The new headquarters for Bravos LLC is based in Overland Park, Kansas. Photo courtesy of Elevated Electronics.
The vacated Toys R Us Kansas City distribution facility in Lee’s Summit made national headlines when the retailer folded in early 2018. However, brisk demand for large, tenant-ready industrial space meant that the property sold quickly.
“The amount of interest from all over the country was quite impressive,” said Joe Accurso, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield. “The availability of a high-quality, fully racked, industrial building of this size doesn’t come along very often.”
More than two dozen potential buyers toured the 725,000-square foot facility at 420 SE Thompson Dr. near U.S. Hwy 50 and Mo. 291. Coincidentally the first company to come calling, Mid-States Distributing LLC, emerged as the winning bidder for the 41-acre property.
“This facility was an ideal fit for our rapidly growing company. When we learned of its availability, we knew the stars were aligning for us in a very special way,” said Mid-States President & CEO Tom Mahlke. “The Toys R Us situation, while very unfortunate for many, became our great fortune. We worked hard and aggressively because this was a great location geographically for our members.”
The leading farm and ranch retail store cooperative plans to invest more than $35 million in the distribution center, which will service a network of 39 member companies and nearly 700 retail locations in the U.S. and Canada. Mid-States will commence operations in the facility by the end of the year with immediate plans to hire between 30 and 35 employees within the next month to launch the operation.
Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President Rick McDowell said the high level of interest in the former Toys R Us space signals ongoing strength in the warehouse and distribution market and room for more activity in south Lee’s Summit.
“We had tremendous interest in that building,” McDowell said. “That leads me to believe that the addition of Mid-States will serve as a catalyst for ongoing business expansion and attraction in Lee’s Summit’s south side commerce corridor.”
Added Cushman & Wakefield’s Joe Accurso: “This property has created a wealth of opportunity for Lee’s Summit. I’m happy to see the building and area full of activity again.”
Overstock.com has leased 517,000 square feet for a new distribution center at 5300 Kansas Ave. in Kansas City, Kan.
Luke Burbank and Kyle Roberts with Newmark Grubb Acres in Salt Lake City led the national site search for Overstock.com. Mark Long and John Hassler with Newmark Grubb Zimmer teamed with Newmark Grubb Acres to provide assistance with lease negotiations in the Kansas City region. The building is owned by BH Properties based in Los Angeles, California.
“Selecting Kansas City as the home of Overstock’s newest fulfillment center allows us to offer over 99 percent of our US customers two-day shipping options, improving shopping experiences by getting orders into the customer’s hands as soon as possible,” said Carroll Morale, Overstock.com vice president of supply chain. “We’re extremely thankful for all of the support and collaboration we’ve received from state and local officials and the Kansas City Area Development Council during this expansion process.”
Check out the official news release from KC SmartPort!
Chris Gutierrez, president of KC SmartPort, led economic development incentive efforts with regional partners including the State of Kansas Department of Commerce and the Wyandotte Economic Development Council. Overstock.com will begin to move in immediately and will employ up to 200 people.
“Kansas offers a great central location and the best workers in the country for any company looking to relocate here. We are thrilled that a successful company such as Overstock has selected Kansas City for its latest distribution center,” said Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer, M.D. “Opening for business in Kansas will provide Overstock.com with an excellent strategic location and creates hundreds of well-paying job opportunities for Kansans.”
Burns & McDonnell will build a 142,000-square foot office building and 550-stall parking garage at its Kansas City World Headquarters, a $42 million expansion that will complete the engineering firm’s local campus and grow local employee capacity by 22 percent.
“We are on track to hire 300-400 additional employees in Kansas City this year alone, and 1,000 employees company-wide,” Burns & McDonnell CEO and Chairman Ray Kowalik said. “Lower oil and gas prices have driven growth over the last year, and the economy is strong as a whole.”
Targeted for completion in 2020, Burns & McDonnell will use an integrated design-build approach for the four-story building. VanTrust Real Estate will provide development services for the project, which will be constructed between the existing 9400 Ward Parkway office building and the campus’ parking garage along 95th Street.
“Our diverse business lines allow us to provide full-service solutions to our clients,” Kowalik said. “Our clients reap the benefits of a quicker and more seamless experience from beginning to end. It’s a model that helps grow our success.”
The new building will primarily include additional employee work stations and conference rooms, adding 780 spots and bringing the campus’ potential headcount to 4,300, according to Brittney Swartz, Burns & McDonnell design project manager.
Sustainability will be a priority, with additional charging stations and a high-tech shade system allowing for energy efficiency through daylight “harvesting.” Conference rooms will have integrated technology and camera systems allowing for quicker, smart meetings with clients across the globe.
Rapid growth in the energy and power transmission markets, as well as public infrastructure, are driving demand for space and creating a race against the clock.
“We will have space problems between now and the opening of the new building,” Kowalik said.
Convey Health Solutions has expanded into the Kansas City region with a new 38,000-square foot distribution facility at Lackman Business Center, 106th Street and Lackman Road, in Lenexa. The leased space will accommodate the company’s expected growth in the government sponsored healthcare market, allowing Convey to more than triple its shipping capacity.
“As we continue to provide end-to-end OTC solutions for major health plans in the Medicare and Medicaid markets, we want to operate in a central location to provide better service to our clients and their members,” Convey Executive Vice President Jonathan Starr said.
Convey’s benefits program is designed to help members better manage their day-to-day health while at home. With volume projected to grow more than 50 percent in 2019, the company’s new location will include the latest logistics technology to increase efficiencies and streamline the distribution process.
Convey plans to hire 40 employees at its Lenexa facility. Phil Algrim of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Convey in the transaction; Joe Accurso and Rob Holland of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord. Additional partners included the State of Kansas, City of Lenexa, Kansas City Area Development Council, and KC SmartPort.
“Kansas City continues to attract distribution centers due to our access to markets and customers throughout the U.S., and Convey recognized this locational advantage,” said KC SmartPort President Chris Gutierrez. “We expect to see another great year of locational decisions in KC with manufacturing, regional distribution and e-commerce facilities.”
“It is always exciting to welcome a fast-growing company like Convey Health Solutions to our region,” added KCADC President and CEO Tim Cowden. “The KC region continues to rise to the top of the list of cities that are ideal for logistics, supply chain and distribution operations and we’re honored to be the newest home for Convey.”
Additional comments from project partners:
“Our state’s central location always makes Kansas the prime choice for companies looking to locate a distribution center, and combined with the Kansas City area’s already strong concentration of healthcare service companies, Convey Health Solutions couldn’t have picked a better location for its new facility,” said Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. “We are excited to have this pioneering technology company expanding in Kansas and look forward to our continued partnership.”
“We are very pleased that Convey Health Solutions has chosen Lenexa for their new facility,” said Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm. “This operation will feature top of the line technology and will serve as a showcase for the industry. I think Convey will be a great addition to the region.”