NorthPoint “Crown Jewel” lands 500,000 SF tenant

Third-party logistics provider PAE will lease 500,000 square feet of warehouse space at Logistics Park Kansas City (LPKC), bringing 75 jobs to the Edgerton community. LPKC is adjacent to the BNSF intermodal facility in southwest Johnson County.

“PAE’s decision to locate at Logistics Park Kansas City is another example of the benefits of co-locating at the BNSF Intermodal and a reason that LPKC continues to be the ‘Crown Jewel’ of NorthPoint Development's portfolio,” said NorthPoint CEO and Founder Nathaniel Hagedorn. “The ability to readily access the BNSF intermodal and the interstate highway system provides substantial cost savings and enhances the movement of goods and products throughout the Midwest and the continental United States.”

PAE provides records handling and mail management services supporting the U.S. government in over 100 locations.

“LPKC continues to prove itself as perfectly positioned in the center of the county providing our tenants access to first class infrastructure connecting them directly to markets nationwide,” added Edgerton Mayor Donald Roberts

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/.

EPC's McKeen sees stability in KC multifamily market

By Marcia Charney | MWM Contributing Writer

Stable. Steady. Cautious. Opportunity.

Those are the words Mike McKeen is using these days to describe the state of Kansas City’s apartment market. The principal and president of EPC Real Estate Group, LLC spoke to a record-breaking crowd of more than 150 brokers and real estate professionals at the April meeting of the Kansas City chapter of CCIM

Areas that will continue to succeed in the multifamily market will have “charm, character and are walkable, with jobs in good proximity,” McKeen said, noting that strong players currently include Lenexa City Center, downtown Overland Park, Olathe, Mission; and downtown Kansas City, Missouri, which leads the area in multifamily development. 

The living preferences of Millennials are driving the market. Some of EPC’s current products are Millennial-based, including Avenue 80 in downtown Overland Park, where Millennials comprise 70 percent of the tenant base. Empty nesters, who no longer want to maintain their homes and are seeking to live life a little differently, are another growing tenant segment.  

McKeen discussed how e-commerce is changing multifamily development. With the explosion of package delivery, developers are installing electronic parcel delivery systems, which allow tenants to retrieve packages by entering a security code. McKeen said that without these delivery systems, the buildings would need a massive storage room for delivered packages and staff to monitor receipt and storage.

McKeen said that developers now have to consider for the first time the amenities and unit size that Generation Z wants. He stated that studio apartments are the “quickest thing to fly off our lists right now because they hit a certain price point of affordability but they also cater to that lifestyle of people who spend most of their time playing video games.” McKeen added that the amenity most requested by Gen Z is blackout shades for better game screen visibility. 

McKeen discussed the challenges currently facing multifamily developers which include a decline in the number of skilled craftsmen; the threat of tariffs, causing suppliers to raise prices to offset the impact of possible future tariffs on costs; future tax treatment; the passage of city ordinances which impact the use of development incentives; aging infrastructure; low supply and high demand, particularly for precast concrete products; and rising operating costs.

McKeen also recognized new opportunities for multifamily developers such as the creation of new inventory to meet the demands of Millennials and empty nesters, affordable housing, and opportunity zones. In addition, new product types like micro-units, which range in size from 350 to 500 square feet, are in high demand with rising rents.  

Noting that “site selection is everything now,” McKeen said the average occupancy of multifamily properties in the Kansas City area has remained steady, staying between 93 and 95 percent.  

 

VanTrust, JE Dunn, and HOK partnership takes flight with TIA deal

VanTrust Real Estate, JE Dunn Construction Co., and HOK have leveraged their collective strength in the Kansas City market land a large-scale office development project adjacent to Tampa International Airport (TIA).  

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) awarded a contract to VanTrust to develop a 9-story, 270,000-square foot office building near TIA, which served 21 million passengers in 2018. The tower will be the first commercial structure linked to the airport by a people mover.

“This will be a Class A office building in an excellent location with unrivaled access to Tampa International Airport,” said TIA Executive Vice President Chris Minner. “With easy connectivity to the Airport, downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg, this is really the ideal location for a wide range of companies.”

Located in a prime spot in the new SkyCenter development, the building will feature an elevated pedestrian walkway connecting its atrium to the SkyConnect station at the airport’s rental car center. Other amenities include a conference center, fitness center, café and access to multipurpose trails that will eventually join with Tampa Bay’s regional trail network.

 The building will serve as the primary home for HCAA employees and will comprise the nerve center for all airport operations. By relocating its in-terminal offices to the new building, HCAA is making way for expanded curbside service, with express lanes for passengers who aren’t checking bags.

Construction should be completed in 2021. VanTrust is leading development of the office building and adjacent parking garage; J.E. Dunn will provide construction services of the office building, and HOK will handle design. 

#FLEXKC Panel: Cold storage is next frontier for "on fire" Kansas City industrial market

Kansas City's industrial market remains strong, with more than 3 million square feet of speculative space currently under construction and 1.3 million SF completed in the first quarter.

But in order to succeed in the rapidly changing, omni-channel marketplace, communities and companies need to remain flexible on all fronts, ranging from operations to incentives to workforce development. That's the consensus of panelists at KC SmartPort's 2019 Industry Briefing, FLEXKC.

"While the economy and most indicators point to continued growth, the need for companies to increase flexibility in operations and hiring practices has never been greater. That is true of how companies build, use and occupy space as well,” said KC SmartPort President Chris Gutierrez.

One of the next waves in industrial development will be "Food on Demand" as consumers seek convenience and freedom from the kitchen. That means cold storage facilities are landing at the top of the shopping list for those scouting industrial locations.

"We are seeing an uptick in that sector," said Colby Tanner, BNSF Railway assistant vice president. "Over the last 18 months we have started to get a lot of inquiries from the cold storage sector asking how can we locate along the rail line or have rail access."

Although they come with significant investment and a subsequent boon to local coffers, cold storage facilities can present a challenge when it comes to incentives.

"These are really high-dollar projects, but they require a non-traditional workforce. So from an incentives perspective, you have a project with a huge investment but the challenge will always be workforce,” said Ann Petersen, Cushman & Wakefield managing director. 

Other barriers to entry include higher insurance costs, environmental impacts, and margins squeezed by waste.

"Food on demand is a challenging business, " observed longtime Amazon Site Selector and Keynote Speaker Mike Grella. "I think there’s room for growth there, but we are still in a period of experimentation and iteration." 

For a full event recap, click here.