Construction

CityPlace mixed-use project 'tops out' first 120,000 SF office building

Block Real Estate Services, LLC marked a construction milestone for its CityPlace Corporate Centre III office building with a traditional ‘topping out’ ceremony. Anchored by Mediware Information Systems, Inc., the 120,268-square foot building is the first of four Class A office buildings planned for the mixed-use project located at the southwest corner of College Boulevard and Highway 69 in Overland Park.

“We are honored that Mediware selected CityPlace as the home of its corporate headquarters, validating our premier mixed-use development designed for residents to live, work and play for years to come,” CityPlace Developer Ken Block said.

Community members involved in the planning, development and construction of the property, signed the project’s final steel beam before it was hoisted and placed atop the building on August 13.

Constructed by Titan Built, designed by Hoefer Wysocki Architects and developed by Block Development Company, the office building will include a blend of granite and precast panels andreflective glass in a modern design. 

“When we learned about the new construction at CityPlace, we knew we wanted to get in on the ground floor of this project," said Mediware CEO Bill Miller. "As we solidify our position as the leading innovator in health care and human services solutions, we needed a world headquarters that would reflect our vision of powering stronger, healthier communities.” 

Mediware, a leading supplier of software solutions that help health care and human services providers. will occupy floors three and four of the four-story building and has committed to a future lease term of 15 years and four months, beginning in June 2019.

Once complete, CityPlace will feature up to 600,250 square feet of office space, 1,382 multifamily units, 140 senior units, and up to 60,000 square feet of retail space. For more information about CityPlace, visit www.cityplacekc.com. For more information about Block Real Estate Services, LLC, visit www.blockllc.com.

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.

Kelly Construction Group expands reach, builds new headquarters

The Great Recession may have dried up projects and forced many general contractors out of business, but it also created an opportunity for Scott Kelly, Jason Betts and Travis Lourens. The trio worked together before the downturn and were determined to leverage their respective expertise and positive relationships into a new, diverse construction company.

“Things started slowing down and the economy slowed to the point that you had to recreate your business a bit and make sure you were staying in relationship with your clients,” said Scott Kelly, president of Kelly Construction Group, Inc. “So we started talking about how we could take our existing customer base, maintain those relationships and work through a difficult time with the expectation it was going to pick back up.”

The former colleagues launched Kelly Construction Group in 2011, blending Scott’s healthcare expertise with Travis’ municipal and government experience and Jason’s book of business that included developers, retailers and hospitality groups. That decision has paid off, with 2 million square feet currently under construction and the company on target to reach its most recent five-year master plan goals in half the time.

“Establishing and maintaining and nurturing relationships, that’s the key. We’re not going to be everything to everyone, but our company is the right size for a lot of projects—not too small but not too big,” Lourens said. “We are schedule driven and we expect people who work for us to be part of our team and be committed to the same goals.”

Kelly Construction has landed projects for top companies such as Cerner, KCP&L, Merck and UMB, as well as just about every metro-area hospital group including Saint Luke’s Health System, KU Medical Center, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and HCA.

In the past two years, Kelly Construction has almost doubled its headcount to 36, prompting it to build a new 20,000-square foot corporate office in Grandview’s SouthPointe Business Park. Recent projects include the conversion of 650,000 square feet of office space for Cerner in South Kansas City, more than 250,000-square feet of tenant improvements for Lee’s Summit’s Summit Technology Campus, and a new parking garage for Shawnee Mission Medical Center, as well as the upscale The Monarch Bar on the Country Club Plaza.

“The Monarch was the first notable project for this type of venue in many years that wasn’t a chain. It’s more of a boutique, standalone space with high-end finishes,” Betts said. “The architect (David Manica) had a vision and he felt we understood that vision.”

Maintaining client relationships has been key to Kelly’s success. With the construction market sizzling, the company remembers the lessons of the past and is focused on smart, controlled growth.

“One of the biggest things we talk about is making sure we meet or exceed expectations on any project. That’s our focus,” Kelly said. “We don’t aspire to be the biggest firm. We want to be known for doing what we say we’re going to do and where we can still feel like one of the three of us has given personal attention to every project we build.”

Above: Kelly Construction Group principals include Travis Lourens, Jason Betts and Scott Kelly. 

Healthcare Panelists: Disruptors include tech, politics and consumer-centric market

Several disruptive trends could provide headwinds to the typically stable healthcare development market over the next two years, including insurance industry uncertainty, shifting political power, ongoing consumer demand for mobile connectivity, and a move to patient-centric drivers in service delivery.

Panelists offered insight into those trends and more at MetroWire Media’s 2018 Healthcare Summit on June 26 at Blue Hills Country Club. Moderated by Dan LacyMcCownGordon Construction vice president of operations, here’s a snapshot of comments:

“The landscape for healthcare in general is the most dynamic it has ever been in KC. If you look from Holmes Road along I-435 to Metcalf Avenue, you’ve had 450,000 square feet of new construction occur. So that corridor and that visibility takes on a rank-and-file in commercial real estate that we have never seen before-- to the delight of investors, to the delight of institutional owners and to the delight of real estate developers.” -Suzanne Dimmel, Senior Vice President, Cushman & Wakefield

“Getting patient care close to home is obviously a big factor, and you also have the search for getting market share, so bringing patients back to the 'mothership' hospitals-- whether it’s tertiary care or regional hospitals-- you see providers really trying to gather that market share.”    -Mitch Hoefer, Founding Principal, Hoefer Wysocki

“We are building critical care clinics that are non-traditional in a sense because they are owned by the insurance companies themselves. They are eliminating the middle man to keep costs down, and we are seeing this all over the country.” -Kevin Rogers, CEO, United Excel

“I think you will see growth in outpatient recovery and sending people home with medical equipment that is connected back to the ‘mothership,’ so patients don’t have to recover for the entire time in the hospital. That could actually reduce the numbers of beds.” -Rick Embers, Principal, Pulse Design Group

“We are looking at flexibility in how we design wireless networks because everyone wants to get on the network with their iPad or phone while sitting there and waiting, but that has to be separate and secured different than the patient network. There’s a huge push there as well as a push to get equipment connected from wireless spaces.” -Jeremy Bechtold, Vice President- Facilities, Construction & Real Estate, Saint Luke’s Health System

“When you’re talking about qualifications and procurement from a design-build standpoint, the process gets a lot more streamlined. The goal of design-build is that we’re all looking for better outcomes, so the goal is to provide that in collaborative manner with teams so they can get engaged with the users.” -Matt Miller, Project Executive, Turner Construction

“Tight construction timelines and speed-to-market pressure means contractors need to custom order product with plenty of lead time… as far as disrupters (to the industry), I think it’s going to be the consumer experience of health care, the demand for convenience and the demand for value.” -Meghan Dudek, Principal, Benson Method

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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.”