AREA BlogKeeping you up-to-date on Kansas City commercial real estate trends.

Lightwell Signs Another Tech Company

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Repositioning the formerly tired Class B office building known as City Center Square into lightwell, a Class A tech hub has secured another tech company lease for the building. The Kansas City Tech Council, who currently offices in lightwell’s WeWork space, will have it’s own space on the building’s 2nd floor. The KC Tech Council is the regional advocate for the tech industry, working to grow our city as a tech hub.

They will be taking 2,100 square feet of office space. They will host tech industry events as well as computer programming training in the newly renovated conference spaces.

To read more on what attracted KC Tech Council to lightwell, click here for the Kansas City Business Journal’s article.

For marketing materials on the lightwell building, click here or contact Tim Schaffer, Sean Craven or Hank Simpson for leasing questions.

City Club Apartments Announces Newest Retail Tenant, DGX

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DGX, Dollar General’s newest urban store concept is coming to a 4,800 SF space at 20th and Main in the new City Club Apartments development in the Crossroads. The store will include  grab-and-go foods, home cleaning supplies, home décor, electronics, pet supplies, paper products, coffee and fresh fruit and vegetables all at everyday low prices that Dollar General is known for. The opening of DGX is planned for early 2020, along with two new restaurant tenants which are to be announced soon.

First to the KC Market, DGX is in cities including Nashville, Raleigh, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Omaha and Columbus. DGX is hoping to open 20 new stores in 2020. Its goal is to provide an attractive exterior and impressive interior to downtown customers, all while providing the intersection of value and convenience for its customers.

The City Club Apartments will be home to 283 apartments and penthouses and 10,920 SF of retail and restaurant space. The complex is located within easy access to the CBD amongst Kansas City’s most popular destinations, restaurants, nightlife, etc. City Club Apartments also benefits from being on the streetcar line, across from The Rieger. The apartments will include a rooftop pool, entertainment club room and incredible walkability.

To read the announcement in CityScene KC, click here.

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.