattan’s image, we would see him at our side, pushing for rental inspections and forcing bad actors to actually take care of their homes.

It’s also ironic that it’s being marketed as something that will increase the tax base. Is the developer going to seek out tax breaks? Will increasing the value of the land by 21 times also have that said tax burden passed off to it’s residents? The answer is likely, all the more pointing to more expensive housing.

People making minimum wage in Manhattan, on average, have to work 2.5 full time jobs to avoid being cost-burdened. Our city is half renters, yet it seems like big business is still serving the interests of themselves and their almighty capitalism.

We dare to dream of a better Manhattan, and that dream becomes a reality when we stand up to gentrification and demand that the market provide us with more accessible, affordable housing.

Jonathan Cole