JE Dunn

'Resmercial,' blurred lines between office and home dominate Big KC Office Trend discussion

Office efficiencies and the blending of boundaries between home and work were among trends tackled by panelists at MetroWire Media's Big KC Office Trends event on March 29 at WeWork.

Check out a snapshot of talking points from the panel discussion led by JE Dunn Vice President Jon Dandurand

"Efficiency is the game now. When you have a market that is really tight like this one is, you have rents increasing. Companies are always looking for ways to keep their costs down, so I would say they are getting a lot more efficient. It used to be an average of 200-250 square feet per person, and we are now seeing 150-200 square feet per person, and I see that trend continuing as companies get a lot smarter with their space going forward." -Rollie Fors, Colliers

"Creating a living room and a more residential feeling in the office environment is completely on trend and where things are going. That living room-style space really supports workers and their activities. Sometimes those common spaces are almost an afterthought. We spend so much time thinking about the workspace and then get to the end and think, 'let's throw a sofa and couple chairs in there' ... If we start planning those common spaces and shared amenities first, then you can really create dynamic spaces." -Stacey Roth, Scott Rice

"Engagement is one of the biggest topics we discuss with clients these days. It's interesting how space really can affect positively or negatively the connection you have with people on your team and clients. So what we find is the more we can create spaces within your place and give people the choice and control of how they work and when they work then we find the engagement level can be improved." -Trevor Hoiland, Burns & McDonnell

"The demographics are not changing how we work. The difference is coming from technology. that it is proliferating the hours We work from 5 am when we wake up to midnight when we go to bed, and It means our office space is becoming more like home and our home is becoming more like office space. It's creating a different type of product." -Aaron Schlagel, Ryan Companies

"Workspace efficiency has really changed the way companies look for space. From a development landowner perspective, we try to build amenities like rooftop patios into all of our projects as well as plenty of unique spaces outside the usual tenant footprint, so for example employees can enjoy getting away from their offices with shared conference rooms versus dedicated conference rooms." -Vince Bryant, 3D Development

Check out an event slideshow below. Photos by ArchPhotoKC.

Five minutes with JE Dunn MW President Paul Neidlein

Paul Neidlein stepped into the role of Midwest region president for JE Dunn Construction on January 1. The 22-year veteran of the Kansas City construction industry succeeded Dirk Schafer, who retired from Kansas City's top construction company in December. 

MetroWire Media caught up with Neidlein to take his pulse on the 2018 market and beyond:

MWM: What do you expect from the market in the next 18-24 months?

Neidlein: We feel good about 2018. In Kansas City, as well as in every market that we have an office, the arrow is pointed straight up. It will be a record year and 2019 will be as well. I'm not smart enough to predict after that.

MWM: Where does JE Dunn see the most short-term growth potential?

Neidlein: We feel bullish about federal work because we have done a fair amount of it, and JE Dunn has even started a separate federal group to manage those projects. Government facilities are a growth area for us. Part of that is strategic from a diversity standpoint because public work can help balance things out when the corporate side slows down. Anything and everything related to health care has been steady, including medical office. 

MWM: Historically, public projects have been JE Dunn's bread and butter. Do you expect that to continue?

Neidlein: Public projects remain a leading area for us. We still think there is a fairly large program being planned in Missouri with construction of state prisons and county jails. Municipal work on civic centers and community centers still looks pretty positive for us too.

MWM: What do you see as a market headwind?

Neidlein: There is a healthy skepticism about how long this boom is going to last. We will see major players get into trouble and get overextended. It goes back to the capacity side of things. Creditworthiness becomes more important when you think everything is good. 

MWM: What is the impact of all this activity on the trade contractors?

Neidlein: Contractor supply and workforce issues are real. The biggest issue is the capacity of individual companies and labor and what that does to pricing and availability.

ULI 2017 Developments of Distinction: Leon Mercer Jordan Campus

The Leon Mercer Jordan Campus provides state-of-the-art facilities for Kansas City, Mo. police officers at the new East Patrol Division, as well as modernized resources to investigate crime at a new Regional Crime Lab. Located on Kansas City's east side, the 18-acre urban core redevelopment helped bring new life to an area desperate for revitalization.

“The police from the get-go saw this as an opportunity to do more than just a building. They knew they were building in a community that they wanted to connect to, and they knew this investment was going to be a catalyst for more development down the road,” said Helix Architecture + Design Principal Reeves Wiedeman. “This was a project that everybody’s intention was to get right, not just as a functioning police station but as something that the neighborhood in the end would feel connected to.”

Helix designed the East Patrol building to encourage community use, with police meeting space doubling as community rooms available to neighborhood groups in the evenings, as well as a gymnasium available to nearby residents.

The adjacent regional crime lab was designed to encourage maximum collaboration and transparency with glass offices but also features items of high interest and relevance on display, including a gun library with various firearms encased in glass.

“We developed the plan with offices in the middle… and circulation around the perimeter of the offices, so on tours you can see into every lab,” said Julie Wellner of Wellner Architects, which designed the crime lab’s interior.  “We thought, ‘what would make this the most flexible and best use of the land and also help the actual processes that happen with evidence throughout the building.' ”

The project included lofty goals for minority and women-based enterprises, as well as Section 3 contractors.

“We worked hard to make sure to makes sure we met the goals and delivered a high-quality project, so it was a process,” said Jeff Blaesing, JE Dunn vice president.

The project team toured the country with the Kansas City, Missouri police department and crime lab officials to inform design and implementation: “We toured the best of the best because this was our opportunity to get it right,” Wiedeman said.

Project partners include: City of Kansas City, Mo., developer; Helix Architecture + Design, architecture services; Wellner Architects, architecture services; JE Dunn, generator contractor; Bob D. Campbell, engineering services; Taliaferro & Browne, engineering services; ME Group, engineering services; Custom Engineering, engineering services; Alexander Mechanical Contractors, contractor.

New Design-Build law will drive innovation, value in Missouri

New Design-Build law will drive innovation, value in Missouri

Missouri is the latest state in the nation to adopt alternative procurement legislation, thanks to a handful of local A/E/C professionals and organizations. The new law, which went into effect this week, allows public agencies to use the design-build procurement method for all types of design and construction. It’s a process that’s promising to drive innovation and value for those who use it correctly.