KCMO's 10 latest development successes

The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City is highlighting ten local projects as part of its 2016 Cornerstone Awards. The ceremony honors new construction, redevelopment, capital investments and job creation or retention projects in Kansas City, Missouri.

“The Cornerstone Awards celebrate the people and organizations that contribute to a prosperous Kansas City economy,” EDC President and CEO Bob Langenkamp said. “Those recognized this year have had a positive impact on advancing Kansas City, Missouri and we enthusiastically congratulate them on their efforts.”

The EDC is partnering with LiveKC for this year’s Cornerstone Awards on May 11, which will feature an interactive experience, food stations from top local independent restaurants, displays of Cornerstone finalists’ projects and a chance to network with the nominees. (More info here.)

Ahead of the event, here’s a look at this year’s winners.

Centerpoint Intermodal

CenterPoint Properties and the Kansas City Southern Railway Company will be honored for their development of the 1,340-acre intermodal logistics center in South Kansas City. Built on the former Richards Gebaur Airport, the brownfield site underwent environmental cleanup, site grading, and infrastructure/utility installations in preparing for up to 5 million square feet at build-out. Today, three buildings are nearing completion, at which point the park will tally more than 800,000 square feet of warehouse, distribution, and logistics space, totaling an overall investment of $41 million.

“The Richards Gebaur Air Force Base was a huge contributor to the economy of South Jackson and Cass Counties,” EDC Business Development Officer Steve Rinne said. “When the base closed, individuals, neighborhoods and surrounding cities really felt the effect. The kinds of jobs that will come as a result of this new development – warehouse, manufacturing, engineering, and all the vendors who service them – is going to provide a huge job market for workers from around the region – and of all skill levels. This project could truly boost Kansas City’s economy in a way we’ve never seen before.”

Custom Truck and Equipment

Custom Truck and Equipment’s expansion of their Kansas City headquarters entailed the addition of two new structures totaling 186,000 square feet. As an incentive, the Missouri Department of Economic Development offered a contingent incentive package if the company meets job creation and investment criteria. As a provision of the development agreement, 45 new full-time jobs with an average annual salary of $38,000 will be created.

Kansas City Manufacturing

Kansas City Manufacturing made a splash when it signed a lease for a 351,520-square-foot space in Logistics Centre II at KCI Intermodal BusinessCentre near Kansas City International Airport. The move will create 375 new jobs with an average salary of $65,000.

Founded in 1981 in a Michigan garage, the company has become a fast-growing Tier 1 auto parts maker, operating facilities throughout North America.

Kansas City Manufacturing joins eleven other auto suppliers that have been attracted to the Kansas City region since 2013, thanks to Ford and General Motors’ local presence.

Kansas City Streetcar

The $102 million project endured its share of challenges, but the new public transportation project is spurring economic development like nothing seen before. The 2.2-mile starter is encouraging developers to embrace new levels of density and encouraging investment within Kansas City’s core.

The project also included 8 months of private utility relocation work, which required several local utilities and companies working together. Since the project’s approval in late 2012, more than $1.7 billion worth of development is complete or underway.

Lead Bank’s Crossroads branch

Lead Bank’s newest state of the art branch in the Crossroads Arts District is creating an opportunity for the bank to reach small, creative business owners and entrepreneurs. In addition to treasury management, lending, and personal client products and services, the bank offers unique programs like Lead Ventures, which is a business accelerator that awards free consulting, accounting, marketing and assistance to small businesses.

The project landed an incentive package authorized by the Department of Economic Development contingent on certain job creation and investment criteria. The City of Kansas City and EDC also partnered with Lead Bank in its expansion.

East Patrol Station

Following the demolition of nearly 70 buildings that once stood in its way, the $74 million Leon Mercer Jordan Campus now houses the Kansas City Police Department’s regional crime lab, patrol station, evidence warehouse and multi-purpose building. Funded by a city public safety sales tax, the project is expected to create 101 new jobs and serve as a gathering place for the community. Partners are also hoping the lab serves as a redevelopment catalyst for the Prospect Avenue Corridor and surrounding neighborhoods.

Linwood Area Ministry Place

Community partners banded together to contribute $2 million to assemble land and restore the 1923 Linwood Presbyterian Church and adjoining Harold Thomas Center. Today, the area serves as the Linwood Area Ministry Place, a campus for neighborhood services which commits to being an active, positive presence in the distressed area. The project created 32 apartments and provides robust community social services.

Armour Corridor residential redevelopment

MAC Properties took a once blighted corridor of Midtown and evolved it into an impressive row of 24 rehabbed apartment buildings that retain their historical character. Since 2007, MAC has developed 1,500 market-rate apartments within a half block of Armour between Troost and Broadway. The company also completed the conversion of the Ambassador Building at 3560 Broadway into 112 apartments, as well as the 108-unit Newbern Apartments project at 525 E. Armour.

Martin City CID / 135th Street redevelopment

Martin City is a 300-acre Community Improvement District in South Kansas City with more than 75 businesses within its boundaries that create more than $50 million in annual sales tax revenue for the City of Kansas City, Missouri. The area is not its own municipality but was annexed in 1963. This award marks the first time in 27 years that the Cornerstone Awards have heralded an entire group of businesses as a finalist.

One Light

Cordish Company is infusing the downtown area with new residents thanks to its first of four luxury apartment buildings. The first, One Light, rises 25 stories above 13th and Walnut and brought 307 new apartment units to downtown – the first new construction high-rise apartment tower in downtown in 50 years.

Cordish had help from the City of Kansas City and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to bring the $83 million project to life through a capital stack including Cordish equity, a City of KCMO grant, an HUD-guaranteed construction-to-permanent loan from Wells Fargo, and a tax abatement and PILOT structured by the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority.

People’s Choice Award

The EDC is asking for public input to select one of the above projects as a “People’s Choice” award winner. Vote here. The public vote closes Tuesday night.