IN THE NEWS




Kansas

DOUGLAS COUNTY

Downtown Apartments

On a per-capita basis, Lawrence may
have a more happening downtown than KC, but it has the same concerns when it comes to residents. A developer has stepped up to address that with plans to turn the seven-story Allen Press building into 120 apartments and first-floor retail near 11th and Massachusetts Street. The project would include a 120-stall garage.

JOHNSON COUNTY

Southlake Tech on Market

A Boston-based real-estate investment trust is taking offers on a total of 1.67 million square feet of office and industrial space in the Southlake Technology Park and Lenexa Industrial Park sites in Lenexa. Common-Wealth REIT, then known as HRPT Properties Trust, bought the 40 buildings and two other area properties for $118 million in 2008. Southlake’s occupancy rate has fallen below 50 percent with the loss of Freightquote. The industrial park has fared better, now at 84 percent occupancy.

Senior Living Expansion

With 100 percent occupancy of the 226 current units at Tallgrass Creek, the owners of that retirement community have announ-
ced plans to add 87 independent-living apartments. The $13 million project, expected to be completed next year, will closely follow a $20 million project that will eventually add 28 assisted-living apartments, 28 memory-care apartments and 44 skilled-nursing units. The first phase of the project is expected to finish this month.

M&J Bank Parent Sold

Merriam-based Morrill & Janes Bank & Trust Co., which holds the oldest state banking charter in Kansas, has a new par-
ent. Heartland Financial USA, of Dub-uque, Iowa, has completed the purchase of Morrill Bancshares, a deal worth $55.4 mil-lion—$16.6 million cash, $38.8 million in shares of Heartland common stock. Morrill Bancshares’ $790 million in assets raises Heartland’s overall asset level to $5.7 bil-lion, and the move marks Heartland’s entry into the Kansas and Missouri markets.
Google to OP: Not Now Overland Park’s concerns over indemnification issues related to the planned arrival of Google Fiber had put Johnson County’s largest city on hold for the ultra-high-speed Internet service, at least for now.

SHAWNEE COUNTY

Goodyear Labor Pact

Union officials and management have reached a deal on a new labor contract at the Goodyear Tire & Rubber plant, one of the largest private employers in the county. The local agreement covered scheduling, work rules and other issues specific to the Topeka plant, which employs roughly 1,550 workers, 1,400 of whom are members of the United Steel Workers. They are represented by United Steel Workers Local 307.