Joe Accurso

Farm co-op plows ahead with plans for former Toys R Us building

The vacated Toys R Us Kansas City distribution facility in Lee’s Summit made national headlines when the retailer folded in early 2018. However, brisk demand for large, tenant-ready industrial space meant that the property sold quickly.

“The amount of interest from all over the country was quite impressive,” said Joe Accurso, executive director of Cushman & Wakefield. “The availability of a high-quality, fully racked, industrial building of this size doesn’t come along very often.”

More than two dozen potential buyers toured the 725,000-square foot facility at 420 SE Thompson Dr. near U.S. Hwy 50 and Mo. 291. Coincidentally the first company to come calling, Mid-States Distributing LLC, emerged as the winning bidder for the 41-acre property.

“This facility was an ideal fit for our rapidly growing company. When we learned of its availability, we knew the stars were aligning for us in a very special way,” said Mid-States President & CEO Tom Mahlke. “The Toys R Us situation, while very unfortunate for many, became our great fortune. We worked hard and aggressively because this was a great location geographically for our members.”

The leading farm and ranch retail store cooperative plans to invest more than $35 million in the distribution center, which will service a network of 39 member companies and nearly 700 retail locations in the U.S. and Canada. Mid-States will commence operations in the facility by the end of the year with immediate plans to hire between 30 and 35 employees within the next month to launch the operation.

Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President Rick McDowell said the high level of interest in the former Toys R Us space signals ongoing strength in the warehouse and distribution market and room for more activity in south Lee’s Summit.

“We had tremendous interest in that building,” McDowell said. “That leads me to believe that the addition of Mid-States will serve as a catalyst for ongoing business expansion and attraction in Lee’s Summit’s south side commerce corridor.”

Added Cushman & Wakefield’s Joe Accurso: “This property has created a wealth of opportunity for Lee’s Summit. I’m happy to see the building and area full of activity again.”

Florida healthcare technology company expands to metro with new Lenexa distribution center

Convey Health Solutions has expanded into the Kansas City region with a new 38,000-square foot distribution facility at Lackman Business Center, 106th Street and Lackman Road, in Lenexa. The leased space will accommodate the company’s expected growth in the government sponsored healthcare market, allowing Convey to more than triple its shipping capacity.

“As we continue to provide end-to-end OTC solutions for major health plans in the Medicare and Medicaid markets, we want to operate in a central location to provide better service to our clients and their members,” Convey Executive Vice President Jonathan Starr said. 

Convey’s benefits program is designed to help members better manage their day-to-day health while at home. With volume projected to grow more than 50 percent in 2019, the company’s new location will include the latest logistics technology to increase efficiencies and streamline the distribution process.

Convey plans to hire 40 employees at its Lenexa facility. Phil Algrim of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Convey in the transaction; Joe Accurso and Rob Holland of Cushman & Wakefield represented the landlord. Additional partners included the State of KansasCity of LenexaKansas City Area Development Council, and KC SmartPort. 

“Kansas City continues to attract distribution centers due to our access to markets and customers throughout the U.S., and Convey recognized this locational advantage,” said KC SmartPort President Chris Gutierrez. “We expect to see another great year of locational decisions in KC with manufacturing, regional distribution and e-commerce facilities.”

“It is always exciting to welcome a fast-growing company like Convey Health Solutions to our region,” added KCADC President and CEO Tim Cowden. “The KC region continues to rise to the top of the list of cities that are ideal for logistics, supply chain and distribution operations and we’re honored to be the newest home for Convey.”

Additional comments from project partners:

“Our state’s central location always makes Kansas the prime choice for companies looking to locate a distribution center, and combined with the Kansas City area’s already strong concentration of healthcare service companies, Convey Health Solutions couldn’t have picked a better location for its new facility,” said Kansas Governor Jeff Colyer, M.D. “We are excited to have this pioneering technology company expanding in Kansas and look forward to our continued partnership.”

“We are very pleased that Convey Health Solutions has chosen Lenexa for their new facility,” said Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm. “This operation will feature top of the line technology and will serve as a showcase for the industry. I think Convey will be a great addition to the region.”

The Industrial Summit recap: How KC is seizing e-commerce business

The Industrial Summit recap: How KC is seizing e-commerce business

For the last few years, Kansas City has seen a red hot industrial market. Recently, local and regional experts took part in a thought-provoking discussion on the state of the market at the 2016 Industrial Summit, hosted by MetroWireMedia. The event was supported by generous sponsors: Grandbridge Real Estate Capital, ARCO Construction, Stewart Title, GBA Architects + Engineers, Citizens Bank & Trust, Centerpoint Properties, Candid Marketing + Communications, Newmark Grubb Zimmer, Cushman & Wakefield, Design Mechanical and KC SmartPort. Here’s a look back at a snapshot of that conversation.