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

Five Reasons Large Distribution Centers are Choosing Kansas City

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By Brent Peterson – Vice President, Director of Industrial Brokerage

Kansas City has always been a center for commerce and in recent years, has established itself as a leading distribution center within the United States.

According to the Kansas City Area Development Council, “Kansas City is experiencing one of the largest industrial booms in its history and is a center of choice for warehousing, manufacturing, and distribution.  Business has prospered in large part due to the region’s abundant multi-modal transportation network.”  In 2017, the metro saw growth in distribution facilities from 100,000 to 1.2 million square feet, which included eCommerce companies like Amazon, HyVee Aisles, Dollar Tree, Spectrum Brands, and Horizon Global.

So, what makes Kansas City so attractive to large distribution centers?

  1. Rail. Currently, the metro receives more tonnage by rail than any other city in the United States in large part thanks to Kansas City’s efficient rail lines that come into the city and leave with little incumbrances.  The multiple rail yards are the perfect spots for finished and raw goods, including grain, vehicles, and coal.
  2. Location.  Companies can reach 90% of the continental U.S. and nearly 99% of their customers within a two day drive time.  Its central location makes it a natural crossroads for transcontinental rail, interstate, and waterway.
  3. Interstate. Distribution Centers can piggyback on the large interstate system running all directions, including I-70, I-35, I-29, the 435 loop, and I-49. This allows companies to move goods more efficiently without congestion.
  4. Labor Cost.  The cost to operate in the Kansas City metro is significantly less than some other major metros such as Chicago, Dallas or Los Angeles.
  5. Community. Kansas City is mainly comprised of the non-transient workforce who come to the region and choose to stay in the area.  A low cost of living, big-city amenities and small-town feel, along with jobs and schools all contribute to why potential employees stay.

Driver Shortages in the U.S. Trucking Industry

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By Brent Peterson – Vice President, Director of Industrial Brokerage

According to a recent USA Today article, “Trucking companies nationwide are about 60,000 drivers short; a gap that is expected to grow in the coming years and could threaten U.S. supply chains.”

The American Trucking Association warns driver shortages could reach six-figures by 2024.  As over the road, truckers continue to age and head into retirement, the question becomes who will continue to fill the need and what does the future of this vital industry look like?

There is a constant need to keep recruiting drivers given the shortage of drivers currently facing the truck industry.  While hiring, training and retaining drivers over the long-term is crucial and has its challenges, it all begins with the recruitment of the right candidates and giving them a reason to stay.  To this end, benefits for truck drivers have become more crucial than ever because all motor carriers are facing the driver shortage.  Above industry-standard benefits, could mean the difference between a fleet of drivers that stick around and one that leaves looking for better perks.

Consider these five benefits that could help the driver retention:

  1. Find ways to attract more drivers through incentives, including becoming their owner-operators, owning their rig and equipment and more workforce training.
  2. Make improvements in efficiency and comfort in big rig trucks.  Truck drivers spend a considerable amount of time in these vehicles. We need to ensure they are safe and comfortable.
  3. Consider having more distribution centers, smaller in size in more cities so truck drivers have fewer nights away from home, making their personal lives and lifestyle less disruptive.
  4. Have more teams of two people driving together to relieve each other and make the job less lonely. Isolation is a huge reason for the turnover in the trucking industry.  Setting up a team environment could ease the burden of individual drivers.
  5. Start paying more money with more competitive retirement packages and health benefits.

Banksia Announces Second Location & New Restaurant in the Board of Trade Building

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Banksia Owners announce second location in the South Plaza Area and New Restaurant in the Board of Trade Building

Banksia Holdings, LLC. announced  the signing of two leases today in the Board of Trade Building at 4800 Main St, to result in two new South Plaza restaurants, Banksia and Duck & Roll.

Banksia is an Australian Bakehouse and Café known for its unique breakfast and lunch menu, as well as baked goods and pastries. The original location was established in 2018 and is located at 105 W 9th Street, in the historic Crosby Hotel, and has received national acclaim and was recently featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives in August 2019.

Banksia is expected to open in early 2020, serving breakfast and lunch seven days a week. In addition, the new location will launch a dinner menu based on the share-plate concept that was successfully tested in their downtown location. Banksia also expects to have a full liquor license with bar seating. The 2,300 sq ft space is expected to hold approximately 80-90 people.

“Banksia was borne out of a passion for bringing Australian influenced food from the amazing café scene of our home country and has quickly become a huge hit with Kansas Citians. In fact, it has become so popular that we quickly realized we needed a second location to cater to our burgeoning customer base and felt that the South Plaza area was ideal for our first expansion,” said Robert Joseph, Banksia founder, and CEO.

Duck & Roll will be located next door in a 2,500 sq ft space and will be open for Lunch and Dinner, 7 days a week. The restaurant will seat around 50 people at the restaurant and will also have a strong focus on carry-out and delivery. 

“We are excited to announce the opening of Duck & Roll serving Chinese BBQ, Dumplings, and a Wok & Noodle Bar. We expect to be open before Christmas and can’t wait for people to try our tasty Cantonese menu, including Peking Duck, Char Siu Pork, and an array of steamed dumplings, noodles, and fried rice dishes,” said Joseph.

Joseph, along with business partner and spouse Kate Joseph, and business partner Erika Vikors, are all from Australia originally and were instrumental in the development, expansion, of Banksia, and launch of Duck and Roll, as were AREA Real Estate Advisors who served as a broker and now landlord in the contract.

“Duck and Roll is bringing a popular cuisine from larger markets such as Sydney and San Francisco to Kansas City and we could not be more excited to add that to the South Plaza line-up,” said Tiffany Ruzicka, vice president at AREA Real Estate Advisors. “Banksia is a downtown destination and their Australian inspired concept and cuisine is a perfect fit for the south plaza restaurant row of unique, locally owned establishments.”

To download the Board of Trade marketing package, please click here. For further details of this transaction, please contact Tiffany Ruzicka.

Coming south of the Plaza: Australian restaurant, Chinese BBQ-dumplings-noodles concept via The Kansas City Star

LightwellKC – Parking in Downtown Kansas City

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Downtown KC has more parking than anywhere in the city. With over 2K spaces within a 2 block radius of lightwell and immediate streetcar access, parking downtown has never been easier. Discover why dynamic companies are choosing lightwellKC!

For lightwell marketing materials, click here, or visit their web site,