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AREA Real Estate Advisors

PayIt to Relocate to Lightwell

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Kansas City’s most successful startup of 2019 will open new HQ in downtown Class A Office Building

Somera Road Inc. is pleased to announce that it has recently completed a 23,000 square foot lease with PayIt at the lightwell building at 12th and Main.

PayIt will join a growing roster of tech and creative tenants moving into lightwell, including BacklotCars and WeWork. The lightwell currently boasts over 100,000 SF of contiguous availability, one of the largest existing blocks of space in downtown Kansas City.

Previously based in the Crossroads, PayIt plans to move into lightwell by June 2020.

“The location, design, and amenities of the lightwell project are exactly what companies like ours need to attract and retain the top talent to Kansas City.  We’re very excited to be moving to the CBD and know the building and location will be a fantastic resource for us as we continue to grow,” said John Thomson, PayIt founder and CEO. 

PayIt, launched in 2013, provides an industry-leading digital government and payments platform that simplifies doing business with state and local government.  An award-winning company, as well as a disrupter, PayIt was honored by Fast Company’s Innovation by Design Awards for 2019 and named one of the GovTech 100 for 2020 for the fourth consecutive year. 

PayIt’s revenue grew more than 800 percent in 2018 and in 2019. New York-based venture capital and private equity firm Insight Partners invested $100M making it the largest raise in the metro. 

Somera Road has been able to provide temporary space within lightwell prior to lease finalization to accommodate their rapid growth, with nearly 30 PayIt employees already working there. In addition to their office space, PayIt is also getting a private roof deck on a setback, that hasn’t been used previously.

“PayIt is exactly the type of forward-thinking tech company that understands what we’re creating at lightwell. They’re a major contributor to Kansas City’s burgeoning tech ecosystem and are on track to become one of KC’s next great corporations. We’re excited to provide them with a home that’ll enable their next phase of growth,” said Basel Bataineh, vice president at Somera Road.

PayIt is certainly a great validation of what we thought would happen when we began refurbishing lightwell,” said Tim Schaffer, AREA Real Estate Advisors president. “We truly believed that lightwell would attract the fastest-growing segments of employment including tech, marketing, and creative-driven companies. We’re creating a vertical innovation district and look forward to attracting more technology companies to join the lightwell ecosystem.” 

“We’re always proud when a Kansas City startup such as PayIt experiences such rapid growth and success in our community – and opts to remain in Kansas City when it decides to expand,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. “PayIt’s increasing national standing and move to the lightwell building will help Kansas City to continue building its startup and tech notoriety.”

To read the announcement in the Kansas City Business Journal, click here.
To read the announcement in Startland News, click here.

Seven Law Firms Sign Long-Term Leases at Lightwell

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Seven area law firms have committed to long-term office leases within the lightwell building (formerly City Center Square) in downtown Kansas City.  The transactions represent more than 10% of the 30-story building’s rentable square footage.

“As we continue to reposition the lightwell, we’re thrilled to see so many of our long-time tenants have taken notice and locked in their space for the long-term,” said Basel Bataineh, vice president at Somera Road.  “We’re providing our tenants with next-generation space that will help them grow their businesses, as well as recruit and retain talent in the heart of Downtown KC.”

In total, the leases represent more than 67,000 SF of Class-A office space and include the following tenants:
– Arnold, Newbold, Sollars & Hollins PC
– Dollar Burns & Becker, LC
– Ensz & Jester, PC
– Graves Garrett, LLC
– Mauer Law Firm, PC
– Walters Renwick Richards Skeens & Vaughan, PC
– Davis, Bethune & Jones LLC

These firms have been in the building for an average of 23+ years.

“The lightwell building is one of the area’s most visible renovation projects, thanks to its size and location in the heart of downtown Kansas City,” said Tim Schaffer, president of AREA Real Estate Advisors.  “Current tenants have been promised upgrades for years by previous owners. Thanks to Somar Road, the building will soon be an innovation hub for tech, law, marketing and the like, as well as a reflection of what it was originally intended to be with great architecture, location, parking access and dining options.”

AREA’s Tim Schaffer, Hank Simpson and Sean Craven represent lightwell.  To download the leasing package, click here.  To read the article published in the Kansas City Business Journal, click here.

Three AREA Properties Recognized as Capstone Award Honorees

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We are proud to be a part of three projects that are honorees of the Kansas City Business Journal’s Capstone Awards, highlighting new construction projects in our city. The three projects include Edison District in Downtown Overland Park, Gallerie in Downtown Kansas City and Regency Park in Overland Park. To be nominated, each project had to be move-in ready by the end of 2019.

Below is more information on the three honorees we have been working with.

Edison District is a newly built, mixed-use development that incorporates premier office and retail space in the extremely walkable Downtown Overland Park. The district also includes a chef-driven collective known as Strang Hall, which offers a unique dining experience featuring six chefs, along with a coffee shop and a bar. Click here to download our marketing package

The newly built Gallerie, is a mixed-use development located off of 27th Street and McGee Trafficway, just south of Crown Center. Phase I of Gallerie includes 361 Class A apartments and over 7,000 SF in retail space. Phase II will include additional apartments and townhomes. Click here to download our marketing package

Regency Park’s newly renovated shopping center located in Overland Park on the NWC of 93rd Street and Metcalf Avenue. The shopping center includes a Natural Grocers, Micro Center and many other daily use tenants. The prime location is just off of I-435 with easy access to Metcalf Avenue and 95th Street. Click here to download our marketing package

The award ceremony will be held on March 24th, we wish the best of luck to our team involved in each building.

To see the full list of the 2020 Capstone Award honorees, click here

MMGY Global Moves HQ to The Edison District

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MMGY Global, a travel and hospitality marketing agency, will move its Headquarters from The Country Club Plaza to the new Edison District in Downtown Overland Park.  MMGY has been in their current location since 2005, and the evolution of their company and their industry led to the move across State Line.

CEO Clayton Reid talked more about the decision to move in his interview with the Kansas City Business Journal here. With collaboration being the key component to the success of their company, Edison District allows MMGY’s employees the space to be all on one floor, rather than spread out across four floors in their current HQ. “It’s an opportunity to create the kind of space that’s conducive to the way we do business,” Reid said.

The character of Downtown Overland Park, the centralized location, Edison’s food hall and the rest of the new development were other factors that helped with their HQ relocation decision. GastingerWalker is helping MMGY with the build out of their space, drawing inspiration from MMGY’s 9 other global offices. The 32,000 square foot space will have a modern look with a variety of common areas as well as more private spaces. MMGY is awaiting approval from the city of Overland Park but hopes to move in this summer.

The Edison District developers see the Downtown Overland Park project as a suburban/urban hybrid development that adds more of an urban feel to Johnson County, adding amenities that previously were not there. The mixed-use development includes over 100,000 square feet of office, 10,000 square feet of retail, Strang Hall food hall (now open), an outdoor event plaza, and a park; creating a truly walkable community. Click here to read more on Tim Barton’s plan for the development, which will have the office build-out and outdoor portions completed this spring.

AREA’s Adam Abrams, Mike Levitan & Tim Schaffer represent the Edison District. To download the leasing package, click here.

AREA Property Management Adds Two New Properties to our Management Portfolio

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AREA Real Estate Advisors is proud to announce that our property management team has taken on the management of The Creamery Building and ON Broadway in the Freighthouse District in Kansas City, Missouri.  The Freighthouse District was once the site of manufacturing and warehousing buildings served by major rail lines passing through.  Over the last decade, the area has been reborn as a cultural, commercial and residential center for Kansas City, featuring new streetscapes, outstanding restaurants, many loft apartments and a vibrant art scene.  It is a highly sought after walkable urban area.

AREA’s Property Management team will be providing the Creamery Building and ON Broadway with the following services: AP Management, Lease Administration, Bid Contract and Administer Vendor Services, Vendor Insurance Administration, Product and Supply Procurement, After Hours Call Out and Alarm Response, Building Engineering Supervision and Security Staff Supervision.

The Creamery Building, located at 2100 Central Street, is 28,000+SF and was built in 1911. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, it was once home to one of the largest dairy companies in the country. The building was revitalized and has become home to 16 corporate offices ranging from non-profit agencies to design and construction companies.  The building was designed to offer a variety of office suite sizes across four levels to accommodate small to mid-size companies.   Perks of being a tenant? Every tenant gets to enjoy the downtown skyline view while enjoying a game of pool or even some BBQ from the penthouse common space.

ON Broadway is a 35,000+ SF building prominently situated on the southeast corner of 21st & Broadway. The building was formerly called the Candle Building, which was home to two long-time artisan candle manufacturers, Empire Manufacturing Co and Creative Candles, both of which supplied candles internationally.  The building was restored in 2014 into a multi-level office building.  It hosts open floorplans that cater to small and large corporations.  The 360-degree views celebrate the raw historic integrity of the building.

Both buildings are owned by 3D Development.  3D Development revives historic buildings to create contemporary multi-use spaces.  Their visions are endless with office to co-working spaces, restaurants to event spaces.  You will find each building has a thoughtfully designed rooftop space to enjoy the incredible views of downtown Kansas City.  It is their signature feature!

We are excited and thrilled to provide our services to these two properties that make up part of our city’s history!