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Koch Industries to Build 210K SF Building on Wichita Campus

18 Dec 2012, 4:55 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Koch Industries Inc. recently announced plans to expand its Wichita campus. Following the completion of a feasibility study, the company plans to enlarge its campus located on 37th Street North between Oliver and Hillside, a project which will include the construction of a new 210,000-square-foot office building.

The new three-story building, which will also include a lower level, will be located on the northwest side of the campus. The company, which currently employs over 2,800 people in Wichita and plans to significantly increase that number, will be able to accommodate 745 employees in the new construction.

The free-standing building will connect to the other buildings on the campus via walkways and tunnels. The construction represents the first phase of a long-term master plan to manage the company’s potential future growth. Ground breaking of the new building is scheduled in the fall of 2013, and the ribbon-cutting ceremony is expected in mid-2015. Apart from the office space, the new building will also feature a satellite Café Koch and training space.

The company had planned an expansion since May of this year when it announced it was outgrowing its 1,025,000-square-foot Wichita headquarters. Over the course of the year, Koch has undertaken two projects to design and build out existing, underutilized space on its campus.

“We have more than a dozen Koch companies with a presence here in Wichita,” said Dave Robertson, president and COO of Koch Industries. “Our growth has come about as a result of exciting innovations of all kinds. Our goal is to continue this rate of innovation as well as the pursuit of other opportunities and acquisitions. The result of all this is that Koch will create new jobs in Wichita.”

In order to accommodate the new building and additional parking, as well as possible future growth, Koch is collaborating with the City of Wichita on plans to reroute 37th Street North around one-quarter mile north of its current location. The costs would be fully paid for by Koch.

Locally based Howard + Helmer architecture is the architect of the project and Professional Engineering Consultants is the project engineer.

For more market data from Kansas City, click here.

Westside Housing Announces Plan to Redevelop School Buildings into Affordable Housing

26 Nov 2012, 11:14 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Westside Housing Organization has announced plans to transform 5.5 acres housing long-vacant school buildings into a 10-building mixed-use affordable housing development, The Kansas City Business Journal reports.

The announcement was made at a community meeting. Gloria Ortiz-Fisher, the organization’s executive director, said the plan calls for the transformation of the long-vacant Switzer High School and West Junior High located in Kansas City into 98 units of low-income and market-rate housing. The properties have been vacant for over 30 years, and the new mix, 60 percent low-income and 40 percent market-rate, aims to revive the site located along Madison Avenue between 18th and 20th streets.

The Westside Housing Organization has submitted an application to the Missouri Housing Development Commission for an allocation of federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. The commission is expected to issue a response by Jan. 1st.

The project is being designed by Kansas City-based BNIM Architects and is set to feature one-, two- and three-bedroom units. Ortiz-Fisher said the development will also feature space for educational facilities and confirmed the Westside Housing Organization has spoken with William Jewell College and the University of Missouri-Kansas City about using the space.

The development would be similar to the low-income housing at the Villa del Sol, located across the street from the proposed site, and would not be a Section 8 or voucher public housing project. Eligible applicants would have to earn at least $1,200 a month but not make more than 60 percent of Jackson County’s median income in order to live in the fixed-income housing.

For more market data from Kansas City, click here.

Logo Courtesy of: www.westsidehousing.org

Investors Purchase Former Time Equities Office Property

12 Nov 2012, 10:40 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

City Center Square, one of the largest office buildings in downtown Kansas City, has been acquired by an investment group led by three principals, The Kansas City Business Journal reports. The 30-story office building was under contract for around a month, but a sale price was not disclosed.

Located at 1100 Main Street, the 650,000-square-foot building was bought by Alex Sassoon, a partner in Seattle-based McKnight Realty Partners; Ellie Schwartz, CEO of New York-based The Nightingale Group; and David Werner, a Brooklyn-based real estate investor. The property had been owned by New York-based Time Equities Inc., and the note on the building had transferred to a special servicer.

The listing agents for City Center Square, which is currently 49 percent leased, were Rob Jones and Bryan Johnson of Colliers International. The leasing duties at City Center Square will be handled by Brian Bacon, vice president at CBRE Inc. in Kansas City and Brent Roberts, CBRE first vice president.

Designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LP, City Center Square was built in 1977 in the heart of downtown Kansas City. City Center Square is adjacent to the Sprint Arena and the new Kansas City Live entertainment district. The building is surrounded by parking and offers easy access to Interstate 70, Interstate 35 and Highway 169. The high-rise features various amenities including valet parking, a full-service fitness center, 24-hour security and on-site building maintenance and management.

Overall the Kansas City office market is slowly recovering, according to a recent report released by Cassidy Turley. Although the number of companies expanding, and the sizes of their spaces are significant, the net result is expected to lower vacancy by just around half a point. Cassidy Turley expects it will take Kansas City’s office market some time to return to a healthy vacancy in the low teens.

For more market data from Kansas City, click here.

Chart Courtesy of: Cassidy Turley.

Amerimar Enterprises Acquires Key Telecom Carrier Hotel in Kansas City

29 Oct 2012, 5:58 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Real estate development, investment and management firm, Amerimar Enterprises Inc. announced it has acquired 1102 Grand Avenue, a fiber-rich building located in downtown Kansas City. Amerimar Enterprises partnered with telecom industry veteran Hunter Newby to own and operate the property.

Situated on the southwest corner of Eleventh Street and Grand Avenue, the 26-story property was originally developed in 1931 as an office building and is listed on the National Historic Registry. Since then, the 194,000-square-foot property has been redeveloped into the most fiber-dense, network-neutral facility in the Kansas City Metro area. 1102 Grand Avenue is considered one of the fastest growing telecommunication hubs in the Midwest. With immediate access to the Axon ring, the fiber optic loop that connects the Johnson County area of the Kansas City Metro with Downtown Kansas City, the building’s location is of particular interest to telecom businesses. The property also offers highly reliable data center operations with its robust power and HVAC infrastructure.

Jerry Marshall, president and chief executive officer of Amerimar said: “1102 Grand fits squarely within Amerimar’s strategy to acquire properties with stable cash flow and the opportunity to add value over time through infrastructure improvements. 1102 is a natural fit for the Amerimar platform, and we’re thrilled to be working with Hunter Newby on yet another telecom property.”

Amerimar Enterprises, which specializes in redeveloping and repositioning real estate assets, has acquired over 50 properties totaling approximately 10.5 million square feet of office, 870,000 square feet of retail, 2,600 residential units and 3,200 hotel rooms since 1993.

For more market data from Kansas City, click here.

Photo Courtesy of: www.facebook.com/1102GRAND

Velocity to Cross State Line to New, 33K-Sq.-Ft., Headquarters in Mo.

12 Oct 2012, 10:02 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Missouri Department of Economic Development announced the Kansas City, Kansas-based information technology company Velociti is moving its headquarters to Riverside, Mo.

The company, which provides technology deployment services globally, plans to consolidate its primary operations at a new location in Platte County. The move is expected to create 97 new jobs. Chris Pieper, acting director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development, said: “We are thrilled that another high-tech, IT-based company is moving to the Show-Me State.” He added: “This announcement is more evidence of the positive direction of Missouri’s economy under the leadership of Governor Nixon, with thousands of new jobs created in the past two years and an unemployment rate that remains consistently well below the national unemployment rate.”

The Kansas City Star reports the Velocity move is being helped by $1.5 million from Missouri’s Quality Jobs program and $49,500 in recruitment assistance. The firm will leave its 1146 Booth St. quarters. By early next year, it will occupy around 33,000 square feet in a new 175,000-square-foot building, currently under construction in the 260-acre Horizons Industrial Park.

Velociti CEO, Michael Kahn said: “We’ve spent the past year looking at potential spaces on both sides of the state line. While we found excellent facilities throughout the metropolitan area, we believe that the newly constructed Horizons Industrial Park will best accommodate our rapidly expanding call center and state-of-the-art staging and configuration facility, and that its proximity to an international airport will be appreciated by our global and out-of-town visiting customers and suppliers.”

According to the latest figures available, 17,900 new jobs were created during the month of August, taking the total number of new jobs created by Missouri for 2011 and 2012 to-date combined to over 46,000. Velociti is the fourth company in recent weeks to announce crossing the state line. Murphy-Hoffman, a regional truck dealership will move 100 jobs from Kansas City to Leawood. Larson Binkley, an engineering firm, will move 40 jobs from Overland Park to Kansas City, and Hantover Inc., a distributor for the food processing and general manufacturing industries, will move 91 jobs from Kansas City to Overland Park.

Rendering Courtesy of: www.riversidehorizons.com

MAA Acquires 323-Unit Urban Mid-Rise in Kansas City

29 Sep 2012, 12:02 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Memphis, Tenn.-based MAA has acquired Market Station, an upscale urban mid-rise apartment community in Kansas City.

The acquisition of the Market Station property represents the entrance of the self-administered, self-managed apartment-only real estate investment trust into the Kansas City market. MAA currently owns or has ownership interest in 49,687 apartment units.

Located at 240 West 2nd Street in the River Market area, the 323-unit apartment community is just north of the Central Business District in downtown Kansas City and offers easy access to various entertainment venues in downtown Kansas City, such as The Sprint Center, the Power and Light District and Crown Center.

With units ranging in size from 553 square feet to 1,264 square feet, Market Station offers various amenities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center overlooking the Missouri River, a resort style swimming pool with spa and grill stations, a billiards lounge, a gourmet coffee cafe and access gates. Featured indoor amenities include island kitchens, large walk-in closets and private patio and balconies in select units.

Al Campbell, executive vice president and chief financial officer at MAA said: “We are pleased to be expanding our footprint into the well diversified economy of the Kansas City market. We believe this market is a strong addition to our secondary market portfolio and supports our strategy to provide attractive investment returns for our shareholders through capital deployment across both large and secondary markets.”

According to a recent market report released by Cassidy Turley, Kansas City’s apartment market had one of its best performances in years in the first half of 2012. Occupancy and rents increased and the frequency of concessions was down. The metro-average occupancy reached 95 percent at mid-2012, a performance that has not been seen since the end of 2000.

Image Courtesy of: www.marketstationapts.com

Chart Courtesy of: Cassidy Turley

Wichita Mid-Continent Airport Breaks Ground on New Terminal

14 Sep 2012, 2:57 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Ground has been broken on a new 12-gate terminal for Wichita Mid-Continent Airport, The Wichita Business Journal reports.

The new terminal will be built to the northwest of the existing terminal and is scheduled to open in February 2015. Most of the existing terminal, which was built in 1954 and was last renovated in 1989, will be demolished. The project has a total budget of $160 million, out of which $101.5 million is for the terminal construction. Key Construction and Detroit-based Walbridge were awarded the construction contracts and are expected to start excavation and foundation work in about five weeks. Full construction is scheduled to be underway by early November.

Designed by Kansas City-based HNTB, in association with GLMV Architecture, the new 273,000-square-foot terminal will feature two floors. The first floor will be for arriving and departing passengers, ticketing, retail, baggage claim, ground transportation, and airline and operations support. The second floor will feature exhibit space, food venues, retail, security and departure and arrival gates.

Philip Hannon, HNTB senior project manager, said: “The building is designed to reflect the importance of the history and future of aviation in Wichita. The shape of the roof is designed to remind visitors of flight and an aircraft’s wing. Other elements of the design also reinforce this theme, including large naturally lit passenger spaces with generous glazing and skylights that will maintain a link with the outside and its changing sky.”

The project, which is expected to create around 1,250 direct jobs, also calls for a new $40 million parking garage which will be built under a separate contract which is set to go to bid early next year. The construction of the parking structure is expected to start by next summer and to be finalized in about 18 months.

Rendering Courtesy of: www.hntb.com

Chambers Street Properties Acquires 1.1M SF Warehouse/Distribution Facility

31 Aug 2012, 7:44 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Chambers Street Properties, formerly CB Richard Ellis Realty Trust, has closed on the purchase of a 1.1-million-square-foot state-of-the-art warehouse/distribution facility in the Kansas City suburb of Gardner, Kan.

The Maryland self-managed REIT, headquartered in Princeton, N.J., currently owns a portfolio which includes 124 properties spread over three continents, totaling close to 31 million square feet and boasting a 98 percent occupancy rate.

Located within Kansas City’s north-south I-35 freight corridor and close to BNSF Railway’s $250 million railroad-to-truck Intermodal Center which is due to be completed in 2013, the single-story building was developed by LS Commercial Real Estate and completed in 2009. The area also benefits from a KCS rail intermodal and the air/truck intermodal at Kansas City International airport. The facility is the primary U.S. distribution center for the Coleman Co., a subsidiary of Jarden Corp. The property, which is leased until January 2020, has been described as “an excellent facility with a quality tenant in one of the most accessible markets in the U.S.” by Philip L. Kianka, executive vice president and COO for Chambers Street Properties.

The purchase also includes an adjacent 20.3-acre land parcel which is currently zoned for up to around 450,000 square feet of extra warehouse/distribution space. “We look forward to long-term ownership of this asset and the potential to adding further value through the flexibility to develop additional space on the adjacent parcel,” Philip L. Kianka added.

The acquisition was yet another big move in the industrial real estate market in the Kansas City region. As previously reported on this page, Comprehensive Logistics Inc. recently signed a 5.5-year lease for a 517,000-square-foot industrial building located at 5300 Kansas Avenue. The company also leased an additional 120,000 square feet in an adjacent facility.

Photo Courtesy of: www.usrealco.com

Comprehensive Logistics Signs Lease for 517K SF Industrial Space

17 Aug 2012, 9:58 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

B.H. Properties LLC announced it has concluded the negotiations to lease a 517,000-square-foot industrial building in Kansas City to Comprehensive Logistics Inc.

Comprehensive Logistics, a third-party logistics provider, has signed a 5.5-year lease for the property located at 5300 Kansas Avenue. The company has also leased an additional 120,000 square feet in an adjacent facility.

BH Properties, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment firm, was represented by Mark Long of Zimmer Real Estate Services, while Howard Moss of Omni Consulting and Jack Allen of Karbank Real Estate Co. represented Comprehensive Logistics.

Bill Hardy, vice president of asset management and leasing at BH Properties, said: “Comprehensive Logistics has been a great local partner for us in the Kansas City market. We were happy to be in a position to accommodate the growth of their successful operation.”

Comprehensive Logistics opened in 2010 and initially had some 40 employees and occupied less than half of its current warehouse space. Long said the new lease represents a change in terms as the company switches to a long-term lease after a series of one-year leases.

According to a recent report released by Cassidy Turley, Kansas City’s industrial vacancy, which peaked at 8.8 percent early in 2011, has dropped to 8.0 percent as of June of this year and is trending down. In the first half of this year the net absorption and construction completions almost equaled all of 2011. Several build-to-suit projects are scheduled to be completed this year which will add at least one million square feet to absorption for the year, making it the most successful year since 2008.

Image Courtesy of: www.bhproperties.com
Chart Courtesy of: Cassidy Turley

LANE4 Lands Two Major Healthcare Tenants for $50M Mixed-Use Development

27 Jul 2012, 8:59 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Two major healthcare tenants will be anchoring the second phase of LANE4 Property Group’s 39Rainbow, a $50 million mixed-use development in Kansas City, Kan.

In the second phase, The University of Kansas Hospital will relocate an inpatient acute rehabilitation center from one of the older buildings on campus to the second floor of the new building. The tenant will occupy 27,800 square feet. Kansas City Transitional Care Center LLC, a subsidiary of Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc., will lease 55,600 square feet on the third and fourth floor to operate a post-acute skilled nursing rehabilitation facility.

The first floor of the new building, adjacent to 17,000 square feet of additional retail and dining space, will offer a common lobby serving both tenants. Additional features include a rooftop terrace for outdoor rehabilitation.

Site demotion is underway, and the 100,000-square-foot second phase is expected to be completed in the fall of 2013. President of LANE4, Owen Buckley, said the building will be designed in a traditional, but Parisian-inspired, style aimed to blend in with the older buildings in the area. Speaking about the two anchor tenants, he said: “We are very excited to attract these two outstanding healthcare providers to our project. We believe it’s a perfect fit for the area and helps complete our overall mixed-use development objectives.”

The first phase of the project, located at the southwest corner of 39th Street and Rainbow Boulevard, near The University of Kansas Hospital and the University of Kansas Medical Center, is already underway and expected to open soon. Phase I of the development features a new 83-room Holiday Inn Express and Suites, as well as a Five Guys Burgers & Fries and other retailers on the first floor

Rendering Courtesy of: www.lane4group.com

Hyatt Plans to Return to Kansas City with 229-Room Mixed-Use Development

19 Jul 2012, 1:52 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Hyatt Hotels Corp. announced plans to re-enter the Kansas City market with a new 225-room luxury hotel near the Country Club Plaza, The Kansas City Star reports.

The Chicago-based hospitality company saw its flagship replaced, after 30 years, by the 730-room Crown Center by Sheraton earlier this year. Mike Daood, vice president of development for Hyatt Hotels Corp., said the company is excited by the chance to come back to Kansas City.

The proposed new Hyatt hotel would anchor an $80 million high-rise development at 4622 Pennsylvania Avenue, currently home of the Victory Court Apartments. The project will be developed by Hyatt and locally based Block Real Estate Services, while the hotel will be operated and owned by Hyatt.

Block Real Estate Services acquired the 37-unit Victory Court Apartments last year. Built in the 1950s, the apartment community will be replaced by a 12-story development which will have a four-level base that will include an 8,000-square-foot restaurant and a lobby on the second floor, as well as two floors of office space. Meeting rooms, a kitchen, a bar and a terrace overlooking the Plaza will be included on the fifth floor, while the hotel rooms will occupy the remaining upper half of the building. The development will also include a 300-car garage.

An official development proposal has been submitted to the Kansas City Tax Increment Financing Commission. According to Doug Stone, attorney at Polsinelli Shughart, who represents the development entity, the exact amount of the tax-increment financing assistance sought for the project has not yet been determined.

The architects are Overland-based Hoefer Wysocki and Wichita-based Law Kingdon.

Logo Courtesy of: www.hyatt.com

UMKC Releases Downtown Arts Campus Studies

6 Jul 2012, 1:22 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The University of Missouri-Kansas City announced it has narrowed down the search for the future location of the Downtown Campus for the Arts to three potential sites.

As previously reported by Commercial Property Executive, the planned downtown art campus, which is set to feature in the first stage a new UMKC Conservatory of Music and Dance, was proposed in the Big 5 Ideas of the Greater Kansas City Area Chamber of Commerce.

The university has commissioned a series of studies, including a study of potential sites and costs, prepared by Integra Realty Resources, Helix Architecture + Design and HGA Architects and Engineers; an economic impact study carried out by the Mid-America Regional Council as well as an internal UMKC analysis on the impact of relocating the arts program to downtown. As a result of these studies the university has identified the Barney Allis Plaza, Crossroads/Kauffman East and Crossroads/Kauffman Southwest as the three possible sites for the new campus.

According to the plans, the second phase of the project would be the phased move of the UMKC Theatre and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, followed by KCUR Radio and the UMKC Departments of Art & Art History, Communication Studies, and Architecture, Urban Planning and Design.

The project would be phased over a period of 20+ years and, according to the studies, at a cost ranging between $152 million and $272 million. The economic impact study forecasted between $375 million and $442 million in increased Gross Domestic Output over 25 years, compared to what would occur without the creation of the campus.

Photo Credits: www.umkc.edu

Kansas City Council Prepares Hefty Tax Incentive Package to Attract Freightquote.com

1 Jul 2012, 12:28 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Kansas City Council is preparing a hefty tax incentive package to lure Freightquote.com to cross the state line, The Kansas City Business Journal reports.

The current headquarters of the online shipping company is in Lenexa at 16025 West 113th Street, but Kansas City proposes a $65 million Chapter 100 bond issuance which includes waivers of typical conditions of the city’s policy regarding these incentives.

Freightquote has been the most recent company involved in the bi-state border war since the March announcement that it was searching for a new location. The company has focused its search mainly on the southern metro area, where most of its employees reside, and it has ruled out downtown. Bearing in mind that Freightquote currently employs 960 employees, and it plans to hire another 200 within two years, the end result of the tug-of-war between Missouri and Kansas over the shipping company will represent an important achievement for either victor.

The Kansas City Council has proposed a new 200,000-square-foot building located at Carondelet Drive and State Line Road, near St. Joseph Medical Center, as the new headquarters for Freightquote. The city’s offer would abate 100 percent of incremental increases in real property taxes over 23 years and wouldn’t require any payments in lieu of taxes. Full abatement for 15 years would be given on personal property taxes, with 50 percent PILOT payments starting after five years of the abatement. To make the offer even more attractive, the Tax Increment Financing (TIF) Commission of Kansas City plans to propose a new TIF district for Freightquote that would redirect, for 23 years, 50 percent of economic activity taxes generated at the Freightquote site back to the development.

Besides the economic development incentives package proposed by the city, state-level incentives such as Missouri Quality Jobs, state sales tax exemptions and Missouri Build are also expected to be offered.

The economic development incentive was sponsored by Kansas City Mayor Sly James and council members John Sharp and Scott Taylor.

Logo Courtesy of: www.freightquote.com

Cordish Companies will Add Two Residential Developments to the Power & Light District

22 Jun 2012, 7:35 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The developer of the Power & Light District, Baltimore-based Cordish Companies, is planning to add two residential projects to the mix, which will represent a $70 million investment, The Kansas City Star reports.

Located in the heart of downtown Kansas City, with more than a half million square feet of dining, shopping and entertainment venues, the Power & Light District could see the rise of the highest residential building ever built from ground up in downtown Kansas City.

The plan calls for the development of a 250-unit tower at the northwest corner of 13th and Walnut streets. The 23-story (approximately 230 feet) tower, designed by Humphreys & Partners Architects will offer direct access to the Jones—a rooftop swimming pool and club on the adjoining garage.

Redevelopment of the Midland office building, which has been empty for over 12 years, is also part of the plan. The Cordish project aims to renovate the 12-story tower, situated on the northeast corner of 13th street and Baltimore Avenue, into 68 apartments.

According to the original development agreement with the city, Cordish received a $6 million cash subsidy for the residential component of the project. Approximately $3 million of that sum has been spent to prepare the foundation for a high-rise at the site, but that project and a subsequent proposal for a 35-story hotel and condo development crumbled mainly due to the recession.

The new development agreement, if approved by the Kansas City Council, will include an $8 million cash subsidy and a 50 percent property tax break over 25 years. The $8 million subsidy will include the balance of $3 million from the original development agreement and the remainder will come from a $10 million bond issue approved by the city council last year to support more downtown residential development.

If the development agreement is approved by the Kansas City Council, the two projects will break ground in the first half of 2013. The renovated 68-unit Midland building is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2013, while the new 23-story One Power & Light Tower is planned to be finalized in 2015.

Rendering Courtesy of: www.humphreys.com

New Luxury Apartment Community Planned at New Longview; Independence Avenue CID Proposed

20 Jun 2012, 3:19 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

A new luxury apartment community, planned in west Lee’s Summit, has drawn opposition from local residents, Lee’s Summit Journal reports.

The $25 million project, called Hearthview at New Longview, calls for the construction of between 250 and 270 units on a vacant parcel southeast of Kessler Drive and Longview Road. According to Jim Thomas, a partner in Hearthview, the apartments aim to be “the highest-end apartments in eastern Jackson County.”

The residents opposing the plan claim the scope and location of the development contradict the original plan which was presented to them when they acquired their homes in New Longview and they are concerned about the impact it will have on property values and traffic.

However, New Longview developer David Gale said the luxury development will help attract more retail to the area. He also remarked that the proposed site of the project, just south of the current 207 apartment community, only deviates slightly from the New Longview master plan. The original plan called for additional units a few hundred feet to the east of the proposed site. Regarding the increased traffic concerns, he said the extra traffic generated by the complex is expected to go to the north. He also estimates it would be a small addition compared to the 8,000 students that come to Metropolitan Community College-Longview.

In other local news, the Northeast Kansas City Chamber of Commerce has proposed a community improvement district for the historic community, The Kansas City Business Journal reports. The proposed CID would encompass Independence Avenue in the northeast region of Kansas City and south of Missouri River.

The Independence Avenue CID petition requires the approval of over 50 percent of the district’s property owners and the Kansas City Council. If approved, the CID would assess $300 a year in property taxes for its creation and a one cent sales tax to continue its funding.

Photo Courtesy of: www.newlongview.com

Perceptive Software Inc. and FMH CoreSource Announce Plans to Relocate

8 Jun 2012, 2:59 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Perceptive Software Inc., a Lexmark company, has announced plans to relocate from its headquarters at Shawnee Mission Parkway and Kansas Highway 7 to Lenexa City Center. The company, which indicated that it has outgrown its current location, submitted its proposal to Lenexa officials, The Kansas City Business Journal reports.

According to the documents submitted to the Lenexa Planning Commission, the company plans to build initially a 120,000-square-foot, four-story building and an equally sized building in a later second phase. The proposed buildings would be located south of 89th Street Parkway and west of Renner Boulevard.

Perceptive Software will be seeking tax increment financing for the project by amending the existing TIF plan. As per the city documents Perceptive would be reimbursed around $15 million for certain project costs via the TIF plan.

The Lenexa City Center is a project that was envisioned to include up to 1.9 million square feet of office, retail, hotel and residential space. The City of Lenexa passed a TIF plan for the project on 424 acres around 87th Street and Renner Boulevard, but the overall development has progressed slowly mainly due to the recession.

FMH CoreSource is another company that has announced plans to relocate its offices. FMH CoreSource, which specializes in personal employee benefits administration, plans to move to the Sprint Nextel Corp. campus. The company plans to relocate 182 employees in the fourth story of 6240 Sprint Parkway, where it would occupy 34,739 square feet. The move to Sprint Campus, which is scheduled to take place by the third quarter of this year, would allow the company to expand to 250 employees.

Photo Courtesy of: www.lenexacitycenter.com

New 363-Bed Dormitory Announced Near UMKC and Rockhurst; Glimcher Realty Trust Expands Portfolio in Leawood

1 Jun 2012, 8:19 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph plans to construct a 363-bed dormitory targeting the students of Rockhurst University and the University of Missouri-Kansas City, the Kansas City Star reports.

The former St. Francis Xavier School, on Troost Avenue, which has been empty since 2009, will be demolished to make way for the five-story dormitory. Located near 53rd Street, close to UMKC and just across the street from Rockhurst, the development is estimated to cost over $19 million.

The project will be developed by Domus Communities, a partnership between Austin, Texas-based Petrus Development and Kansas City-based Entertainment Properties Trust, for the non-profit organization created by the diocese, SFX Domus. A feasibility study released by Domus Communities specified that the dormitory will not be limited in serving just Catholic students at the two universities.

The residence hall is an independent project of the diocese; UMKC as well as Rockhurst specified they have no involvement.

Wisconsin-based Tri-North Builders, hired by Domus Communities, submitted preliminary drawings to the City Planning Department. According to these drawings, the plan calls for a 135,000-square-foot building featuring 116 apartments and 127 parking spaces.

Monthly rents, including utilities, will range from $651 for a four-bedroom to $1,203 for a one-bedroom.

A public hearing on the subject is scheduled for June 19 by the City Plan Commission.

In other local news, Glimcher Realty Trust announced the acquisition of the outdoor retail center One Nineteen. Located in Leawood, Kansas, the new addition to the portfolio is adjacent to the company’s Town Center Plaza and will add 165,000 square feet of leasable retail space to the combined property. The center was acquired for approximately $67.5 million and is currently 93 percent leased.

Missouri General Assembly Passes Land Bank Bill

28 May 2012, 7:43 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Greater Kansas City Local Initiatives Support Corp. announced the Missouri General Assembly passed the legislation which supports the establishment of a land bank in Kansas City.

Julie Porter, Greater Kansas City LISC Executive Director, said, “The passage of this important legislation is a victory for Kansas City residents as we all continue to seek solutions that reduce the number of vacant and abandoned properties in the urban core.”

Estimates indicate approximately 12,000 vacant and abandoned properties exist in the Kansas City metropolitan area. The new land bank will help manage, sell and transfer tax delinquent land in order to return the vacant, abandoned or foreclosed properties to productive reuse.

The Kansas City Business Journal reports the city will be able to nominate a board of commissioners to the land bank agency. The board will be authorized to borrow money, issue bonds to finance the purchase, and greenlight the demolition and sale of the vacant properties, but it will not hold power of eminent domain. The properties held by the agency will be exempt from state and local taxes.

The bill received sponsorship support from Rep. Noel Torpey (Republican – District 52) and Rep. Michael Brown (Democrat- District 50) in the House, and Sen. Victor Callahan (Democrat – District 11) in the Missouri Senate.

In other local news, The Kansas City Star reports Missouri highway officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first “diverging diamond” interchange in the Kansas City Area. The new $8.1 million interchange is based on a design pioneered in France and is expected to increase vehicle flow at the busy I-435 and Front Street intersection.

Illustration Courtesy of: www.modot.org

TIF Commission of Kansas City Favors Incentives for $142.5 M Towne Center Development

18 May 2012, 4:04 pm

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

The Tax Increment Financing Commission of Kansas City has recommended the approval of incentives for the $142.5 million Towne Center development in Clay County, The Kansas City Business Journal reports. The project, led by Kansas City-based CBC Real Estate Group, calls for over 1 million square feet of retail space and 150,000 square feet of office space on 130 acres at the 480-acre site bordered by Shoal Creek Parkway, Missouri Highway 152 and Interstate 435.

Developers plan to carry out the construction in three phases and if everything goes according to plan the first phase, which calls for 100,000 square feet of retail space, could be underway this year. The second phase calls for 200,000 square feet of retail and the third for 750,000 square feet. The second is scheduled to begin in 2013 and the last phase within two years, according to KCCommunityNews.com.

According to TIF Commission documents $87.3 million of the project cost would be financed via equity and debt financing, Alterra Bank having provided a letter of interest for financing to CBC Real Estate Group. And $21.7 million of the cost would be financed through a bond issuance backed by a community improvement district while the remaining $33.5 million would be financed via bonds backed by TIF financing.

The economic benefits of the plan are estimated to bring $20.9 million to the Liberty Public School District, $83.1 million to Kansas City and $9.6 million to Clay County. At the moment, the property which would become Towne Center is valued at $192,480 and is generating around $18,000 a year in property taxes toward the school district.

The proposal will go before the Kansas City Council for final approval of TIF financing.

Logo Courtesy of: cbcrealestategroup.com

Aragon Holdings Acquires The Fairways at Lakewood

14 May 2012, 4:58 am

By Gabriel Circiog, Associate Editor

Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Aragon Holdings has made its twelfth acquisition in three years as the investment company confirmed the purchase of The Fairways at Lakewood. The 274-unit multifamily community, located in Lee’s Summit, was built in 2008 and is currently 94 percent occupied. The property is in close proximity to Interstate 470 and multiple employment centers, including three major healthcare facilities. The metropolitan area has seen a steady growth in the past 12 months, with over 14,000 new jobs added. The area is home to an array of companies three of which are Fortune 500: Sprint Nextel, YRC Worldwide Transportation and H&R Block.

The apartment complex features various amenities including a salt water infinity pool, a fitness center, a business center, a club house, a three-acre lake and parking for more than 500 vehicles.

The acquisition takes Aragon’s total portfolio to over 3,000 apartment units and the holdings represent an investment in excess of $200 million, including $50 million in equity. Aragon Multifamily Cash Flow Fund provided funding for the transaction.

Details of the transaction have not been released, but Larry Clark, President of Aragon Holdings, confirmed the real estate investment company is actively seeking to purchase other multifamily properties across the country in cities that have positive job and population growth. Lee’s Summit, only 16 miles from downtown Kansas City, is one of the area’s strongest submarkets in terms of population growth and household income. According to Clark, Lee’s Summit, the fourth largest city in the metro area, has seen a 33 percent increase in population over the past 10 years, while the average household income within three miles of the property is almost $92,000, approximately 16 percent higher than that of the metropolitan area.

Photo Courtesy of: www.aragonusa.com

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