Kansas City Area Development Council

CushWake, Cerner team up to reboot sprawling Summit Tech building

Cerner has plugged into the Kansas City commercial real estate market, teaming up with Cushman & Wakefield to rebrand and launch the Lee’s Summit Integration Campus (LSIC), a 500,000-square foot tech hub at 777 NW Blue Parkway. Brokers were invited to a Feb. 14 luncheon and tour of the project, which comprises the north building of the former Summit Technology Campus (STC).

“We think it’s important that all of you know, as you bring prospects through, that this project carries with it quality ownership (Cerner) that is committed to providing a quality tenant experience and the promotion of health and wellness,” Cushman & Wakefield Director Suzanne Dimmel told brokers. “STC at one time was under one ownership, but the campus’ south building is now owned by a private group, and Cerner owns the north building, or LSIC.”

The rebranding effort includes brightly colored marketing materials and planned signage with the tagline, “The convergence of power, data, technology, people and community.” Current tenants include large data center and call center operations, with available space ranging from 5,000 to 147,000 square feet.

Recently added amenities include a remodeled cafeteria and employee lounge with flat-screen TVs, and a fitness track with “wayfinding corners” to track physical activity is in the works. Tenant signage options are available at LSIC’s various entrances, which are easily accessible to abundant surface parking.

“This campus has a bright future, and we have a lot of great space available here,” CushWake associate Leonard Popplewell said, adding that prospective tenants can receive smartphone-accessible 2D and 3D interactive conceptual floor plans tailored to their needs.

Jill McCarthy, vice president of corporate attraction for the Kansas City Area Development Council, told brokers that LSIC will be shared with site selectors and out-of-town companies scouting locations in the metro area.

“There’s a lot of project activity right now,” McCarthy said. “We are doing a lot to showcase buildings like this, and this type of product gives us something to talk about when speaking with clients and consultants.”

Lee’s Summit Economic Development Council President and CEO Rick McDowell reminded brokers of incentive options available, proximity to a strong workforce, and local education system that includes an award-winning K-12 school district, community college and 4-year college. Lee’s Summit Mayor Bill Baird thanked Cerner for its investment and presence in the community and reiterated the City’s pro-business environment.

CushWake is offering an incentive to brokers who bring the campus its first 20,000+ square foot deals: A free trip to Scottsdale or San Diego in the form of a $5,000 trip credit. The event included lunch catered by Third Street Social and guided tours.

For more information on LSIC, email suzanne.dimmel@cushwake.com or leonard.popplewell@cushwake.com.

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.”

TrialCard expansion caps off bi-state trifecta of customer service operations

TrialCard’s announcement that it will create 225 jobs at a new Northland client service center marks the third large-scale customer support operation for the Kansas City region in less than a month, bringing the total number of new jobs in that sector to just under 1,000.

The pharmaceutical solutions company’s expansion follows insurer EXL’s announcement that it will hire 250 at a new support hub in Lee’s Summit by the end of the year and auto insurer GEICO’s plan to add 500 new jobs at a new Lenexa operation over the next five years.

“The Kansas City region is quickly becoming a popular destination for companies looking for a central location in the U.S., employees with a strong work ethic, and highly efficient customer support operations,” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, Kansas City Area Development Council. “The entire KC region is attracting new jobs and talent, with companies locating in nearly every corner of the region so far in 2018.”

Cushman & Wakefield represented TrialCard in its 23,000-square foot operation in the Kansas City Business Center, 2001 NE 46th St. Keith Baker and Matt Eckert of CBRE represented the landlord in the transaction.  

"We’re excited to see an employer bring over 200 jobs to Kansas City, but the people that are aware of the entrepreneurial culture in this city aren’t surprised companies want to be here," said Cushman & Wakefield Managing Principal Mike Mayer.

"You look at the rapid growth of local companies like Spring Venture Group, Mediware, and Cerner, but also smaller startups like Blooom, C2FO, Lead Bank, Charlie Hustle, Orbis Biosciences-- and a lot of other companies that people might not have heard of but have certainly caught the interest of investors and major companies around the world-- and you recognize Kansas City is a great place to do business.  Part of that is the city, but a bigger part is the people and the culture," Mayer added.

Indeed, North Carolina-based TrialCard cited the region's diverse, highly-educated workforce, an affordable cost of living and numerous cultural amenities as reasons it found Kansas City to be a very desirable place to live and work.

“We are pleased to be expanding into Kansas City, a vibrant community made up of thousands of small businesses, tech start-ups, and top-notch health care," said TrialCard President and CEO Mark Bouck. 

Photo courtesy: TrialCard

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. 

 

 

SubTropolis emerges as leading logistics location for animal health industry

Hunt Midwest SubTropolis is carving out a niche in the animal health logistics space, growing its veterinary industry footprint to 250,000 square feet. Over the past 12 months, three animal health companies - French veterinary pharmaceutical company Virbac, Ceva Animal Health, and IodiTech - have announced new or expanded warehouse and distribution operations in SubTropolis, which offers commissioned facilities in a naturally cool underground environment.

“SubTropolis is the total package for animal health companies and their unique requirements for product safety and climate control, providing significant operational cost efficiencies,” said Hunt Midwest President and CEO Ora Reynolds.

Virbac is currently consolidating its North American product warehousing and distribution operations in the underground business complex. According to Virbac President and CEO Paul R. Hays, the SubTropolis location will help the 8th largest veterinary pharmaceutical company better align itself within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, which churns out more than half of the sales generated by the global animal health industry.

“By bringing processes and people together at this Kansas City facility, we are boosting collaboration and efficiency within our manufacturing operations," Hays said. 

In addition, Ceva Animal Health and IodiTech Inc. both announced expansions in the Energy Star rated facility over the past year. Hunt Midwest Vice President Mike Bell attributes SubTropolis' success in the animal health space to a "compelling value proposition" for companies that must adhere to industry product standards by maintaining strict temperature and humidity levels.

“The underground’s protective layer of limestone essentially offers ‘natural’ cooling that saves companies between 70 and 80 percent on utilities and equipment compared to a building on the surface,” Bell said. “There’s an ‘Aha Moment’ when companies fully realize how a SubTropolis location can substantially improve their bottom line.”

Ceva Animal Health is a case in point. CEO Craig Wallace says that consistent conditions and the ability to easily expand underground were two key reasons Ceva chose SubTropolis for a new North American warehouse and distribution center in 2015. Within a year, Ceva had outgrown its space and was able to quickly scale up to meet ongoing demand. 

“The underground location is a great solution for Ceva’s current and future warehousing needs,” Wallace said. “As we add products and expand into new categories, we require scalable space and partners like Hunt Midwest who can accommodate our growth and evolve with us.”

Kansas City-based IodiTech Inc. opened a distribution operation in SubTropolis in 2016. The company manufactures and ships a variety of iodine derivatives – including animal feed minerals – throughout North America and the world.

“The ability to ship to up to 85 percent of the U.S. within two days was of critical importance,” IodiTech President Curtis Thomas said. “Our location in SubTropolis is the perfect complement to our nearby manufacturing facility.”

The growing collection of animal health assets within SubTropolis is creating an “industry cluster within a cluster” for Kansas City’s Animal Health Corridor, which will hold its annual Animal Health Investor Forum and Animal Health Homecoming Dinner August 28-29.

“Hunt Midwest SubTropolis is a valued strategic partner as we work on behalf of the Kansas City Area Development Council to attract global animal health companies to the Greater Kansas City region,” said Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor.