Thanks to the announcement that Ford would begin manufacturing its Transit commercial van in Kansas City, the local thriving automotive sector helped Hunt Midwest experience its best year yet in 2014 when the company added 1 million square feet of space to the underground – mostly consisting of auto upfitters wanting to be within three miles of the Claycomo plant.
Currently, the world’s largest underground business complex houses 55 companies consisting of 1,600 employees. But now the company is looking to add another 8 million square feet to the 6 million square feet of already-developed land.
Hunt Midwest is seeing more e-commerce tenants take up residence in the underground, like Food Service Warehouse, which inked a deal in 2014 for a 475,000-square-foot build-to-suit. With its proximity to the airport, Reynolds expects to see more logistic companies take advantage of the Kansas City’s ability to reach 85 percent of the country within two days.
These new food groups of tenants inspired Reynolds’ team to look at the strengths of the underground and what else it could offer special users. That’s when the team embarked on a quest to get several different designations that would allow it to become a mission critical facility. With those hurdles conquered, Hunt hired CBRE to help it attract tenants for its new mission critical facility space. The 400,000 square foot space is equipped with two on-site substations with the ability to add a third, with four fiber providers that serves it. According to Reynolds, it’s all about affordable power – which is prevalent in the Midwest.
Hunt Midwest is also celebrating the anniversary of its data center, anchored by LightEdge, a managed services provider in 20,000 square foot space with the ability to expand to 60,000 square feet.
The company also recently completed a 126-acre surface expansion at Hunt Midwest Business Center, bringing it to a total of 2 million square feet. It’s part of a bigger expansion plan which includes the addition of 8 million square feet of space to Subtropolis.
Hunt Midwest continues to expand presence in the multifamily sector with the announcement of The Vue, a $40 million project in downtown Overland Park that will bring 219 luxury units and a 325-stall parking structure, and fetch rents around $1.70 per square foot. On November 16, the team will face the Overland Park City Council and learn whether it will receive financial incentives. If all goes well, Hunt Midwest will break ground on the project late in the first quarter.
Mission 106 is another multifamily development under construction – a joint venture between Hunt Midwest and EPC Real Estate Group. The $30 million project is a “Texas wrap” style apartment community with heavy amenities. The project is behind schedule but should be delivered by January 2016.
With its partner Senior Living Group, Hunt Midwest will soon deliver its sixth senior housing project in the Kansas City area. Benton House is an assisted living and memory care community with locations in Lee’s Summit, Prairie Village, Shoal Creek, Tiffany Springs, Raymore, and Blue Springs. The 52,000-square-foot facilities feature apartment-style suites that rent for $3,000 to $4,000 a month.