Dallas

Olathe pioneer spec building sells to investors

The region's first large speculative industrial building at 167th Street and Lone Elm in Olathe has sold to a Dallas investment group. Developed by Kessinger/Hunter, the 600,000+ square foot warehouse and distribution facility at 22101 W. 167th St. in I-35 Logistics Park is fully occupied by FedEx and Bushnell Corp.

Developer Dan Jensen of Kessinger/Hunter saw the current industrial real estate wave coming over a decade ago and worked with Sun Life Assurance to get the building approved, financed and out of the ground.

“This was the first large spec building in our market. It was very rewarding to take this project from an idea back in 2007, through design, permitting, construction, leasing, management and finally sale ten years later," said Jensen, who brokered the building's recent sale to Sealy & Co.

When Jensen first proposed the Lone Elm spec, commercial real estate investment was in a deep freeze. Nonetheless, Jensen persisted and successfully made his case about the potential for growth in Kansas City due to its interstate highway access and central U.S. location. Today, the metro is one of the top 10 industrial markets in the country.

"It is incredible the way the Kansas City metro has exploded with quality big box distribution facilities over the past 10 years. I do not see this slowing down anytime in the near future," Jensen said.

Jensen, meanwhile, continues to ride the wave he helped create. Kessinger/Hunter just announced construction plans for its third warehouse facility in I-35 Logistics Park, a "semi-spec" project that is partially pre-leased. For those keeping track, that brings Jensen's team to just under 2 million square feet of industrial space developed in South Johnson County.

Holliday Fenoglio Fowler, L.P. (HFF) negotiated the sale on behalf of the buyer. Kessinger/Hunter will continue to manage the Lone Elm building.

Hufft 'small box' concept pops onto big-market retail scene

Hufft is playing big with its ‘small box’ pop-up design, a concept that has allowed homegrown retailer Baldwin Denim to try major markets on for size without signing long-term leases. Over the past 12 months, the Kansas City-based architecture firm and fabricator’s store-in-a-box has helped Baldwin Denim expand to New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and San Jose, California.

Hufft founder Matthew Hufft and Baldwin Denim founder Matthew Baldwin are longtime friends, so Hufft was game when Baldwin asked him in 2017 to fast-track design for a pop-up store in New York City.

“It started with (Baldwin) saying, ‘hey, we need a popup store in a few months. How can we get that done on a budget?’” Matthew Hufft said. “We worked with them to develop a scalable model, basically a store that can ship to almost any location and be set up in days. Landlords are loving this model and offering better lease terms because of it.”

Packed inside one plywood box, the “pasture in the city” pop-up landed rave reviews from Interior Design magazine, with editors calling the mashup “one of the most innovative pop-ups” they’ve ever seen. Fabricated at Hufft’s Kansas City headquarters, the concept features design nods to Midwestern barns and landscapes.  

The entire store is shipped in three birch-plywood shipping crates comprised of two nesting “prairie tables.” When separated, the rustic tables feature edges that resemble Kansas hillsides. The theme continues with a dressing room shaped like a grain silo flat-packed for easy assembly without fasteners.  

“We are helping create (Baldwin’s) brand experience, and looking at the retail industry overall we understand we have to do it differently,” Hufft said.

Additional Baldwin Denim stores in Denver and Austin are expected by the end of the year. Check out the slideshow provided by Hufft below. Click on the photo to advance the gallery.