Tim Schaffer

Avenue Logistics moves to KC Crossroads

Avenue Logistics, a Chicago-based freight brokerage logistics company, will soon be relocating from Overland Park, KS to the Crossroads in Kansas City, Missouri.

Avenue Logistics is the latest in a growing list of “new-to-downtown” companies attracted to developments like 3D Development, whose tenants include Hollis + Miller, Holmes Murphy, Card Connect, and WeWork.

The firm will be moving in the fourth quarter of 2019 into the recently completed historic renovation at 215 E 18th Street, now named 18McGee.

Formally known as the Interstate Securities Building, it was originally built in the 1950’s to finance automobile purchases in the automotive district in the Crossroads. After Interstate Securities, it was owned and operated by the Kansas City Star, which was headquartered across the street.

“When we were looking for our new offices, we wanted a vibrant environment that appeals to our team,” said Brad Jerwick, vice president at Avenue Logistics.

18McGee is part of a five-building renovation that includes the restoration and renovation of the Historic Kansas City Star properties. When finished, Grand Place will include a 30,000 SF European-style market, restaurants, coffee house, spa and approximately 250,000 SF of signature office space.

“With everything happening in the Crossroads and the renovation of this building and all the amenities planned across the street at Grand Place, we believe this is a strategic way to use real estate to attract and retain team members,” Jerwick said.

Joining Avenue Logistics at 18McGee is Working Spaces, an office interiors and contract furniture business with offices across the midwest. Working Spaces will use the entire first floor as a showroom and design studio.

The top floor at 18McGee is still available, with a total of 6,000 SF that can be divided in sections as small as 2,000 SF.

Among the amenities in the building is 3D Development’s signature roof top patio, which provides great views of Grand Place and downtown.

“The gravity of the Crossroads is moving east at a much quicker pace than we ever anticipated,” said Tim Schaffer, president of AREA Real Estate Advisors.

“The building is attracting interest because of its walkability to bars and restaurants that continue to proliferate East Crossroads; also (because of) the anticipated historic renovation of the Kansas City Star building and all the amenities that are planned for this block,” Schaffer said.

From offices to co-working spaces, restaurants and event spaces, 3D has attracted several new companies to the KC downtown market. Projects include On Broadway, The Creamery, Corrigan Station, 18 McGee and the historic renovation and repositioning of the former KC Star headquarters, now known as Grand Place.  To learn more visit: dream-design-develop.com.


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.