JE Dunn Construction

Fort Leonard Wood Hospital replacement project underway

Construction is underway for the Fort Leonard Wood Hospital replacement project in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. The project is being administered through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Kansas City District for the Defense Health Agency.

Fort Leonard Wood, located in the Missouri Ozarks, is home to the 102nd Training Division (Maneuver Support) and Missouri’s 35th Engineer Brigade. The hospital services 34,000 beneficiaries within a 40-mile radius of the city.

“We are honored to be a part of this project and continue our long-term relationship with the Defense Health Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Craig Stearns, Federal Group Leader for JE Dunn Construction.

“The military is committed to providing those that serve with world-class healthcare services and facilities, and we are thrilled to help them execute their mission,” Stearns added.

The new campus will feature a 235,376 SF hospital, 193,332 SF medical clinic, a 20,459 SF central utility plant, a five-bay ambulance garage and supporting facilities.

JE Dunn Construction and RLF (Orlando, FL), partnered to provide a design-build proposal to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a world-class healthcare facility that rivals those found in the civilian sector, pays homage to the rich history of Fort Leonard Wood and takes advantage of the site’s rolling terrain.

“Our team worked for two years to assemble our team and produce the best design and price for the federal government. JE Dunn studied this project for eight years and was very thoughtful in the way we assembled our professional design team and trade partners,” said Margaret Bowker, senior vice president of JE Dunn.

JE Dunn has built over $3 billion in federal construction in the past 10 years and has become a national player in the federal medical facility market. In addition to the $305 million Fort Leonard Wood Hospital project, JE Dunn has worked on over twenty military medical facilities across the country in a design-build format.

Similar JE Dunn projects include the construction of the $250M University of Kansas Cambridge Hospital; the $103M VA Health Care Center in Charlotte, North Carolina; the $235M Woman’s Replacement Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana; the $195M Dell Seton Hospital in Texas; and over $380M for the Saint Luke’s Wornall Campus in Kansas City.

Other large-scale federal work includes the $550 million National Nuclear Security Administration Campus in Kansas City; the $240 million IRS Campus in Kansas City; and the $107M NREL Energy Systems Integration Facility in Golden, Colorado.

The design and construction team includes JE Dunn Construction, RLF, Olsson Engineering, Land3 Studio, MMC Contractors, Guarantee Electrical, and BloomsdaleExcavating, as well as twenty other sub-consultants and trade partners.

The design and construction of the hospital campus is expected to be complete in 48 months. Once complete, the existing 450,000 SF hospital will be demolished.

BacklotCars shifts downtown to KC's Lightwell Building

BacklotCars, a wholesale auto inventory service provider currently located in the Crossroads, will be moving to the the newly rebranded Lightwell Building at 12th and Main in August.

With the recent signing of the 20,000 SF full-floor lease agreement, Somera Road and their partner AREA Real Estate Advisors, added the second major tenant following a landmark lease agreement with WeWork.

Lightwell currently boasts 180,000 SF of contiguous availability, the largest existing block of space in downtown Kansas City.

“When we saw the vision Somera Road and AREA Real Estate Advisors had for the Lightwell project, we knew it was something we had to be a part of,” said Josh Parsons, BacklotCars founder/ COO.

“The location, design and amenities of the project are exactly what is needed to attract the top tech talent to Kansas City. We are very excited to be moving into the new Lightwell Building and feel that it will be a great place for our ever-growing team to call home,” Parsons said.

BacklotCars is a significant disrupter of the wholesale automotive space, and recently closed a $25 million Series B funding round. The company seeks to ease pain points for automotive dealers though building one wholesale platform for all dealers to transact efficiently.

“BacklotCars is exactly the type of forward-thinking technology company that understands what we’re creating at the Lightwell. They’re a major contributor to Kansas City’s growing technology ecosystem and we’re excited to provide them with a home that’ll enable their next phase of growth.” said Basel Bataineh, Somera Road vice president.

“With its fantastic bones and premier location, we believed that Lightwell would attract the fastest-growing segments of employment including tech, marketing, and creative-driven companies. BacklotCars is certainly a great example of what we thought would happen,” said Tim Schaffer, AREA Real Estate Advisors president.

HOK and JE Dunn joined AREA and Somera Road on the renovation.

VanTrust, JE Dunn, and HOK partnership takes flight with TIA deal

VanTrust Real Estate, JE Dunn Construction Co., and HOK have leveraged their collective strength in the Kansas City market land a large-scale office development project adjacent to Tampa International Airport (TIA).  

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) awarded a contract to VanTrust to develop a 9-story, 270,000-square foot office building near TIA, which served 21 million passengers in 2018. The tower will be the first commercial structure linked to the airport by a people mover.

“This will be a Class A office building in an excellent location with unrivaled access to Tampa International Airport,” said TIA Executive Vice President Chris Minner. “With easy connectivity to the Airport, downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg, this is really the ideal location for a wide range of companies.”

Located in a prime spot in the new SkyCenter development, the building will feature an elevated pedestrian walkway connecting its atrium to the SkyConnect station at the airport’s rental car center. Other amenities include a conference center, fitness center, café and access to multipurpose trails that will eventually join with Tampa Bay’s regional trail network.

 The building will serve as the primary home for HCAA employees and will comprise the nerve center for all airport operations. By relocating its in-terminal offices to the new building, HCAA is making way for expanded curbside service, with express lanes for passengers who aren’t checking bags.

Construction should be completed in 2021. VanTrust is leading development of the office building and adjacent parking garage; J.E. Dunn will provide construction services of the office building, and HOK will handle design. 

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.

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.