Market Tidbits

• Two metros, one region: Like two stars held in place by gravity, two major urban centers define Kansas City— a larger metropolis in Missouri and a smaller counterpart on the Kansas side. 

• Civil-War history buffs will immediately recognize the historical significance of that alignment, elements like the Border Wars, which still permeate life in the region today.

• The region also is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing the communities in Kansas to the north and sprawling suburbs of Clay and Platte counties from Downtown and KC’s historic roots in Jackson County. 

• Big urban, or small-town flavor, Kansas City has it all: The most populous county in the region is Jackson County, home to Kansas City, Mo., with nearly 688,000 residents. Neighboring Ray, Saline and Franklin Coun-ties, by comparison, have less than 26,000 residents.

• Surrounding the twin KC cores are nearly 50 cities, including suburbs, large and small: Kansas City, Mo., has four cities of 100,000 or more in population, four other cities have at least 50,000, and 10 with 20,000+.

• Seasons? We’ve got ‘em—four, in all, and they are entirely distinct. Winters can occasionally offer some bite with ice and snow, but in tolerable doses and rarely does snowfall for the season exceed 12”. Summers can be a hot and humid. Spring and Fall? This IS the place to be.

• How cold, and how hot? The average overnight low temperature in January is 17.8 degrees; the average daytime high in July is 88.8. And to be honest, we’d love to see more of that “average” during the summer.

• An estimated 60 percent of the nation’s animal-related research and commerce takes place within 100 miles of the Kansas City region’s borders.

• Nearby St. Joseph, Mo., is the beating heart of that animal-sciences beast; it has more than 5,000 jobs in animal pharmaceuticals, agriculture chemicals, food processing, animal research and development.

• Production workers here generate nearly 15 percent more added value per hour than the national average, studies have shown, explaining why Ford and GM continue to invest heavily in capital improvements here.

• Since 2002, an ongoing remake of Downtown Kansas City has yielded $7 billion in investment, a world-class performing-arts center, one of the nation’s busiest arenas, and a first-rate entertainment/retail district.

• The region’s logistics sector has undergone dramatic growth in the past decade, and for the first time, Kansas City is seeing construction of industrial facilities pushing beyond the 1 million-square-foot threshold.

• Kansas City is precisely in the middle of the U.S., but global commerce lives here: Greater Kansas City is the home to the nation’s largest Foreign Trade Zone.

• Civic leaders say Kansas City International Airport needs a new single-terminal structure, but what the city has now consistently ranks as America’s “most user-friendly” airport. Stay tuned for developments on how interests can work together in a new security environment.

• More tons of freight move by rail through Kansas City than anywhere else in the nation, and in terms of rail traffic, it’s the second-largest rail center in the U.S., only behind Chicago.

• The official lineup of 14 counties in the Metropolitan Statistical Area overlooks the economic reality that we abut both the St. Joseph and Topeka MSAs and form a sort of Super MSA, with a total regional population of more than 2.8 million.

• The Country Club Plaza is the crown jewel of retail and entertainment districts here, and it has a national reputation for the quality of consumer experiences. J.C. Nichols developed it from farmland in 1922, drawing its appeal from the structures in Seville, Spain. 

• Across this sprawling region, Kansas City has 30 percent more freeway miles per capita than any other comparable metropolitan area in the world. 

• The University of Kansas in nearby Lawrence has more than 28,000 students, including those in its medical and law schools; the University of Missouri system has one of its four campuses here, UMKC, with more than 16,000 students and four medical schools—for pharmacy, medicine, nursing and dentistry. 

• The Kansas City area also boasts three community colleges serving nearly 60,000 students, and more than two dozen public and private colleges or satellite campuses across the metro area, serving thousands more. At the K-12 level, more than 50 public school districts offer
high-quality instruction, as do more than two dozen
private schools. The Kansas City area offers a broad variety of exceptional education options in the K-20 spectrum.