J.D. Apartments Complex was developed after the Hyatt Regency skywalk collapse in 1981 which killed Jeff Durham. He was at a tea dance when the skywalk fell killing 113 people and hurting several hundred others.
Jeff was a real-estate commercial agent working in the Westport area of Kansas City, Mo. He would have been 27 years old this year. His interest included a fondness for English Tudor design architecture.
After several months, it was decided to preserve his legacy by building an apartment complex in his memory. With all private funds, the first two buildings were erected. The design was around the English Tudor style. As the years went by additional buildings were added some with changes but all having the same style. The main entry into the complex is Durham Drive with a circle street around the commercial playground called Jeff Circle. At the present time there are six buildings with four apartments each and one duplex. This provides for 26 families within the complex.
A few other interesting facts are: The buildings were built when electric heating was quite new. The construction design included features which made electric heat very cost effective. As utility costs increase we have found that electricity is the most stable utility. This also eliminates gas and any open flame within the buildings, a big safety concern. In all cases the patio view is open without concern for adjacent buildings. This allows for open views with lots of trees and a well manicured lawn. Special sound deadening features were included in the design. All kitchens were custom designed and built along with the vanities in the bathrooms. The size of each unit was just as important as the quality of construction.
The complex is managed by Chris and Vicki Kemplay (who live on site). Vicki was Jeff’s little sister. Their combined talent has made the J.D. Apartment Complex the most desirable place to live in Paola. The attention they pay to improving landscaping and appearance is important to tenants and local people. With all private funds allows screening tenants so we don’t have problems.
We feel that the J.D. Apartment Complex, its architectural beauty, its tenants and the security they bring as one large diversified family, makes it a great place to live.