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UMKC Reaches Settlement With Defendants Over Demolished Student Housing On Oak Street

The Oak Park Apartments of 5055 Oak St. will be demolished by the end of June.
The Oak Park Apartments of 5055 Oak St. will be demolished by the end of June.

The University of Missouri has settled its lawsuit against six companies involved in the construction of now-demolished student housing at 5050 Oak Street near the UMKC campus.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but the case was dismissed on Tuesday after the university said it had resolved its claims against the companies.

The lawsuit continues against the architects and other designers of Oak Place Apartments, which was plagued with pipe failures, mold and sagging floors, requiring the displacement of 464 students.

The building was razed this past summer.

The university sued 34 defendants in 2018, accusing them of recklessness in the design and construction of the building.

Most prominent among them was JE Dunn Construction, the general contractor on the project, and Gould Evans Associates, the architect.

JE Dunn, one of the best known commercial contractors in Kansas City, is one of the settling defendants. Gould Evans remains a defendant in the case.

None of the defendants or their lawyers could be reached for comment.

Earlier this year, the university said it had reached a settlement with various insurance carriers. The terms of that settlement were not disclosed.

Oak Place was built by a private developer and opened in 2008. It was purchased by the university for nearly $41 million in 2012. The building replaced a 60-year-old apartment complex, Twin Oaks, which was torn down.

The university is hoping that plans to extend Kansas City’s streetcar to an area nearby will stimulate development of the site, which has now been reduced to a grassy field.

Editor’s note: KCUR is licensed to the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

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Dan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. and moved to Kansas City with his family when he was eight years old. He majored in philosophy at Washington University in St. Louis and holds law and journalism degrees from Boston University. He has been an avid public radio listener for as long as he can remember – which these days isn’t very long… Dan has been a two-time finalist in The Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism, and has won multiple regional awards for his legal and health care coverage. Dan doesn't have any hobbies as such, but devours one to three books a week, assiduously works The New York Times Crossword puzzle Thursdays through Sundays and, for physical exercise, tries to get in a couple of rounds of racquetball per week.