New $25 million spec creative office building heading to River Market

Epoch Developments has announced that they plan to move forward with a $25 million spec office building on what is now a surface parking lot at the northwest corner of Third and Delaware in downtown KC's River Market.

The transit-oriented development project is proposed as a 64,000 SF, five-story building and will house office and restaurant space.

“This project will accelerate the transformation of Delaware into a diverse destination district,” said Craig Slawson, Epoch Developments founder. “This has long been a vision of ours and we’re excited to add a work component to the mix.”

Slawson said it’s important that the new structure complement the surrounding historical buildings, so plans include features and building materials that form a cohesive aesthetic for the street.

While still in the pre-leasing stage, the project is seeking a best-of-breed, locally owned and managed restaurant as well as a potential fitness club on the first floor. Floors two through five will be commercial space, and a possible floor six will have a penthouse suite with rooftop venue open to the public. Parking will be available underground.

Epoch, known for rescuing vintage buildings to convert and activate lifestyle communities in the urban core, currently owns 22 vintage buildings that are designed and/or operational and 3 acres of infills in Wichita, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City is home to 20 of the buildings, representing an investment of over $40 million. In Wichita, Epoch owns three warehouse-to-apartment conversions.

Project partners include Slaggie Architects and Catalyst Ventures. Construction is projected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year and be complete in late 2020.



Co-Office provider giant, Industrious, heads to Plaza

Industrious, the largest premium flexible workspace provider in the U.S., has signed on to take 30,000 SF on the Country Club Plaza (420 Nichols Road).

Known for its professional atmosphere and thoughtfully-designed spaces intended to increase productivity, Industrious highlights its focus on providing members with an elevated hospitality-driven workplace experience.  

“Kansas City is a dominant market in the Silicon Prairie. As one of the largest and fastest-growing tech hubs in North America, it made sense for Industrious to have a presence in the region,” said Justin Stewart, president and co-founder of Industrious. “Our existing relationships with Macerich and Taubman led us to Country Club Plaza, a highly-amenitized and desirable area that our members will love. We look forward to supporting the ongoing growth of companies across Kansas City.”

This is Industrious’s third location with Macerich, who currently owns 51 million SF of real estate consisting primarily in 47 regional shopping centers.

This is also Industrious’s second location with Taubman Centers, an S&P MidCap 400 Real Estate Investment Trust engaged in the ownership, management and/or leasing of regional, super-regional and outlet shopping centers in the U.S. and Asia.

“The addition of Industrious further solidifies our position as the market-dominant shopping center,” said Meredith Keeler, general manager at Country Club Plaza. “Our patient curation of new tenants for the Plaza continues to create excitement and expand our customer base.”

Across the country, Industrious members include large, well-known companies such as Pfizer, Hyatt, Airbus, Pandora, Lyft, Pinterest, and more. Industrious currently has over 80 locations across more than 40 U.S. cities. Industrious Country Club Plaza will offer co-working and private offices for teams of various sizes and is expected to be open for business Q3 2019.

Groundbreaking ceremony kicks off today for Charlotte Street Foundation

A groundbreaking ceremony will kick off at 5pm today to celebrate the soon-to-be start of construction for Charlotte Street Foundation’s new campus, located near Roanoke Park.

Charlotte Street Foundation was established in 1997 in response to a lack of creative, social and economic resources for Kansas City artists. The organization has steadily expanded its suite of services to include special commissions, free studio residencies, exhibition and performance space for artists, and advocacy with local and national philanthropic business and civic leaders. Charlotte Street is also the only organization in the region that grants artists direct monetary support.

The new campus – a two-building industrial complex – is located at 3333 Wyoming Street and will offer nearly 25,000 SF of operating space. Charlotte Street’s relocation will repurpose the closed, segregated buildings into a flexible, open, community-focused hub of activity.

The building concept starts with the idea of an artist’s village. Hufft, who leads the design, focused on connections: artists to other artists; artists to the greater community; artists to the Charlotte Street staff; and artists to the surrounding landscape.

The building opens up both vertically and horizontally, starting with inserting a main reception that connects the lower and upper terraces. As the new collective entrance to the building it ensures that everyone passes through the same space regardless of how they access the hilly site. It serves as a lobby, an incubator, a lecture hall with large cascading staircase, and the first space for a chance interaction. From here the building opens up vertically, so that from the reception you can see up to the artist’s studio levels, forming the next level of community interaction.

The final step is the insertion of large openings into the windowless industrial building, providing a glimpse to the outside and connecting the artists to both the surrounding community and lush landscape. The result is a continuous internal village streetscape, where artists step outside their studio to find themselves in an active continuous space, one that connects down to the reception, artist’s courtyard, and beyond.

The foundation moved its offices to the new campus in October and continues to operate their 2019 programming out of various metro area locations. With construction kicking off this summer, current project schedules have the transition of resources to the campus taking place in the first quarter of 2020.

Hufft leads the design along with the project team of Benson Method, who serves as the Owner Representative. Newkirk Novak is the general contractor, 40North is the landscape architect, and engineering support for the project is provided by Lankford Fendler as MEP.

The Charlotte Street Foundation Groundbreaking Ceremony is today, June 12 starting at 5pm at 3325-3335 Wyoming Street. There will be a guided tour and feature artists performing throughout the event.

Hunt Midwest and Principal Senior Living Group open ninth Benton House

Hunt Midwest, in partnership with Principal Senior Living Group, recently welcomed the first residents to Benton House of Olathe, its newest assisted living and memory care community located at 15700 W. 151st St. in Olathe, KS.

“Benton House of Olathe is situated amongst several established neighborhoods, providing area seniors needing assistance with daily activities the option to remain in the same community, close to friends and family,” said Ora Reynolds, president and CEO of Hunt Midwest.

“Excellent schools, city services and a full range of housing options have made Olathe a popular choice for families to call home, but market research indicated a gap between demand and the availability of high-quality senior housing. Our team is thrilled to offer Benton House of Olathe to meet the current and ongoing needs of seniors and their families for first-class assisted living and memory care.”

This is Hunt Midwest and Principal Senior Living Group’s ninth metro area Benton House community; more than double the number locations initially planned by the partnership when it entered the Kansas City senior housing market in 2011.

“The success of Benton House senior living communities has significantly outpaced our initial projections in terms of capital investment and number of locations," Reynolds said. "Our investment of $85M in senior housing development has subsequently resulted in the creation of more than 700 jobs to support the construction, management and operation of our Benton House locations.

Benton House of Olathe incorporates a variety of indoor and outdoor amenity spaces and 55 studio and one-bedroom apartment suites arranged in a figure eight around two landscaped courtyards. Also offered is the Beacon Neighborhood, an exclusive, secured area dedicated to residents in need of additional memory care services and support.

“Our award-winning team takes great pride in providing compassionate, individualized care to residents and their families,” said Kyle Diekmann, chairman of Principal Senior Living Group. “Benton House offers a variety of programs and events designed to promote an engaging, active lifestyle for our residents. We’re proud to have earned the reputation of being a wonderful place for area seniors to call home.”

Traditional architecture and interior design give Benton House of Olathe a classic, timeless look that complements the surrounding neighborhood. Elements include a neutral color palette and mix of stone, brick and stucco on the façade, lush landscaping, and signature white cupola atop a sweeping, covered front entry.

The single-story, 52,000-square-foot building is situated on 4.4-acres, allowing ample room on the site for future expansion of the Beacon Neighborhood with minimal impact to residents living at Benton House or nearby.

Hunt Midwest and Principal Senior Living Group currently own and operate a portfolio of six Benton House locations that include Benton House of Olathe, Benton House of Staley Hills, Benton House of Lenexa, Benton of Tiffany Springs, Benton House of Raymore and Benton House of Blue Springs. Previously owned locations include Benton House of Shoal Creek, Benton House of Lee’s Summit and Benton House of Prairie Village.

The company’s Benton House assisted living facilities serve seniors who don’t want or need a nursing home, but who are weary of home upkeep, in need of a little personal assistance or simply desire to have more interaction with others. The company currently owns/operates 25 Benton House assisted living and Alzheimer’s/memory care service centers.

GBA Celebrates 50 “Remarkable” Years

This month Lenexa-based GBA turns 50 and has much to celebrate including steady growth, embracing change and providing remarkable solutions in the architecture/engineering industry for half a century.

Founded by civil engineer George Butler in 1969, the firm George E. Butler & Associates, Inc. began with just ten employees in a small office on the sixth floor of a downtown Kansas City office. Today, GBA and its subsidiaries employ a staff of 275 in seven states.

“It’s something that I never dreamed I’d get to see but I’m really honored that the firm has done so well, and most of that’s happened since I left [laughs].……,” recalls the founder and CEO Butler in GBA’s commemorative 50th anniversary video.

The firm quickly made its mark on the KC metro community with one of their first projects, the Jackson County Sports Complex, later named the Harry S. Truman Sports Complex. The firm was responsible for the civil engineering design and all site work surrounding the stadiums, which included the design of parking lots, roadways and utilities. This was no small feat at the time, considering that this was the first, two-stadium sports complex in existence. 

In 1970, Butler’s lifelong friend George Saller joined as a principal of the firm, quickly broadening the firm’s services with his extensive mechanical and electrical engineering experience. Water environment, mechanical, electrical and plumbing services were added to the company in the 1970s.

Now in the midst of implementing a five-year strategic plan, the GBA team is focused on technology and innovation to meet the ever-changing needs in delivering transportation, environmental, building and development projects.

“During my career at GBA, change has been constant; we’ve embraced new technology and adapted our services to meet the needs of our clients and communities,” said GBA President/CEO Tim Ross. “As we continue to grow, one thing that won’t change is our commitment to creating remarkable solutions for our clients.”

GBA is headquartered in Lenexa, Kansas, in the Renner Ridge Corporate Center, where the firm provided planning, building design, site development and surveying. The firm has regional offices in Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas and Illinois.