UPS

Wanted in Edgerton: Restaurant and residential development

With almost 11 million square feet of industrial space under construction and 3,400 new jobs created in three years, the City of Edgerton is scrambling to attract retail, restaurant and residential development activity.

“Our projects went extremely fast. The amount of traffic and number of employees we are seeing here and the desire to have amenities and housing options nearby just continues to increase,” said Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts.

NorthPoint Development’s Logistics Park Kansas City in Edgerton is among the most successful industrial park buildouts in the nation in recent memory, both in terms of total square footage and speed to market. But attracting and building ancillary development to support the burgeoning workforce has a longer runway, and that’s one reason the city launched its own economic development partnership, ElevateEdgerton!, earlier this year.

“There is a lot of development happening in the KC area right now, and we are trying to compete with other more established areas and trying to get people to come to Edgerton,” said Edgerton City Administrator Beth Linn. “Once people are at (LPKC), it sells itself, but getting them here can be a challenge because we are kind of an unknown in the market.”

The basic message ElevateEdgerton! wants to send is that the market is ripe and ready for additional investment beyond industrial warehouse and distribution projects. The influx of thousands of new Amazon and UPS workers requiring places to eat and spend money before, during and after their workdays has changed the conversation.

“We have the numbers, and we have to bring these other sectors,” Roberts said. “Two years ago, things were different, but a fast service restaurant will make it in Edgerton today.”

Russell Pearson with NAI Heartland is on the team marketing the Midwest Gateway speculative industrial project in Edgerton and agrees that the time is right for more development: "The industrial growth in Edgerton has been dramatic in the past few years, and this creates a real opportunity for developers to deliver commercial and residential product to support the employee base in that area.”

In addition to restaurant and residential housing, the city is working to attract a large, full-service truck stop to accommodate commercial vehicles and possibly provide additional quick service dining. Roberts believes that a dramatic rise in traffic counts over the past three years will help make the case.

“Homestead Lane wasn't even open 3 ½ years ago. To go from 0 to 10,000 vehicles a day is unheard of,” Roberts said.

Interested developers should contact Steve Hale at ElevateEdgerton! to identify top sites.

Pickwick Plaza gets dolled up for new generation

Pickwick Plaza, the 1930's-era hotel renowned for attracting high-profile visitors like Harry S Truman and Kansas City "Boss" Tom Pendergast, has been successfully transformed into luxury apartments and retail space. Developed by Gold Crown Properties Inc., the East 9 at Pickwick Plaza mixed-use development includes 260 units and 35,000 square feet of street-level commercial space.

East 9 at Pickwick Plaza is poised to attract a diverse group of renters, particularly Millennials seeking a downtown Kansas City address with quick access to nightlife, the central business district, and public transportation.

However, one well-known Empty Nester – Kansas City Mayor Sly James—said he would consider the property when he leaves public office.

“… my wife and I will be looking around town to figure out where we're going to live. This is certainly going to be a place on the list,” James said at the recent East 9 Grand Opening event, adding that he wants to live near the KC Streetcar line.

Construction on the $65 million adaptive reuse project was completed in less than two years, but Gold Crown Properties’ vision for giving the historic hotel a grand make-over dates to 2010. 

More than 70 percent of the units are already leased with full leasing expected by the end of 2017. Amenities include a fitness center, swimming pool and spa, community rooms, business center, wine lockers and wine tasting room, free Wi-Fi, and 314 parking spaces. Commercial tenants include UPS, City Gym and an unnamed restaurant and bar.

Local artist Joe Munson provided design services for the lobby, as well as exterior retail signage. Metropolitan Capital Advisors, MR Capital Advisors, Rosin Preservation, HarenLaughlin Construction, Helix Architecture + Design and Krudwig Structural Engineers rounded out the development team. ThirdRail provided marketing services for the project.