KCP&L

KCP&L program lights up MC Realty's energy efficiency effort

With more than 3.5 million square feet of commercial property in downtown Kansas City, MC Realty Group is well-known for its success in revitalizing dozens of abandoned and obsolete buildings. But in recent years, the parent company of DST Realty Inc. and Financial Holding Corp. has quietly made energy efficiency a priority within its portfolio of historic, renovated properties.

“We were looking for ways to make our properties safer, more comfortable, and more energy efficient for our tenants,” MC Realty Vice President of Operations Tom Corso said. “We realized that one of the few costs we can control is energy.”

MC Realty has worked closely with KCP&L to identify, prioritize and complete 31 energy efficiency projects in recent years, taking advantage of the utility’s substantial rebate program. By improving HVAC and cooling towers and adding energy saving features like LED lighting to parking garages and elevators, the upgrades have earned MC Realty almost $2 million in rebates from KCP&L and saved its properties an estimated 4.2 million kWh a year.

In addition to cutting energy costs, MC Realty has saved money on maintenance and replacement expenses because LED lighting lasts longer than old lamp or ballast lighting.

“I’d highly recommend KCP&L’s rebate program to other property management firms,” Corso said. “It’s very simple, and they’re easy to work with. Projects that didn’t make sense beforehand make sense after the rebate.”

For more information about the rebate program, visit kcpl.com/mybusiness

Kelly Construction Group expands reach, builds new headquarters

The Great Recession may have dried up projects and forced many general contractors out of business, but it also created an opportunity for Scott Kelly, Jason Betts and Travis Lourens. The trio worked together before the downturn and were determined to leverage their respective expertise and positive relationships into a new, diverse construction company.

“Things started slowing down and the economy slowed to the point that you had to recreate your business a bit and make sure you were staying in relationship with your clients,” said Scott Kelly, president of Kelly Construction Group, Inc. “So we started talking about how we could take our existing customer base, maintain those relationships and work through a difficult time with the expectation it was going to pick back up.”

The former colleagues launched Kelly Construction Group in 2011, blending Scott’s healthcare expertise with Travis’ municipal and government experience and Jason’s book of business that included developers, retailers and hospitality groups. That decision has paid off, with 2 million square feet currently under construction and the company on target to reach its most recent five-year master plan goals in half the time.

“Establishing and maintaining and nurturing relationships, that’s the key. We’re not going to be everything to everyone, but our company is the right size for a lot of projects—not too small but not too big,” Lourens said. “We are schedule driven and we expect people who work for us to be part of our team and be committed to the same goals.”

Kelly Construction has landed projects for top companies such as Cerner, KCP&L, Merck and UMB, as well as just about every metro-area hospital group including Saint Luke’s Health System, KU Medical Center, Shawnee Mission Medical Center, Children’s Mercy Hospital, and HCA.

In the past two years, Kelly Construction has almost doubled its headcount to 36, prompting it to build a new 20,000-square foot corporate office in Grandview’s SouthPointe Business Park. Recent projects include the conversion of 650,000 square feet of office space for Cerner in South Kansas City, more than 250,000-square feet of tenant improvements for Lee’s Summit’s Summit Technology Campus, and a new parking garage for Shawnee Mission Medical Center, as well as the upscale The Monarch Bar on the Country Club Plaza.

“The Monarch was the first notable project for this type of venue in many years that wasn’t a chain. It’s more of a boutique, standalone space with high-end finishes,” Betts said. “The architect (David Manica) had a vision and he felt we understood that vision.”

Maintaining client relationships has been key to Kelly’s success. With the construction market sizzling, the company remembers the lessons of the past and is focused on smart, controlled growth.

“One of the biggest things we talk about is making sure we meet or exceed expectations on any project. That’s our focus,” Kelly said. “We don’t aspire to be the biggest firm. We want to be known for doing what we say we’re going to do and where we can still feel like one of the three of us has given personal attention to every project we build.”

Above: Kelly Construction Group principals include Travis Lourens, Jason Betts and Scott Kelly. 

EDC of Kansas City announces 2018 Cornerstone Award winners

The Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, Missouri, (EDCKC) announced winners of its 2018 Cornerstone Awards, which recognize the city's top construction, redevelopment, capital investments and job creation or expansion projects.

A total of 11 projects were showcased at the EDCKC’s annual event on Tues., May 15, 2018 at Kansas City’s Union Station. Winners achieved a variety of economic development criteria, including job creation, global economic growth, capital investment, innovation, P3, entrepreneurship, sustainability, neighborhood improvement, tourism, workforce and education, and adaptive reuse. 

“The Cornerstone Awards celebrate the people and organizations that are building the future of Kansas City, Missouri,” said Bob Langenkamp, EDCKC president and CEO. “The 2018 award recipients have played a vital role in creating a thriving economy in our city, and we enthusiastically congratulate them on their efforts."

Winners of the annual development awards included: AutoAlertCable Dahmer Headquarters & Collision, Cerner Innovation Campus, Hotel Indigo and Fairfax Lofts Apartments, Hunt Midwest SubTropolis Animal Health Corridor, KC Urban Youth Baseball, Linwood YMCA/James B. Nutter Sr. Community Center, NBKC Bank, Spring Venture Group, Urban Cafe, and Westport Commons/Plexpod.

EDCKC also recognized several organizations for work on regional projects such as the Amazon HQ2 proposal and the successful campaign for A Better KCI. Amazon HQ2 honorees included Barkley, VML and Xact Technologies, and A Better KCI partners included Platte County EDC, Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce, Kansas City Area Development Council, Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and The Dover Group.

KCP&L was applauded for its Clean Charge Network & KCP&L Connect initiatives. The Veterans Community Tiny House Project received EDCKC's People's Choice Award. 

The ceremony also honored UMKC Chancellor Emeritus Leo Morton for his tireless support of philanthropic, civic and economic progress in Kansas City. 

 

 

KCP&L offers energy incentives for industrial projects

Industrial users could be missing out on tens of thousands of dollars in potential cost savings available through KCP&L's energy efficiency programs. That was the message from the utility to attendees at MetroWireMedia's 2017 Industrial Summit on August 25th. 

"The industrial sector of the economy provides the most number of opportunities for partnerships between KCP&L and you or your clients," KCP&L Economic Development Manager John Engelmann told attendees. "These will provide a more compelling business case for the site or building you are marketing to your clients."

Medium to large-sized manufacturing, warehouse and distribution projects may also qualify for KCP&L's Economic Development Rider Tariff, which provides a discounted rate over a five-year period and equates to approximately one years' worth of energy costs. To qualify, projects must have a separately metered load of 200KW, a multiple shift operation and incentives from the city of state in which the building is located. 

"These incentives must be applied for prior to any public announcement by the client, so the key to any successful partnership is to include KCP&L's Economic Development Team early in the process so we can make sure your clients can qualify,"  Engelmann said.  

In addition, KCP&L has an Energy Efficiency Team dedicated to working with Missouri customers, builders and developers to obtain rebates for the purchase of higher efficiency products such as lighting, HVAC, controls, drives/pumps or process items. 

Energy Efficiency Rebates are capped at up to $500,000 per customer per year and are available for everything from standard solutions such as simple lighting upgrades to customized needs for larger retrofits or new construction projects. 

A full list of requirements and programs can be found at KCPLED.com

Spectrum Brands takes KC's biggest spec industrial building

Spectrum Brands takes KC's biggest spec industrial building

Kansas City's industrial market is off to a hot start in 2017 with the announcement that a single tenant would soon take up residence at a massive new distribution facility -- the largest industrial building ever constructed on a speculative basis in Kansas City.