Bayer Selling Buildings
Bayer HealthCare has announced plans to sell two manufacturing facilities in St. Joseph, following a transition of workers into sites acquired with the 2013 purchase of Teva Pharmaceuticals. Officials hope to use the vacated properties to strengthen the city’s ties to the animal-health sector, and they believe Bayer won’t be reducing the work force there.
Citing a total of $280 million in development projects slated for Liberty this year, Mayor Lyndell Brenton said the city would continue to emphasize the kinds of pubic-private partnerships being used in a number of developments around the city. Among them are the $100 million Liberty Commons shopping area, a $5 million downtown redevelopment, the South Liberty interchange, and the industrial partnership with LMV Automotive, a $115 million expansion of the vehicle parts supplier’s facility.
Efforts to proceed with a 37-acre commercial development will have to wait until the Kearney Area Development Council hears from engineers on alternatives to building a detention pond that could affect the flow of a nearby stream. If built as envisioned for a new business park, the pond would require that an additional $100,000 in mitigation fees be paid to the Army Corps of Engineers, but relocating it, officials say, is likely to entail a similar amount in additional site preparation work.
Logistics Company Expands
KC’s credentials as a center for logistics operations have been further bolstered with the decision of Minneapolis-based Murphy Logistics to quadruple its footprint here with two new logistics campuses. The locations, at 6000 Stilwell St. and 1902 Warren St. N., add 150,000 square feet of operating space and rail access for the company. In 2012, Murphy made the first expansion outside of Minnesota in its 110-year history, opening a 50,000-square-foot facility in the Paseo Industrial District.
Officials in Grandview have approved a $75.7 million redevelopment of the Truman Corners shopping center, which will be remade into a retail center called Truman’s Marketplace. The project calls for 586,620 square feet of retail space, anchored by a 190,000-foot retail store. The Board of Aldermen signed off on Red Legacy’s modified plan, which cut public financing by $4.5 million and scales back the amount of demolition.
Building Boom Looms
Kansas City has completed its two-year, $40 mil. Twin Creeks sewer expansion project in Platte County, paving the way for development that officials believe could yield 70,000 new residents if a building boom. Most of the 13,000 acres serviced by that project are bounded by the two interstate highways, 435 and 29, and by Missouri 152 on the south and U.S. 169 on the east, and represent a long-term enrollment gain in the Platte County R-3 school district.
Hallmark Adding Work
A Hallmark subsidiary in Lawrence that absorbed work when the company moved production from its Topeka plant in 2012 will pick up additional work—and employees—with the closing of a facility in Georgia. Only about 10 of the 50 employees of the Litho-Krome plant in Midland, Ga., will receive offers to relocate to Lawrence, but the company has not said whether it will need additional workers to handle that production at the plant in Lawrence, which has more than 700 people on the payroll.
Civic Center Contract
The Lenexa City Council has hired J.E. Dunn Construction to build a $65 million civic center that will include new City Hall offices, a 100,000-square-foot community center and retail tenants, along with a five-story parking garage for 500 vehicles. Construction on the Lenexa Civic Center is expected to begin this summer and the work is slated to finish in the spring of 2017. The five-acre site sits within the Lenexa City Center tract, a 240-acre development that will include the new headquarters for Perceptive Software, a new Hyatt Place hotel, and residential developments.
No. 1 and 2—Again
Last year, Barron’s ranked Creative Planning and Mariner Wealth Advisors as the top two wealth management firms in America, and those same firms, both located in Leawood, have pulled off that feat again. Since achieving that recognition, assets under management for each firm have soared: Creative Planning has gone from $6.89 billion last March to $12.1 billion, while Mariner’s have gone from $23.2 billion to $35.17 billion.
KDOT Eyes Logistics Hub
The Kansas Department of Transportation is exploring the feasibility of a freight-transfer hub that could handle traffic bound for the highways as well as the railways. Working with consulting engineering HDR, a KDOT advisory committee recently began looking at options for the center and defining the criteria it would need to allow businesses to make the switch in mode of transportation as goods come into the nation’s heartland.
DFA Deal Approved
Officials with Unified Government have signed off on a 10-year, 75 percent tax abatement offered Dairy Farmers of America as part of its headquarters move from Platte County. DFA will invest $20 million to bring more than 300 employees to western Wyandotte County in a new, 100,000-square-foot building near Village West. Construction is expected to be complete in the fall of 2016.
CEOs Optimistic on Sales Outlook
Just as the Labor Department was announcing that the U.S. unemployment rate had fallen to 5.5 percent for February, an influential group for business executives released a survey that said the outlook for sale over the coming six months is at its highest level in three years. The first-quarter CEO Economic Outlook Index, produced by the Business Roundtable, provides a picture of the future direction of the U.S. economy based upon plans that its member executives have for sales, capital spending and hiring. In it, those executives said they anticipate 2.8 percent GDP growth this year, up 0.4 percentage point over their projection from the fourth quarter of 2014.
Brownback Makes Tax-Cut Pitch
Dozens of members of the General Assembly made the trip from the state capital to St. Louis earlier this month to hear Gov. Sam Brownback of neighboring Kansas talk about the impact of income-tax cuts for individuals and small business owners in the Sunflower State. Among them were heads of budget committees in the House and Senate, who heard Brownback talk about both the downside of the cuts, including a short-term $600 million budget gap that had to be closed, as well has his hopes for long-term growth that would more than compensate for the reductions. Brownback spent an hour outlining the tax-cutting strategy at the Show-Me Institute, a conservative think tank, arguing that Kansas needed bold action to reverse a decades-long decline in population across most counties in the state.
Logistic Hub Study in Works
The Kansas Department of Transportation is exploring the feasibility of a freight-transfer hub that could handle traffic bound for the highways as well as the railways. Working with engineering firm HDR, which is consulting on the proposal, a KDOT advisory committee recently has begun looking at options for the center and defining the criteria it would need to allow businesses to make the switch in mode of transportation as goods come into the nation’s heartland. There is no timeline for the project, but the advisory group is tasked with determining potential locations and reviewing whether existing infrastructure, including utilities, can support the project.