ULI 2017 Developments of Distinction: The Grocers Warehouse

The Grocers Warehouse is the former home of Kansas City’s famed Wolferman grocery distribution facility. The 60,000-square foot building located at the base of Roanoke Park in midtown Kansas City sat abandoned and forlorn for years until Matthew Hufft and Jesse Hufft began dreaming about reinventing and restoring the property.

“It had been vacant for over 10 years, and we kept thinking there had to be a way to revive the building. Trees were growing from the inside of it, there were lots of broken windows and it was just neglected,” said Matthew Hufft, owner of Hufft, a design collective that designs, constructs and fabricates everything from office space to office furniture. “We kind of thought, ‘We live in the neighborhood. Here is a building that needs help. How do we creatively put ourselves inside of it?”

The Huffts envisioned a mixed-use adaptation and historical preservation that could house their design firm and fabrication processes and also include 14 studio loft apartments. The project enabled Hufft to more than double its office and fabrication space from its previous 15,000 square foot location in Westport while more than doubling its headcount in two years.

“I like to say the building allowed us to become the company we wanted to be,” Jesse Hufft said. “We hope that what we have done with this building is going to add longevity, value, beautification, and maybe just a vibe and legitimacy to the area-- and we absolutely love having the chance to put life back into this spot."

The project was first among several redevelopments taking place in the Roanoke neighborhood and is often praised for serving as a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, but the Huffts credit the nonprofit Roanoke Park Conservancy with leading the charge.  

Hufft provided development, architecture, design and general contractor services for the project.