Copaken Brooks

Klover Architects to relocate to The District at City Center Lenexa

Klover Architects, the firm behind the design of The District and the master plan of City Center Lenexa, will be relocating from 10955 Lowell in Overland Park to The District at City Center Lenexa this November.

Copaken Brooks announced Klover will lease 7,261 SF of the Penn III building.

“We’re very pleased to have Klover locate its headquarters in a signature development that they designed. This location in City Center Lenexa will certainly give them a competitive advantage to recruit and retain the best and brightest talent,” said Ryan Biery, senior vice president at Copaken Brooks.

The District at City Center Lenexa is located in the urban-suburban destination where retail, corporate, residential, civic and recreational interest have come together to create an experience unlike any other in the region.

“We’ve overseen The District’s design process, from preliminary city planning renderings through construction administration, and we couldn’t be more pleased with how it’s come to life,” said Henry Klover, founding principal and president of Klover.

When fully developed, City Center Lenexa will consist of more than 2 million SF, including civic components for the City of Lenexa, nearly 1 million SF of office and retail space and 375 residential units.

“It’s incredible what can be done when the industry’s best professionals unite to advance a shared vision for the community, and we’re thrilled to soon call this up-and-coming mixed-use development home,” said Klover.

Founded in 1990 by Henry Klover and Danny Potts, Klover is a full-service design firm specializing in retail, mixed-use, office, restaurant and hospitality markets. Registered in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., Klover prides itself on providing innovative design solutions for the real world.

Sprint campus sale, new DT office tower among most anticipated CRE events of 2019

The expected sale of Sprint's 4 million square foot Overland Park campus will be a bellwether event for the Kansas City regional commercial real estate market in 2019. That's the consensus from panelists at MetroWire Media's KC Market Forecast held Jan. 8, at Johnson County Community College. The event was moderated by Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC) President and CEO Tim Cowden.

"It's going to have a monumental impact. We're talking about 25 percent of the KC office market trading hands in 2019," said Mike Klamm, Managing Director for CBRE's Kansas City office. "The new owner will have new objectives, motivations and strategies to put tenants on that campus."

The sale could bring an estimated 1 million to 1.5 million square feet of Class A office space up for lease in the historically strong Johnson County submarket by the middle of the year. 

Beyond Overland Park, Sprint's pending merger with T-Mobile will reverberate throughout the region's office market as communities seek creative ways to backfill the carrier's inventory of older office space.

"We have a lot of Class B space in Platte County," said Alicia Stephens, Executive Director of the Platte County Economic Development Council. "To see what Sprint did when it first opened and then when it downsized- and now with the merger-  I think it has a long-term impact for us."

As Sprint seeks suitors for its campus, Copaken Brooks will continue to build its case for a new, Class multi-tenant high-rise office building in Downtown Kansas City. The 250,000-square foot tower would be the first of its kind in about 30 years.

"We think people will pay a premium for something new and innovative in terms of layout, size and technology. The task is figuring out how deep is that market, and how much do people really want to pay?" said Jon Copaken, Principal of Copaken Brooks. "We feel the time is right to explore than and get that done."

Other top development stories to watch in 2019, according to MetroWire Media panelists:

*Construction of the new KCI (Alicia Stephens)

*Growth in Data Center, K-12 Educational projects (Randy Bredar, JE Dunn Construction)

*Fruition of several sports-themed mixed-use projects, such as Bluhawk in South Overland Park (Bart LowenPrice Brothers Development)

*KC Streetcar extension to UMKC (Jon Copaken)

*Access to Opportunity Zones (Mike Klamm, CBRE)

Check out a slideshow from the event here. Photos courtesy of Jacia Phillips, Arch Photo KC.

MetroWire Media's top themes of 2018: Push, Pivot, Preserve

Lenexa's The District mixed-use offers case study on cold-formed steel construction

Construction has hit the midway point for the multifamily portion of The District at City Center, a mixed-use project that adds luxury apartments, retail and office space to the Lenexa City Center development area at 87th Street Parkway and Renner Boulevard. 

The multifamily portion of The District includes 175 units and serves as the region’s first suburban apartment-over-retail project constructed of cold-formed steel. General Contractor Haren Laughlin Construction (HLC) is touting the benefits of the product, which uses prefabricated steel studs to shorten construction times and eliminate on-site labor while improving fire safety during construction and throughout the life of the building.

“The owners wanted to build something that they could sustain for longer than what a wood structure is going to give you, so they brought us to the table and we put together a proposal and really dove into what it was going to take - the parts and pieces - to get this built,” said Matt Fisher, pre-construction manager for HLC. 

HLC, along with design partner Klover Architects, met with potential subcontractors and chose Dahmer Contracting Group led by Dusty Dahmer because its bid was the most competitive and cost efficient. By using an "off-the-shelf" metal stud system, Dahmer said his team was able to tighten the margins so the project made financial sense for co-developers Copaken Brooks and EPC Real Estate Group. 

“The difference between wood and metal framing used to be a bigger spread, and the market’s gotten so much more efficient, so now the difference is a lot smaller,” Dahmer said. “There was a steep learning curve at the beginning of the project, but now we are cruising." 

Reuben Hamman, HLC project manager, said steel framing makes for a safer and cleaner construction site.

“It’s a lot safer product to install because everything we are building is off of a slab, so we are not three stories in the air in a multifamily area swinging stuff around,” Hamman said. “On the job site, it’s just metal and concrete, so there’s not much to clean up. The waste has been minimized and everything we do throw away is recyclable.”

Because cold-formed steel is still more expensive than wood, it isn’t likely to overtake traditional wood framing, but HLC Vice President Jeff Wasinger believes there’s plenty of potential for growth in higher-end multifamily construction.

“We think for a small premium, apartment developers get a longer lasting, better quality, safer structure,” Wasinger said. “The end result is going to be above everyone’s expectations.”

In additional to luxury residential apartments, The District adds 45,000 square feet of office and 35,000 square feet of retail space to the existing 800,000-square feet of developed space at Lenexa City Center. 

The full project team includes EPC Real Estate Group and Copaken Brooks, co-developers; Klover Architects, architect; Studio A Architecture, residential consultant; BSE, structural engineer; Latimer Sommers & Associates, mechanical design; Phelps Engineering, civil engineer- private; and GBA Architects + Engineers, civil engineering- public. John Coe and Ryan Biery of Copaken Brooks are handling the leasing for the District. 

With Midwest Gateway, Copaken Brooks is Edgerton's new kid in town

Brokers were offered a sneak peak of Midwest Gateway, a 487,000-square foot warehouse and distribution center adjacent to the entrance of BNSF Railway's intermodal facility at 191st and Homestead in Edgerton, Kan.

“Edgerton is the hottest industrial submarket in the world right now. Fortunately, we are able to offer two state-of-the-art buildings at 32-foot clear here,” said Bucky Brooks, principal with project developer Copaken Brooks.

Midwest Gateway is one of a handful of facilities located along the heavy haul, I-35 corridor and allows shippers to send heavier loads to and from the 443-acre BNSF intermodal yard with significant reduction in drayage expenses. 

“Supply chain experts all agree there are huge cost savings here,” said Aaron Schlagel of Copaken Brooks. “ARCO knocked it out of the park with this facility. We are ready to make deals.”

Midwest Gateway was completed three months ahead of schedule. Features of the 301,000- and 186,000-square foot buildings include upgraded LED motion-sensor lighting, future trailer parking, and the ability for users to lease or own.

"Midwest Gateway can accommodate tenants fromt 50,000 square feet and up, creating a rare opportunity for tenants seeking smaller format distribution facilities who want proximity to the BNSF Intermodal,” said Russell Pearson of NAI Heartland, which is co-marketing the project with Copaken Brooks.

A variety of city and state tax incentives are available for up to 10 years for potential users, as well as Foreign Trade Zone benefits.   

Project partners include ARCO National ConstructionGMA ArchitectsShafer, Kline & WarrenKrudwig & Associates and Metro Air.

Click here to download a Midwest Gateway project brochure. 

Building 1 at  Midwest Gateway  includes a balcony that overlooks BNSF's intermodal operations.

Building 1 at Midwest Gateway includes a balcony that overlooks BNSF's intermodal operations.