COLUMBIA — The Missouri Manor and its surrounding property is getting a face-lift thanks to a new ownership group.
The manor, built in 1927 by William Thompson Conley, was originally a single-family residence. Over the years the property, at 1121 Ashland Gravel Road, has served a variety of purposes. In the early 1980s, it was home to the Alpha Sigma Pi fraternity, and earlier this decade it served as a bed-and-breakfast.
Missouri Manor Apartments LLC bought the manor in March. Travis McGee, a developer who is part of the ownership group, said the manor has been vacant the past three years.
“It’s going to be renovated and turned into studio apartments for professionals and students,” McGee said.
The owners plan to build a 24-unit, multistory apartment complex behind the manor. The property will be named Missouri Manor Apartments, and the new apartments will contain two bedrooms and two bathrooms each. McGee said the new apartment building will feature the same Victorian architecture as the manor.
“The structure’s going to look just like the manor,” McGee said. “It’s going to be a neat complex.”
The project will begin in the fall, and McGee said construction of the new apartments and renovation of the existing building should be done by fall 2010. McGee said he expects there will be a demand for the apartments because the property is within walking distance of MU.
At a Board of Adjustment meeting Tuesday night, the owners won a variance from city stormwater regulations. Board members didn't think the changes to the property would dramatically change the amount of runoff. Chad Sayre of Allstate Consultants, the company that represents Missouri Manor Apartments, said the structure of the new building is important in controlling runoff.
“When you go multistory, it makes for a smaller footprint, which means less runoff,” Sayre said.
Having a multistory building allows the owners to maintain at least 30 percent of the property as green space, which Sayre said is an important part of the owners' plans.
“The development company’s goal was to preserve and restore the historical aspects of the Missouri Manor as it is today,” McGee said.
Tom Mendenhall, a member of the ownership group, said during Tuesday’s meeting that he’s received calls from residents who worried the manor would be torn down to make room for the apartments.
“It’s a historic home, and we’re not tearing down anything,” Mendenhall said.