The rowhomes of Northgate Village offer architectural style in front and alley-loaded garages in back. RANDY BRALEY |

The best of both worlds: Suburban ease with urban charm in KC [Partner]

​It’s not an easy choice—deciding whether to continue renting apartments or condos downtown, or to take the plunge into suburban home-ownership.

Jenni Mann, director of residential marketing at Hunt Midwest, has been there. She and her husband built a home in the suburbs, only to realize they missed living in a more urban environment. Now 35, they live in a single family home just east of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

“While we still benefit from having a garage, a yard and home ownership,” she says, “we love the walkability of the area and quick commute to downtown, the Truman Sports complex and mostly anywhere in the metro.”

You really can have the best of both worlds. Here’s what to look for.

Maintenance-free living

New neighborhood developments, like Northgate Village in North Kansas City, offer low monthly dues for a maintenance-free lifestyle similar to an apartment or condo. Exterior building repairs, lawn care, irrigation and snow removal? Not your problem.

Close to everything

Kansas City’s inner-ring suburbs offer proximity to downtown Kansas City, the airport and, Mann says, “a short Uber ride and even walking or biking distance to local restaurants, coffee shops and breweries.”

“In the last five years or so,” Mann continues, “North Kansas City has seen an influx of new businesses opening and continues to grow its reputation as a fun, safe place to go out to dinner or grab a drink. It is within minutes of downtown Kansas City, which makes for a quick commute to work or any other downtown attraction.”

Additional community amenities in North Kansas City include its top-rated school district, Macken Park and Waggin’ Tail Park, an off-leash dog park. Downtown North Kansas City has a host of restaurants, Cinder Block brewery for craft beer, Chicken and Pickle for outdoor games and the Screenland Armour.

Architecture and design

A suburban move doesn’t have to mean a sea of boring, beige homes. New developments incorporate architectural and design elements from iconic Kansas City neighborhoods such as Brookside and Waldo. Inside, you’ll find hardwood floors, loads of natural light and granite counters. Outside, enjoy tree-lined streets with ornamental lighting.

Mann points out the rowhomes of Northgate Village as an example. “The architectural style of the homes paired with alley-loaded garages not only adds to the charm and character of the neighborhood, it also promotes a greater sense of community throughout.”

The bottom line

If you’re tired of living in an apartment or condos, you don’t have to give up on the urban lifestyle. A neo-traditional development may be the answer.

“You have the benefit of home ownership, without having to sacrifice on walkability to shopping, dining and entertainment,” Mann says. “Still has an urban feel and a maintenance-free lifestyle, but you also get a yard and begin earning equity in a home.”

For more info about Northgate Village, visit

The best of both worlds: Suburban ease with urban charm in KC [Partner]