Tony Mueller, Director
GRS Group
(312) 476-7621
tmueller@grs-global.com

GRS Group is on a growth path, and recently added a new executive to its GRS | Title team, in the Kansas City, Mo., area. Tammy Stribling was recently named a director with the firm. Since she is based in Kansas City, where GRS has opened its first office, we thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up with the commercial real estate growth in that dynamic commercial real estate market.

Kansas City, Mo., and its surrounding suburbs and towns in both Missouri and Kansas, has a metropolitan area population of about 2.1 million people. It’s also home to several large corporations, such as Sprint Corp., Hallmark Cards, H&R Block and others. Along with the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, the MLB’s Kansas City Royals and a revitalized downtown with an ever-growing arts scene, the area has a lot going for it.

However, it doesn’t normally come up very high on the national commercial real estate radar screen.

That could change, though.

A report recently released by Dodge Data & Analytics on the 2018’s first half of construction starts in the country showed Kansas City with a 52 percent year-over-year gain. The only MSA that ranked higher out of 20 major markets studied was Boston.

Much of this development is taking place in the hospitality sector. The $325-million Loews Kansas City Convention Center Hotel broke ground in the spring and is planned to open in 2020 with 800 rooms. It is the largest of 15 hotels of different service levels that are scheduled to open between this year and 2020. Five are to open by the end of 2018.

Just south of downtown, Kemper Arena, which was a long-time sports and entertainment venue in the city, underwent a $39-million renovation and is now called Hy-Vee Arena. The new facility will be a multi-event sports and entertainment space, featuring retail stores and restaurants, when it opens in October.

On the development front, CVS has built a 762,000-square-foot distribution center in the north part of the metro area that will support 500 stores throughout the Midwest and employee about 300 workers. Kubota also announced plans to open two one-million-square-foot logistics facilities for its new North American distribution centers, in Edgerton, Kan.

Meanwhile, Johnson County, in the suburbs on the Kansas side, is seeing several apartment,   retail, office and recreational facilities developments underway.

A Newmark Grubb Zimmer report on the Kansas City office market says that rental rates have risen 19 consecutive quarters as of the close of this year’s first half. Year over year, vacancy rates dropped from 10.2 percent to 9.4 percent during the second quarter. Asking rents hit an average of $20.03, up from $19.24 2017’s Q2, with the highest rents being enjoyed in Johnson County.

About GRS Group:  
GRS Group is a leading provider of commercial real estate (“CRE”) services worldwide. With offices across the United States, Europe, and affiliates around the globe, GRS Group provides local market knowledge with a global perspective for institutional real estate investors, occupiers and lenders worldwide. The GRS Group team has evaluated and advised on over $1 trillion in CRE transactions.