Leawood

JPMorgan Chase will open full-service bank in former Dean & Deluca space

The former Dean & Deluca space at Town Center Plaza in Leawood, Kan. will find new life as a full-service retail bank, part of JPMorgan Chase's push into the Kansas City market and deeper into Bank of America markets.

The largest bank in the U.S. has signed a lease to expand into the 9,000-square foot former gourmet food purveyor located at the northwest corner of Roe Avenue and 119th Street. An exact opening date is unclear.

Scott K. Miller and Adam Blue of AREA Real Estate Advisors brokered the lease on behalf of the building's owner. The deal comes less than a year after the prime retail outparcel adjacent to Town Center Plaza hit the market.

"We had a lot of interest from premier retailers due to its high-profile location," Miller said. "Everything from restaurants to service retailers and soft goods retailers looked at the space. Ultimately the best fit for everybody ended up being JPMorgan Chase."

Jeff Berg and Coleby Henzlik of Colliers International represented JPMorgan Chase in the transaction.

Last week, JPMorgan Chase announced plans to open its first full-service Kansas City area locations in 2019, with up to 15 branches in the works, according to The Kansas City Business Journal.

Hufft helps Tuft & Needle become sleeper retail success story

Thanks to startup mattress company Tuft & Needle, architecture and design firm Hufft has found a soft spot in today’s hard-pressed retail market. 

The online industry disrupter chose Hufft last year to design its experiential prototype store serving the Kansas City market, a project so successful that 10 additional stores are planned for 2019 in addition to stores in Portland, Ore. and Raleigh, N.C.

"The idea was to create a space that felt like home, making the mattress buying experience a little less intimidating," Hufft Design Principal Dan Brown said. "It can be uncomfortable to lay on the bed with your significant other or yourself."

Hufft's concept store in Leawood replaced the sea of flat mattresses and harsh lighting typically found in mattress stores with soft lighting and four semi-private rooms where customers can test mattresses and meet with a "no pressure" sales rep if needed. Orders are placed via iPad and shipped directly to the home.

“It’s exactly what people are talking about when they talk about the future of retail being experiential,” Brown said. “It’s lean, customer centric and experience-based. The concept is more about conveying the experience of the brand, rather than picking from 1,000 products. It’s not about having the most things but about having the most quality.”

Hufft’s on-site fabricating shop creates project efficiencies by producing everything from fixtures to furniture to in-wall rolling casework and cabinetry. The unique combination of retail design expertise and custom fabrication is helping the firm carve out a niche in the crossroads of e-commerce and experiential retail.

“We can quickly roll out these stores. They hand us a location and a box size and then we work with them to develop the concept using the KC store as a template,” Brown said. “While we are in the design process, we can also be building cabinets and fixtures, for the space so it’s a really seamless process.”

MetroWire Media's top themes of 2018: Push, Pivot, Preserve

Leawood mixed-use expected to kickstart activity along 135th Street corridor

Leawood leaders say a just-approved $135 million mixed-used project along 135th Street near State Line Road may be exactly what the city needs to energize development activity on the east end of the well-traveled corridor.

Lashbrook Cos. on Monday received city approval for its development south of 135th Street between Kenneth Road and Chadwick, which includes 117 high-end villas, 182 luxury apartments, and retail space. The project also includes plans for an 81-unit assisted living facility developed by Johnson County Management.

“I’ve said for a long time that this is a great corridor, but it just needs a kickstart. It needs something to happen to bring the momentum,” said Bob Regnier, president of Bank of Blue Valley and whose family owns the land. “Rick (Lashbrook) has great product and the timing is right.”

The development strays from 135th Street Corridor development guidelines adopted by the Leawood City Council in 2013, so securing approval required some give-and-take.

“This is a good compromise and allows for forward movement. Just since the announcement, I have received a couple phone calls from people interested in that area,” Regnier said. “A nice project like this is announced, and all the sudden people are talking about it. People see the possibility.”

In addition to filling strong demand for attached villa-type property in Leawood, the project will allow the City to connect 137th Street from Kenneth Road to Metcalf Avenue.

“That route, like 133rd on the north side of 135th, will become a major east-west connector for not only vehicles, but for pedestrian and bicycle traffic as well,” said Kevin Jeffries, president and CEO of the Leawood Chamber & Economic Development Council. “The office, retail, multifamily, and senior living components proposed for later phases will also be a welcome addition to the 135th Street Corridor.”

Construction on the unnamed project is set to begin in late 2019 with completion expected 2-3 years later.

McCarthy Building grows JoCo presence with $300M in projects awarded

Five years after restarting its presence in the Kansas City construction market, McCarthy Building Companies is touting over $300 million in business booked in Johnson County and a full-time staff of 40 employees. 

McCarthy's largest KC-area project to date is the $267 million Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility expansion. As the Construction Manager at Risk for the project, McCarthy is overseeing demolition of the existing facility at 107th and Lee Boulevard in Leawood and providing construction services for a new plant that almost triples existing capacity. Delivery is set for 2021.

The project represents an unexpected growth opportunity in public infrastructure for the St. Louis-based contractor that averages more than $3 billion a year in business. When McCarthy re-entered the KC market in 2013 after a five-year hiatus, its goal was to build on its traditionally strong markets of health care, education, and advanced technology and manufacturing.

“Those are the three markets we targeted, but we have found our way into both the municipal and water/wastewater markets,” said Barry Sutherland, who leads business development for McCarthy’s local office. “As a national contractor, we have the ability to offer robust service to deliver a project on budget and on schedule. We help clients think through ways to meet their budget and work to build trust early.”

Additional recent public projects include design-build services for Merriam’s new $30 million 66,000-square-foot aquatic and community center, as well as construction of Johnson County’s new $16.5 million, 32,500-square-foot facility to house medical examiner operations.

Steve Meuschke, McCarthy's vice president of KC operations, said his team plans to build on the recent string of local government projects while continuing to chase McCarthy’s traditional bread-and-butter markets.

“There’s a lot of work out there,” Meuschke said. “I think clients are now spending money that they weren’t willing to spend in the past. That’s just how the economy is right now. All the markets are very active.”