Two Projects Highlight Metro Kansas City Industrial Growth

In Lenexa, Kan., Block Real Estate started construction on the Lenexa Logistics Centre, a master-planned, Class A logistics park that will feature 10 buildings totaling 1.6 million square feet. And NorthPoint Development closed on its purchase of an 80-acre brownfield site in the Fairfax Industrial District in the northeast corner of Kansas City.

KANSAS CITY

The Kansas side of the Kansas City metro area is enjoying a surge of industrial activity, with the significant steps forward on two sizable projects.

In Lenexa, Block Real Estate Services, of Kansas City, Mo., last week started construction on the Lenexa Logistics Centre, a master-planned, Class A logistics park that will feature 10 buildings totaling 1.6 million square feet. The park will target users that need light warehousing and mid-bulk or bulk distribution space, said Block.

And NorthPoint Development, also of Kansas City, Mo., closed yesterday on its purchase of an 80-acre brownfield site in the Fairfax Industrial District in the northeast corner of Kansas City, Kan. The parcel, which formerly held a General Motors assembly plant, will become the Central Industrial Park, which is planned to be home to up to 1 million square feet of space in five to seven years.

Rail is a major factor behind the surging KC industrial market. A BNSF Railway intermodal center that will be completed later this year in Edgerton, Kan., has already begun driving industrial absorption and development in metro KC, according to a May 10 Kansas City Business Journal article. BNSF’s Kansas City container traffic reportedly is projected to grow from about 300,000 containers a year currently to more than 1 million annually in 20 years.

Lenexa Logistics Centre is being developed on 117.5 acres at the southwest quadrant of College and Renner boulevards. The site has rail service via Union Pacific.

Phase I will consist of six buildings totaling 1.04 million square feet on about 79 acres. Phase II, consisting of four more buildings totaling about 561,500 square feet, will start in 2017 or 2018, or sooner if the market warrants.

The first building will be a 260,000-square-foot spec structure and will include 32-foot-clear ceilings and cross-dock loading. A flexible design will let it accommodate light distribution, mid-bulk and bulk logistics users, as well as high-tech assembly, manufacturing or even a data center, according to Block.

The building will be equipped with an ESFR sprinkler system and an energy-efficient design with R-25 roof insulation and will be a potential candidate for LEED certification. It’s scheduled to be completed by June 2014.

The seller of the site that will become Central Industrial Park was the RACER Trust, an entity that was created, pursuant to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court settlement, to clean up and position for redevelopment properties and other facilities owned by the former General Motors Corp. before its 2009 bankruptcy.

Once the trust had established what the community wanted for the site, it reached out to more than 60 industrial developers throughout the United States, a RACER spokesperson told Commercial Property Executive. Four developers made purchase offers, and RACER narrowed the field to two prospects before selecting NorthPoint.

The developer will begin preparing the brownfield property and expects to begin construction of roads, other infrastructure and the first manufacturing facility in early October.

The brokerage team for the park is Mark Fountain and Nick Tinnell of Jones Lang LaSalle.