VanTrust Real Estate

VanTrust, JE Dunn, and HOK partnership takes flight with TIA deal

VanTrust Real Estate, JE Dunn Construction Co., and HOK have leveraged their collective strength in the Kansas City market land a large-scale office development project adjacent to Tampa International Airport (TIA).  

The Hillsborough County Aviation Authority (HCAA) awarded a contract to VanTrust to develop a 9-story, 270,000-square foot office building near TIA, which served 21 million passengers in 2018. The tower will be the first commercial structure linked to the airport by a people mover.

“This will be a Class A office building in an excellent location with unrivaled access to Tampa International Airport,” said TIA Executive Vice President Chris Minner. “With easy connectivity to the Airport, downtown Tampa and St. Petersburg, this is really the ideal location for a wide range of companies.”

Located in a prime spot in the new SkyCenter development, the building will feature an elevated pedestrian walkway connecting its atrium to the SkyConnect station at the airport’s rental car center. Other amenities include a conference center, fitness center, café and access to multipurpose trails that will eventually join with Tampa Bay’s regional trail network.

 The building will serve as the primary home for HCAA employees and will comprise the nerve center for all airport operations. By relocating its in-terminal offices to the new building, HCAA is making way for expanded curbside service, with express lanes for passengers who aren’t checking bags.

Construction should be completed in 2021. VanTrust is leading development of the office building and adjacent parking garage; J.E. Dunn will provide construction services of the office building, and HOK will handle design. 

Burns & McDonnell sets hiring record in 2018, announces $42 million expansion

Burns & McDonnell will build a 142,000-square foot office building and 550-stall parking garage at its Kansas City World Headquarters, a $42 million expansion that will complete the engineering firm’s local campus and grow local employee capacity by 22 percent.

“We are on track to hire 300-400 additional employees in Kansas City this year alone, and 1,000 employees company-wide,” Burns & McDonnell CEO and Chairman Ray Kowalik said. “Lower oil and gas prices have driven growth over the last year, and the economy is strong as a whole.”

Targeted for completion in 2020, Burns & McDonnell will use an integrated design-build approach for the four-story building. VanTrust Real Estate will provide development services for the project, which will be constructed between the existing 9400 Ward Parkway office building and the campus’ parking garage along 95th Street.  

“Our diverse business lines allow us to provide full-service solutions to our clients,” Kowalik said. “Our clients reap the benefits of a quicker and more seamless experience from beginning to end. It’s a model that helps grow our success.”

The new building will primarily include additional employee work stations and conference rooms, adding 780 spots and bringing the campus’ potential headcount to 4,300, according to Brittney Swartz, Burns & McDonnell design project manager.

Sustainability will be a priority, with additional charging stations and a high-tech shade system allowing for energy efficiency through daylight “harvesting.” Conference rooms will have integrated technology and camera systems allowing for quicker, smart meetings with clients across the globe.

Rapid growth in the energy and power transmission markets, as well as public infrastructure, are driving demand for space and creating a race against the clock.

“We will have space problems between now and the opening of the new building,” Kowalik said.

Panelists tackle trends and timely topics at sold-out MWM 2017 Multi-Family Summit

More than 170 guests attended MWM's 2017 Multi-Family Summit on Oct. 12 for breakfast, premium networking and a panel discussion moderated by Hunt Midwest's Brenner Holland

Here's a snapshot of panelist insights: 

“We are in a vibrant stage in my 25-year career. One of the leading indicators is the number of calls I get from lenders about sites from developers outside Kansas City, so that tells us that folks are either pooping out in some other markets and trying to come here, or they’re moving from different food groups into multi-family." -Jim Thomas, Cityscape Residential

“I think what has happened in Denver is similar to what has happened to California, where the prices have gotten astronomical and it’s unaffordable for virtually anybody at any income level... Quite honestly, I see Kansas City as the next Denver as people keep looking for more affordable places to live and work. We are certainly very well priced in the market for exceptional value.” -Aaron Rumple, Yaeger Architecture

“Boomers want larger units and more bonus space or an extra den area. Storage is very important to them. Millennials, on the other hand, are more concerned about walkability. They value space a little less and they place more value on amenities and the social aspect of amenities spaces in technology.” -Justin Duff, VanTrust Real Estate

“The amenity stuff keeps getting better and better, particularly with pools and clubhouses. On the technology side, we’re adding USB outlets inside the units and trying to accommodate what’s going to be standard technology as it grows. We’ve built penthouse units for a couple of projects. Those are the first to go, and usually the Boomers get them." -Aaron Neighbors, Neighbors Construction

“The new stuff is always going to fill up, and the reason is that those offer the best property and best amenities. It’s where people want to live. So we are building in places where the jobs are going, and then it’s not a question of ‘Will the new stuff fill up?’ It’s a matter of, ‘At what number will it fill up? Will you meet the pro forma, and will you hit your rents?' " -Aaron Mesmer, Block Real Estate Services

“Paramount to any development is having the best site selection-- access to highways, jobs and amenities-- because when people move into an apartment anymore, there are so many good options out there, you really have to have that ‘wow’ factor. So you need to be able to have people move into something where there’s a sense of place and they have to feel that they have 'arrived' somewhere.” -Mike McKeen, EPC Properties

“I think Kansas City-- the municipality-- really wants to expand opportunities for economic diversity. A lot of projects that we are seeing in the Historic Northeast area are all mixed-income products, so you are divvying up affordable versus market rate and really bringing more diversity into the neighborhood.” -Rachel Treanor, 4Sight Construction Group

Check out our slideshow below or head to our Facebook page slideshow and tag yourself! 

UMKC Whole Foods Market on track for spring completion

The new 45,000-square foot Whole Foods Market near the UMKC campus is on schedule to open in the spring of 2018, according to project developer VanTrust Real Estate

The project's general contractor is Kansas City-based Luke Draily Construction Co. CSHQA is the architect designing tenant improvements.

The urban-style market is part of a larger redevelopment project near the UMKC campus that includes luxury apartments, a parking garage, and a UMKC Counseling, Health and Testing Center. Stay tuned to MetroWireMedia.com for additional project updates!

Behind the Deal: ‘Speed to market’ tipped Terracon build-to-suit

Timing played a key role in Terracon’s decision to build its new $21 million corporate headquarters in Olathe rather than relocate to existing office space in the region. With 10 to 15 percent annual growth, the engineering consulting firm needed space to fit new employees that it expects to hire to accommodate burgeoning business.

John Coe of Copaken Brooks worked as Terracon’s corporate real estate advisor and says the company had a need for speed.

“We started in June of last year and did an exhaustive search of opportunities throughout the metro,” Coe said. “‘Speed to market’ would be one way to describe it.”

Terracon plans to be in its new 65,000-square foot, two-story headquarters in the first quarter of 2018, but getting to the deal's finish line took some rapid legwork on the part of the multiple parties.

The company began evaluating headquarters options in July 2016, looking at 11 existing buildings and 18 build-to-suit options in Kansas and four existing buildings and two build-to-suit options in Missouri.

By December, Terracon narrowed down its list to three existing properties-- two in Kansas and one in Missouri-- but ultimately determined its preference was to stay in Olathe, its headquarters home for more than decade. With no available existing buildings to accommodate the company’s growth, moving forward with a build-to-suit emerged as the preferred course of action.

“It was a long shot that a build-to-suit option would come through because timing was tight,” Coe said. “But VanTrust stepped up and proved they could work within that time frame.”

VanTrust Real Estate and Terracon wasted no time in requesting project incentives from the City of Olathe, which approved a 10-year, 65 percent property tax abatement, as well as industrial revenue bonds that allow for a sales tax exemption on construction-related materials.

Terracon won’t have to move far; its new headquarters will be in Corporate Ridge Office Park near Kansas Highway 10 and Ridgeview Road, just around the corner from its existing office at 18001 W. 106th.

“This investment represents the passionate commitment of our employee-owners to progress our growth," Terracon President Swaminathan Srinivasan said in a release. "Inspired by new surroundings, we will focus our future on serving clients in new, innovative ways and seeking out opportunities to make positive impacts on the communities where we live and work.”

The project’s development team includes property owner VanTrust, which will lead the design-build team, as well as McCownGordon Construction, general contractor.

Terracon provides environmental, facilities, geotechnical and materials services from more than 140 offices serving all 50 states.