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Office | AREA Real Estate Advisors

3 Main Takeaways from KC’s Downtown Office Summit

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Kansas City’s fifth-annual Downtown KC Office Summit was held this week, where local and national retail experts gathered with an overall confidence that Downtown is strong and  promising growth ahead.

Speakers at the summit, held at The Gallery event space in Kansas City Power & Light District, highlighted new and future projects as well as local and national trends. Here are three major takeaways from the event.

The wind is at the office market’s back. 

Office leasing is on track nationwide to recover by 3Q of 2022, with rent growth to follow in 2023. Revathi Greenwood, global head of data and insights for Cushman & Wakefield in Washington, cites technology, health care, insurance and finance industries as drivers for this recovery.

New office projects with quality, safe, amenitized infrastructures are attracting talent, creating a place where they can socialize and be fun as well as work and be creative. Companies have a desire for strategic, high-end downtown locations with quality spaces and amenities. There are several large office developments in progress as well as unique office conversions, such as Grand Place and Corrigan Station. We’ve also seen recent office renovations at 2345 Grand, Town Pavilion and lightwell buildings.

Projects continue coming down the pike.

Large developments on Kansas City’s horizon include the Kansas City International Airport’s new $1.5 billion terminal (March 2023), The Kansas City Current’s (NWSL) $70 million, 11,000-seat stadium at the Berkley Riverfront (est. 2024 opening), and the 3.5-mile southern extension of the streetcar line to the University of Missouri-Kansas City along with a half-mile riverfront service (early 2025).

Another large project is South Loop Link, the proposed 4-block public park deck above Interstate 670, that cuts through downtown between the CBD & Crossroads Art District. The Downtown Council is applying for a grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation, matched with funds from local sources to pursue the project.

Downtown’s population could continue to balloon.

The Kansas City region ranks eighth among 38 major metro areas for migration gains since the onset of the pandemic. The city’s downtown population has also increased from less than 10,000 residents 15 years ago to more than 32,000, on track to increase past 36,000 by 2025. Kansas City has a real opportunity to capitalize on the post-pandemic relocation with its geography, quality of life, cost of living, educated workforce and status as a national transportation hub.

To read the Kansas City Business Journal’s full recap of the Office Summit, click here.

To contact one of AREA’s office experts for more information on the office market and office leasing/sales, click here.

Lightwell Climbs Into National Spotlight

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Lightwell KC climbs its way into the spotlight as it is featured in the newest Got Milk? campaign “You’re gonna need milk for that” promoting milk as the original sports drink and highlighting its natural nutrients that fuel performance.

The commercial features professional rock climber, Kai Lightner, scaling a 36-foot rock wall atop of the 30-story office tower. Along with Kai, creative director, Jimmy Chin, who directed the Free Solo documentary on Netflix was on site for the recording. The commercial will be released in a national media rollout across sports and lifestyle sites, outdoor and in-store advertising, athletic partnerships and more.

This opportunity for lightwell came at an ideal time, as the building’s $22 million renovations were just completed.  Included in those renovations is Haw Contemporary art gallery, which is located on the first floor. The art gallery features local artist Robert Bingaman, who is also a director and producer with Hollywood connections. A friend of Bingaman works at Stept production studio, a California-based studio, who was hired create the commercial. Stept was on the hunt for a high-rise building in a major city to serve as the backdrop, in which Robert suggested lightwell.

To see the Kansas City Business Journal’s coverage, click here.

AREA’s Tim Schaffer, Sean Craven & Hank Simpson handle the leasing for lightwell. Click here to for more information on the building as well as available space.

Smart Warehousing Moves Office HQ to Downtown OP

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Smart Warehousing will join MMGY Global & Wellington at Edison District in Downtown Overland Park. A warehousing and fulfillment company, Smart Warehousing will relocate its current office headquarters from Edgerton, MO.  It will move close to 70 employees to the new 16,000 SF space. The new location allows for continual company growth, while attracting top talent in a new setting. Smart Warehousing will maintain its warehouse space in Edgerton.

Smart Warehousing offers supply chain services to help clients meet their fulfillment needs. They accurately store, pick, pack, and ship products so customers can remain focused on their core business.  Aside from giving its employees a new setting, the company has implemented a growth strategy to increase revenues tenfold by 2025.

Downtown Overland Park has experienced a modern renaissance, becoming a major hot spot in Johnson County.  The main driver behind the Edison District Development has been not only to add more office space to Johnson County, but to add new energy to the area through its working professionals, retail venues and entertainment opportunities.  Smart Warehousing will bring just that and more. We look forward to watching their success unfold in their new space!

Click here for the Kansas City Business Journal’s article on Smart Warehousing’s move.

AREA’s Mary Crowe & Tim Schaffer handle the office leasing, and Tiffany Ruzicka and Rachel West handle the retail leasing at Edison District. To download the leasing package, click here.

Edisondistrict.com

Photo courtesy of The Opus Group.

Lightwell Completes Common Area Renovations

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Common area renovations are complete at lightwell in Downtown Kansas City! The 30-story office tower at 1100 Main Street has newly designed and furnished spaces for their tenants including 2 lounges, a training room, multiple conference rooms, and even an art gallery/event space.

The lounge/common areas boast a unique, vintage finish that serve as the perfect place to relax, entertain clients or host informal meetings. Large TVs, a pool table, vintage stereo system and a beverage station offer an array of amenities for lightwell’s tenants. The first floor welcomes tenants and guests with The Haw Contemporary Art Gallery, which features rotating exhibits, and serves as a large event space for up to 438 people. It will include a soon-to-be-announced coffee shop serving all of downtown.

SomeraRoad, lightwell owners, invested in video conferencing technology in all conference areas with state-of-the-art Audio Visual capabilities. Areas range from 6-48 person capacities.

The extraordinary design and construction team behind this work includes HOK Architecture, Hammer Out Design, JE Dunn Construction, Lankford Fendler and photographer Mike Sinclair (photos above).

AREA’s Sean Craven, Hank Simpson & Tim Schaffer are lightwell’s leasing team. AREA also handles all of the Property Management needs for the building.

To download the leasing package, click here.

lightwellkc.com

MMGY’s Office Open at Edison District

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After much anticipation, MMGY Global has opened its doors at Edison District! Here’s a peek inside their new 32,000 SF Kansas City headquarters in Downtown Overland Park. GastingerWalker led the charge with the build-out of the space, drawing inspiration from MMGY’s 9 other global offices. The space has a modern look with a variety of common areas mixed with more private space as well. Nexus5 Group was the contractor on the project buildout.

MMGY Global is the world’s leading integrated marketing company specializing in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries.

The Edison District is a mixed-use development that includes over 100,000 square feet of office, 10,000 square feet of retail, Strang Hall food hall, an outdoor event plaza, and a park; creating a truly walkable community. The 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.

AREA’s Mary Crowe & Tim Schaffer handle the office leasing, and Tiffany Ruzicka and Rachel West handle the retail leasing at Edison District. To download the leasing package, click here.

Edisondistrict.com