Development team gets sneak peak of Midwest Gateway project (and so do you!)

Developers this week toured the Midwest Gateway project, a 487,000 square foot warehouse and distribution facility under construction at 191st & Homestead in Edgerton, Kan. Comprised of two buildings designed to accommodate multiple tenants, Midwest Gateway is adjacent to the entrance of BNSF Railway's intermodal facility and on track for tenant occupancy by the end of the year.

Photo Oct 16, 7 12 45 PM.jpg

Midwest Gateway is one of a handful of facilities located along the heavy haul, I-35 corridor, which allows shippers to send heavier loads to and from the intermodal yard with significant reduction in drayage expenses. 

"With buildings sized at 186,000 and 301,000 square feet each, Midwest Gateway creates a rare opportunity for tenants seeking smaller format distribution facilities who want close proximity to the BNSF Intermodal," said Russell Pearson of NAI Heartland, which is co-marketing the project alongside Copaken Brooks. "The buildings have a number of unique features including upgraded LED lighting, future trailer parking, and the ability for users to lease or own.  Building 1 even has a balcony that over-looks the BNSF intermodal operations which is really impressive to see."

Photo Oct 16, 7 00 44 PM.jpg

Midwest Gateway is being developed by Copaken Brooks and co-marketed by NAI-Heartland and Copaken BrooksAdditional project partners include GMA Architects, ARCO National Construction, Shafer, Kline & Warren, Krudwig & Associates and Metro Air. (Below: Nathan Anderson, NAI-Heartland; Bucky Brooks, Copaken Brooks; Aaron Schlagel, Copaken Brooks; Russell Pearson, NAI-Heartland)

Photo Oct 16, 6 55 58 PM.jpg

Click the photos below to browse our slide show for a full construction update. More details online at

Panelists tackle trends and timely topics at sold-out MWM 2017 Multi-Family Summit

More than 170 guests attended MWM's 2017 Multi-Family Summit on Oct. 12 for breakfast, premium networking and a panel discussion moderated by Hunt Midwest's Brenner Holland

Here's a snapshot of panelist insights: 

“We are in a vibrant stage in my 25-year career. One of the leading indicators is the number of calls I get from lenders about sites from developers outside Kansas City, so that tells us that folks are either pooping out in some other markets and trying to come here, or they’re moving from different food groups into multi-family." -Jim Thomas, Cityscape Residential

“I think what has happened in Denver is similar to what has happened to California, where the prices have gotten astronomical and it’s unaffordable for virtually anybody at any income level... Quite honestly, I see Kansas City as the next Denver as people keep looking for more affordable places to live and work. We are certainly very well priced in the market for exceptional value.” -Aaron Rumple, Yaeger Architecture

“Boomers want larger units and more bonus space or an extra den area. Storage is very important to them. Millennials, on the other hand, are more concerned about walkability. They value space a little less and they place more value on amenities and the social aspect of amenities spaces in technology.” -Justin Duff, VanTrust Real Estate

“The amenity stuff keeps getting better and better, particularly with pools and clubhouses. On the technology side, we’re adding USB outlets inside the units and trying to accommodate what’s going to be standard technology as it grows. We’ve built penthouse units for a couple of projects. Those are the first to go, and usually the Boomers get them." -Aaron Neighbors, Neighbors Construction

“The new stuff is always going to fill up, and the reason is that those offer the best property and best amenities. It’s where people want to live. So we are building in places where the jobs are going, and then it’s not a question of ‘Will the new stuff fill up?’ It’s a matter of, ‘At what number will it fill up? Will you meet the pro forma, and will you hit your rents?' " -Aaron Mesmer, Block Real Estate Services

“Paramount to any development is having the best site selection-- access to highways, jobs and amenities-- because when people move into an apartment anymore, there are so many good options out there, you really have to have that ‘wow’ factor. So you need to be able to have people move into something where there’s a sense of place and they have to feel that they have 'arrived' somewhere.” -Mike McKeen, EPC Properties

“I think Kansas City-- the municipality-- really wants to expand opportunities for economic diversity. A lot of projects that we are seeing in the Historic Northeast area are all mixed-income products, so you are divvying up affordable versus market rate and really bringing more diversity into the neighborhood.” -Rachel Treanor, 4Sight Construction Group

Check out our slideshow below or head to our Facebook page slideshow and tag yourself! 

UMKC Whole Foods Market on track for spring completion

The new 45,000-square foot Whole Foods Market near the UMKC campus is on schedule to open in the spring of 2018, according to project developer VanTrust Real Estate

The project's general contractor is Kansas City-based Luke Draily Construction Co. CSHQA is the architect designing tenant improvements.

The urban-style market is part of a larger redevelopment project near the UMKC campus that includes luxury apartments, a parking garage, and a UMKC Counseling, Health and Testing Center. Stay tuned to for additional project updates!

City of Lenexa rides public project wave with Shawnee Mission schools aquatic center

Another public-use piece of the Lenexa City Center development district has snapped into place, thanks to Monday's approval by the Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education for a $27.8 million aquatic center and parking garage.  

Located just north of the Lenexa Recreation Center across West 87th Street Parkway, the state-of-the-art aquatic facility will be the primary location for district swim meets and various aquatic programs. 

"We are developing a brand new 21st century Downtown, and part of having a place where people will come is having good components that will bring people there," Lenexa City Administrator Eric Wade said at Monday's school board meeting. "It's going to be a wonderful place for people to be, with hotels, restaurants, and a new public market."

The project designed by ACI Boland Architects includes a mezzanine/spectator area overlooking a 50-meter competitive swimming pool, diving well and adjacent 25-yard pool for training purposes.  

"This aquatic center is a big building, but we tried to make the building feel as if you are connected to it," said Duane Cash, ACI Boland project manager. 

The project also includes a two-story, $4.4 million parking structure that will be paid for through a 50/50 cost-sharing split between the City of Lenexa and the school district. The Lenexa City Council is expected to approve the plan later this month.

Currently, the district holds swim meets in Olathe School District facilities through a rental agreement because existing swimming pool facilities at SMSD high schools are not large enough to accommodate high school swim meets, according to the district.  

When not in use by the district, the Johnson County Park and Recreation District will offer county swimming lessons and programs in the aquatic center.

ULI 2017 Developments of Distinction: The Grocers Warehouse

The Grocers Warehouse is the former home of Kansas City’s famed Wolferman grocery distribution facility. The 60,000-square foot building located at the base of Roanoke Park in midtown Kansas City sat abandoned and forlorn for years until Matthew Hufft and Jesse Hufft began dreaming about reinventing and restoring the property.

“It had been vacant for over 10 years, and we kept thinking there had to be a way to revive the building. Trees were growing from the inside of it, there were lots of broken windows and it was just neglected,” said Matthew Hufft, owner of Hufft, a design collective that designs, constructs and fabricates everything from office space to office furniture. “We kind of thought, ‘We live in the neighborhood. Here is a building that needs help. How do we creatively put ourselves inside of it?”

The Huffts envisioned a mixed-use adaptation and historical preservation that could house their design firm and fabrication processes and also include 14 studio loft apartments. The project enabled Hufft to more than double its office and fabrication space from its previous 15,000 square foot location in Westport while more than doubling its headcount in two years.

“I like to say the building allowed us to become the company we wanted to be,” Jesse Hufft said. “We hope that what we have done with this building is going to add longevity, value, beautification, and maybe just a vibe and legitimacy to the area-- and we absolutely love having the chance to put life back into this spot."

The project was first among several redevelopments taking place in the Roanoke neighborhood and is often praised for serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, but the Huffts credit the nonprofit Roanoke Park Conservancy with leading the charge.  

Hufft provided development, architecture, design and general contractor services for the project.