Office

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.

A.L. Huber grows in scope and size

Coming off a record year in 2018, A.L. Huber is building on its longtime reputation for quality construction and positioning itself for growth in additional market niches such as healthcare, industrial, and information technology.

 “We are a 116-year old company and in a successful time of transition,” said A.L. Huber President Phil Thomas who assumed majority ownership of the company in 2015. “It’s been a great 3 ½ years. Along with my ownership, we have four additional owners as well. Our future is very exciting.”

 A.L. Huber’s revenue topped $83 million in 2018, up more than 70 percent from $48 million in 2017. Thomas says the growth is largely due to the firm’s strong preconstruction team, which has tripled over the past five years and has helped transform A.L. Huber’s business model.

“A lot of times, people think because we are doing preconstruction work that our pipeline is two years out, but we actually can build 6-8 months down the road,” Thomas said. “We collaborate closely with owner and design team and move projects through the design phase quickly. We know that if we can get the budget and schedule to the owner early, that means we don’t have hiccups when submitting for permits and don’t end up over-budget.”

In the technology market, A.L. Huber recently completed Fishtech Group’s new Cyber Security Operations Center in Martin City as well as Sprint’s new 5G Experience project. The firm reinforced its industrial division in 2018, completing a 315,000-square foot manufacturing facility for Aspen Products in Kansas City and a 255,000-square foot distribution center for TVH in Olathe. On the healthcare front, A.L. Huber is expanding geographically – currently completing construction of a hospital addition in Fall Rivers, S.D..

A.L. Huber’s founding family, the Huber’s, remain partners and very active in the storied construction firm, with Augie Huber serving as CEO. Thomas and Senior Vice President Keith Dorrian guide the firm’s day-to-day operations.

“One of the unique things about our story is that my only job has been at A.L. Huber, and Keith’s only job as been at A.L. Huber. I started here 35 years ago and Keith 23 years ago, so try to drive best practices from everyone we meet—including our peers,” Thomas explained.

With more than 100 years as a family-run business, A.L. Huber prides itself on low turnover. Once they start, employees typically stay with the firm for the remainder of their career.

“It’s still a family culture here, and we truly work hard at finding the best people and then we work hard at keeping them together.”

CBKC's Blue Parkway building hits full occupancy

Mid-America Assistance Coalition (MAAC) has leased 3,000 square feet at 4001 Blue Parkway, bringing the 69,000-square foot office building developed by Community Builders of Kansas City (CBKC) to 100 percent occupancy.

“With average occupancy for commercial real estate in Kansas City at 91 percent in the fourth quarter of 2018, we are especially excited to announce full occupancy at one of our flagship developments,” said Art Chaudry, president and CEO of CBKC, KC’s largest urban core developer.

Built in 2003 with a $10.5 million investment by CBKC, the building was one of the developer’s first projects in the Blue Parkway corridor as part of its nationally recognized Mt. Cleveland Initiative. In partnership with Ross Simpson of Colliers International, CBKC has continued to transform the space into a community service hub, with tenants including Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Kansas City, Catholic Charities Kansas City-St. Joseph, Junior Achievement of Kansas City, and Legal Aid of Western Missouri. 

“Since the opening of this building, CBKC has carefully curated a group of like-minded organizations who are dedicated to serving the urban core, and Mid-America Assistance Coalition perfectly complements and completes the offering here,” Chaudry added.

MAAC offers information systems, training and advocacy to residents and social services providers.

“We're excited to join the tenants in the 4001 Blue Parkway space and look forward to serving Jackson, Clay and Platte County with our programs including our newly added Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP),” said John Rich, executive director of MAAC.

CBKC has developed more than $225 million in urban renewal projects in Kansas City since its founding in 1991. It currently operates more than 700 units of rental housing and 200,000 square feet of commercial real estate. 

For more information, visit http://www.cb-kc.org/.

Sprint HQ buyer Occidental eyes acreage adjacent to OP campus

Wichita-based Occidental Management expects to close on the Sprint Campus in the next 30 days. CEO Gary Oborny and President Chad Stafford talked with MetroWire Media about what led to the acquisition and plans for the sprawling Overland Park campus and adjacent land.

MWM: When did you first become interested in buying the Sprint campus?

Oborny: We heard that Sprint was looking at divesting at some point, so we started following opportunities to get closer to the situation and look at how we might connect on a potential deal. We sat back while Sprint figured out what to do. Then we contacted Cushman & Wakefield when the property was placed with them for a national search last year.  

MWM: How did your 2014 purchase of the former Overland Park International Trade Center (OPx) adjacent to the Sprint campus play into the acquisition?

Oborny: OPx was our introduction into the market. It helped us build relationships in Kansas City and Overland Park, so the Sprint campus was a natural fit. 

MWM: What is your short-term game plan for the campus?

Oborny: We want to enhance existing amenities and bring additional amenities for tenants who want to be on the campus. There are a number of cafeterias and food venues, so we will look at bringing in guest chefs and maybe freshening those spaces. We’re also looking at conceptual ideas to improve the overall aesthetics of the campus, so we will be look at revitalizing existing buildings to make them a little more contemporary... Eventually we’ll undergo a full rebrand of the campus. 

MWM: What will Sprint’s ongoing presence be?

Stafford: Sprint will continue to be the largest tenant, and the company is making a commitment to Kansas City with a long-term lease situation, but that’s all we can say right now. Sprint and Occidental are both focused on recruitment and retention of associates and employees on the campus. 

MWM: What is the current tenant mix and how do you see that changing?

Stafford: There’s a good mix right now between health care and financial services companies. There is also good infrastructure for technology-related companies, so there is opportunity there. 

MWM: What additional opportunities do you see? 

Oborny: We are looking at the 60 acres near 119th and Nall that have never been opened to commercial development. We see an opportunity to bring amenities to that vacant land such as hotel, restaurants and retail, but for right now we have to close. 

MWM: This is a huge transaction. What’s next for Occidental?

Oborny: Yes, it’s a big opportunity. We see a natural progression for us in Midwest cities, so development opportunities in the $100-$300 million range are certainly always of interest.

Wichita developer sets sights on upscale office park near Lenexa City Center

Wichita-based Vantage Point Properties has entered the Kansas City market, announcing plans to develop Reflections at City Center, a sprawling Class A office complex in Lenexa.

"Our vision is to create an environment that is both aesthetically and functionally different from any other office park in the Kansas City area," said Paul Jackson, president and founder of Vantage Point Properties. "Every detail - walkable paths, architectural lighting, and sculptures - will come together to create a comfortable, enjoyable place to work."

The commercial real estate company just closed on 32 acres at I-435 and Renner Road and envisions a walkable, upscale 315,000-square foot campus featuring reflection pools and three restaurants. The Lenexa City Council has approved tax increment financing for the project, which will break ground pending identification of an anchor tenant. 

"The project will provide a unique opportunity for a company to come in and make the site their own," Jackson said. "They will really be able to create their own footprint here. We're ready to make a deal happen with the right partner."

Jackson, who co-founded Vantage Point Properties in 1992, sees opportunity in the relatively stable Kansas City market.

"It has a track record of steady growth," Jackson said. "And Lenexa is the perfect spot for our first project."

Matt Stover and Tracy Wilson of Colliers are marketing the property for lease.