Office | AREA Real Estate Advisors - Part 2

Grand Place Strives To Be Crossroads Art District Main Hub

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Grand Place, the $98 million redevelopment of the Kansas City Star building, is working towards being the next best thing in the Crossroads Art District, establishing a benchmark for leaders in innovation, business, design and community.

To make Grand Place unique for the Crossroads Art District, they will be putting aside 12,000 SF of free space for incubator artists to use for two years, creating a festival for the space, and incorporating commission pieces throughout the building. The commission pieces will include four nine foot chrome letters S, T, A and R that’ll be placed throughout the plaza, artwork commemorating the newspaper industry in the lobby, and a sculpture utilizing about 1,000 old valves removed during interior demolition. “The project is infused with art and the relationship with the Crossroads Arts Community as well as preserving the history of the building and the KC Star,” said developer Vince Bryant of 3D Development.

“We hope we can take this very large building and make it part of this annual festival and draw people in, very similar to the ArtPrize festival.”

Grand Place redevelopment is located between 17th & 18th Street on Grand Blvd. The redevelopment will include: a rooftop patio with bar and skyline views; a clubroom with breakfast and lunch service for tenants, guests and private events; a boiler room converted to an upscale barbershop, spa and locker rooms; a European style market and food hall with 15 kiosk kitchens, a bar, lounge and cafe; and finally a private plaza drive for guest arrival and pick-up items from the Market Place. Along with all of the main building amenities, the redevelopment will also include a future restaurant, office building and bank/retail site with an approved drive-thru.

Click here for the marketing package

To join the excitement, please contact AREA’s brokers:
Tim Schaffer – 816.876.2535
Sean Craven – 816.777.2838
Tiffany Ruzicka – 816.876.2513

To view the City Scene KC‘s take on the future and finances of the Grand Place, click here.

To listen to AREA’s podcast with Vince Bryant, click here.

The New Look of the Office Week

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Is the five-day office week over? The 2020 pandemic has many companies talking and thinking about what their futures will look like. Both working from home and being physically present in the office have their perks.  The rise in the technology for video calls and virtual collaboration has made the transition rather seamless for us.  However, we as humans miss and crave the in-person interaction.   The beauty of this “experiment” is that we can achieve the best of both worlds, but there will be a shift in the way we work.  Work in the office is for collaboration, innovation, and meetings, while our work at home is of a more focused nature.

AREA’s office broker, Hank Simpson, gives his take on what the future of the five-day office week will look like:

 “While the recent pandemic may have caused employers to adapt to a new way of doing business, I do not believe that it will change what we have come to know for centuries as the five day work week. In my opinion, I believe it only has changed the way in which the employees go about their average day-to-day tasks. During the mandatory work from home order, we all developed habits, routines, exercises, etc. that I believe will stick. Whether it be a mid-morning workout that used to take place after work, a lunch later in the day rather than the norm around Noon, an errand that we would typically put off until after work that was checked off the list mid-day; it seemed like for the first time ever the world was spinning with the mindset that all facets of your life could be blended together inside the typical “work hours” and everything was going to be alright.

 With that being said, I found myself working the “unusual hours” late in the evenings, after dinner, early mornings before the sun came up, and weekend hours, which typically are not what someone would associate with the “five-day office week”. The trend that I see happening due to this is a seven-day flex schedule. It allows the individual to have a little more freedom and control of their schedule so long as the productivity does not drop. As a broker who is around many business leaders day in and day out, I have heard numerous times that “sending our employees home to a more comfortable setting has increased productivity.” This news may be a bit uncomfortable for an office broker, but if we can help both large and small business owners evaluate efficiencies in the office environment of the future, we will adapt and find creative solutions that add value to our clients.”

To view the Kansas City Business Journal‘s take on the future of the office work week, click here.

A Need For More Office Space Post-COVID?

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Eric Schmidt

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, believes there will be a greater demand for office space after the COVID pandemic. He explains the need for social distancing within offices will create a desire for more space, contradicting widespread predictions of declining office space.

Schmidt, who appeared on “Face the Nation“, also believes global megacities’ densities will change as employees’ concerns effect where they are doing their business. “We’ve had this situation where people move to supercities in these incredibly concentrated ways. That will change in the next few years. You don’t need to be in the supercity in order to participate in the excitement of these supercities.”

“We’re going to have to think about hub-and-spoke systems where local people don’t travel so far because they don’t want to be in public transit for so long. So we’re going to have to really rethink how businesses operate. They need their employees back.” said Schmidt.

To read the full article in Business Insider, click here.

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.

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.