Infrastructure

Superior Bowen paves way for growth and diversification with new HQ, hires

Superior Bowen is capping off its 70th year with new Crossroads digs and a flurry of projects in the pipeline.

The third-generation asphalt and paving contractor is growing its SiteWorks portfolio, recently winning contracts for Metro North Mall’s redevelopment and Johnson County’s new Indian Creek Library, while building its bread-and-butter business of large paving projects such as the Ford Claycomo Assembly Plant and Cerner Corporation's Innovations Campus.

“We’ve been incredibly busy and continue to diversify into business ventures necessitated by expansion and growth,” said Brian Johanning, Superior Bowen vice president of business development. “We are continuing to beef up our corporate resources and strengthen our foundation for growth.”

Superior Bowen doubled its footprint when it consolidated operations into a 30,000 square feet office in the historically renovated McQueeny Lock Building, 520 W. Pennway. Previously, staff had been cobbled together in a workshop and three mobile trailers adjacent to one of the company’s six asphalt plants at Manchester Trafficway and I-70.

The makeshift campus embodied Superior Bowen’s trademark grittiness and offered clients an up-close view of the plant and equipment, but Owner Trey Bowen recognized that the company needed a change of scenery to grow. After searching unsuccessfully in the West Bottoms for new digs with plentiful parking, Bowen opted to join Centric Projects and Inspired Homes in the century-old brick building.

“When it came to recruiting and retaining the next generation of talent, we needed to be where that talent wanted to be, and that is here in the Crossroads,” Bowen said. “This is an established, vibrant area.”

Superior Bowen also added four positions to its leadership team in 2018, hiring new vice presidents of marketing, human resources and business development, as well as a new safety director. Each hire is more than just an employee; they’re an investment in Superior Bowen’s future.

“When people come here, they don’t leave. During the Great Recession, nobody was laid off,” Bowen added. “We have room to grow here, which is purposeful.”

Patience, perseverance paves path for Prairie Village fire station project

A long-awaited, new 15,000-square foot fire station in Prairie Village is on target for a spring delivery, with HarenLaughlin Construction wrapping up metal stud framing and interior masonry work this month. Up next: pouring the station's mezzanine and installing its exterior brick veneer.

But the biggest challenge of the $6 million project took place in the site selection and pre-construction phase, which began in 2012. Finding "available dirt" took several years, and then once a workable site behind Mission Road Bible Church  at 78th and Mission Road was identified, all parties had to work together to ensure traffic flow to the church.

"This is a unique location, and it's been a large, arduous task to get it approved," said Cory Davison, HarenLaughlin project manager. "There's been lots of coordination with the church and a juggling act to make sure they have parking on Sundays and can keep their facility open during construction."

The new station will include three bays and the ability to house nine firefighters at a time. It also offers Consolidated Fire District No. 2 a more central location in the heart of Prairie Village, allowing for quicker emergency response times, according to Fire Chief Tony Lopez. 

"There's been some real head rubbing on this project and sometimes we didn't think we would ever strike a deal. It's been a long process, with a lot of starts and stops," Lopez said. "But now things are really moving along nicely."

The station was designed by Archimages, Inc., with Newmark Grubb Zimmer representing the owner and providing brokerage services in the transaction.

McCarthy Building grows JoCo presence with $300M in projects awarded

Five years after restarting its presence in the Kansas City construction market, McCarthy Building Companies is touting over $300 million in business booked in Johnson County and a full-time staff of 40 employees. 

McCarthy's largest KC-area project to date is the $267 million Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility expansion. As the Construction Manager at Risk for the project, McCarthy is overseeing demolition of the existing facility at 107th and Lee Boulevard in Leawood and providing construction services for a new plant that almost triples existing capacity. Delivery is set for 2021.

The project represents an unexpected growth opportunity in public infrastructure for the St. Louis-based contractor that averages more than $3 billion a year in business. When McCarthy re-entered the KC market in 2013 after a five-year hiatus, its goal was to build on its traditionally strong markets of health care, education, and advanced technology and manufacturing.

“Those are the three markets we targeted, but we have found our way into both the municipal and water/wastewater markets,” said Barry Sutherland, who leads business development for McCarthy’s local office. “As a national contractor, we have the ability to offer robust service to deliver a project on budget and on schedule. We help clients think through ways to meet their budget and work to build trust early.”

Additional recent public projects include design-build services for Merriam’s new $30 million 66,000-square-foot aquatic and community center, as well as construction of Johnson County’s new $16.5 million, 32,500-square-foot facility to house medical examiner operations.

Steve Meuschke, McCarthy's vice president of KC operations, said his team plans to build on the recent string of local government projects while continuing to chase McCarthy’s traditional bread-and-butter markets.

“There’s a lot of work out there,” Meuschke said. “I think clients are now spending money that they weren’t willing to spend in the past. That’s just how the economy is right now. All the markets are very active.”

 

Village at View High vision comes into focus with multifamily site prep

Site preparation and infrastructure construction officially is underway for Meridian at View High, a 312-unit luxury apartment community planned for the northeast corner of 3rd Street and View High Drive within Lee's Summit's Village at View High mixed-use development.

"Over the next few months, construction crews will build sewers, roads, and a retention pond on the development site. It is exciting to see this important first piece of Village at View High begin to take shape," said John Bondon, president of Parrot Properties LLC, master developer of the Village at View High.

Parrot Properties chose Indianapolis-based Cityscape Residential to develop Meridian at View High's 18 buildings, with vertical construction expected to begin in early 2018 and units available for lease by the spring of 2019. 

"The partners of Cityscape Residential have seen the attractiveness of investing in Lee's Summit since making our first luxury apartment investment in the city over 15 years ago," said Jim Thomas, Cityscape Residential partner. "High quality of life, excellent schools, proximity to good jobs, and thoughtful local leadership have all led Cityscape to make Lee's Summit a significant part of our $250 million investment in the Kansas City metro area."

When completed, the 74-acre multifamily project will feature walkability, high-end retail and a true "live-work-play" lifestyle desired by Millennials and empty nesters alike, according to a release.

Village at View High is located in the heart of Lee's Summit's View High corridor on the city's west side and overlooks the Fred Arbanas Golf Course in Longview Lake Park, a 4,800+-acre green space with plentiful outdoor recreational opportunities. 

"It is rewarding to see dirt moving on Meridian at View High, as it is a critical 'domino' for the overall Village at View High project," said Rick McDowell, president of the Lee's Summit Economic Development Council. "A high-quality, plentiful, and diversified housing stock is central to our mission of promoting Lee's Summit as a model community for economic innovation and growth."

KC land transfer plan offers key piece for Paragon Star development, infrastructure

The Paragon Star development team is hopeful Kansas City leaders will see a 96-acre annexation request from the City of Lee’s Summit as a win-win for both cities.

The undeveloped land sits on the north side of Paragon Star’s sprawling development area and would provide the final piece of land required for an $8 million extension of View High Road connecting Bannister Road to I-470.  

“A parkway with a similar route has been on the city’s master transportation plan since the 1970’s, and city staff believes this would be a good way to get the road built. We think it's a win-win for both communities,” said Bill Brown, Paragon Star principal. “There’s not a lot of development on that land right now, so it isn’t producing significant tax revenue. However, the creation of a new regional trafficway would stimulate new development in both Lee's Summit and Kansas City.”

A newly created regional Transportation Development District would fully fund planning and construction of the new road adjacent to the future $220 million youth sports complex and entertainment destination just north of I-470 along View High Drive. At full buildout, Paragon Star will include sports fields, restaurants, retail, a hotel, residential, and office buildings.

Under the proposal, Kansas City would "detach" the 96 acres and Lee's Summit would annex the land. The new parkway and additional sports fields and other recreation opportunities envisioned on the 96 acres creates a strong value proposition, according to Brown. 

"The KCMO Plan Commission unanimously recommended approval of the plan to the KCMO City Council, and we're hopeful that the Council will agree with the recommendation," Brown said. "Otherwise, I don't see the parkway and the associated development occurring anytime in the near future, and that would be unfortunate.”

A decision should come in mid-December.