Large industrial project approved for Turner Diagonal

The Unified Government Commission tonight approved a $310.5 million industrial revenue bond issue for a large industrial project on the Turner Diagonal near Riverview Avenue in Kansas City, Kan.
Unified Government Administrator Doug Bach called it “one of the largest economic development projects in our community in a number of years.”
It will house an online sales fulfillment business, developers said tonight, although they did not mention the future tenant’s name.
The location is 130 acres south of I-70 on the Turner Diagonal corridor with access off Riverview Avenue and potential access off 65th Street, according to UG officials. It is located on rocky ground.
The project is now called RELP Turner LLC, and previously a different commercial-industrial development plan was approved last year at the site, according to UG officials.
The building now has a total of around 2.3 million square feet available in a single building, and includes a mezzanine area that expands the 856,000-square-foot area on the first floor. A previous plan from NorthPoint Development called for three smaller buildings at the site.
Jonathan Stites of Seefried Properties in Dallas, Texas, is managing the construction phase of the new proposal. The new owner of the development will be USAA Real Estate Co. of San Antonio, Texas, and they have a tenant in mind, said George Brajkovic of the UG’s economic development department.
Besides approving the $310.5 million resolution of intent to issue industrial revenue bonds, the commission amended and assigned the development agreement, and terminated the previous community improvement district.
The previous three-building project would have created about 600 new jobs, but this project would create more than 1,500 new jobs, according to Brajkovic. The building should be built within one year, he said, and there is a Kansas Department of Transportation grant of $7 million to redo the area infrastructure around the building.
The project has a 100 percent abatement. There will be a payment in lieu of taxes of $5,000 a year for 10 years. The project has a local, women and minority business enterprise provision, with a $1.68 million payment if goals are not met. Also, if there are not 1,000 jobs provided for 15 years, there will be a payment of $1.5 million, according to Brajkovic.
Brent Miles of NorthPoint Development said it was a unique circumstance.
“We’ve obviously invested a lot in your community, and have had a great track record in your community,” Miles said. “When approached about a potential sale, the first answer was absolutely no.”
But when they heard about the project parameters, they changed their minds, he said.
“This is a big project for your community, obviously it’s beneficial to us in a sale as well, but this is a big deal, when you look at the scale of a $300 million-plus project,” Miles said.
He said calling the ground a “goat path” was an exaggeration of how good the site was.
“There’s 30 to 38 feet of cut and fill across the site. We’re moving just under 1 million cubic yards, one of the largest dirt-moving projects,” Miles said.
Jonathan Stites of Seefried Properties in Dallas, Texas, said they have done several projects like this in the past several years.
“They’re exciting because they do have such an economic impact, both from a development-cost standpoint, but also because of jobs, a real impact in the community,” he said. “That’s always exciting to deal with because it’s more than just a big box.”
The building will serve the user as a great opportunity to generate commerce for the area, he said. It will have a lot of employees and some high-tech operations inside. The mezzanines will be for a lot of that high-tech, and material handling equipment, he added.
Greg Kindle of Wyandotte Economic Deveopment Council recalled planning for a development three years ago.
“We took a chance and pitched what was then known as Turner Woods,” he said. “We didn’t land that project, thank goodness, because what you have before you is such a substantially better project than what you had before you three years ago.”
The project was fast-tracked from a Monday night, June 6, standing committee meeting. Developers then said the reason they wanted it advanced quickly to Thursday night’s agenda was that they were trying to meet building deadlines, trying to get the building finished.
RELP Turner LLC, a real estate investment company, was registered as a limited liability company in the state of Delaware on June 1, 2016, when it was incorporated, and paperwork as an out-of-state corporation also was filed in Topeka on the same date. It lists its resident agent as Peggy Siefkin of San Antonio, Texas, at the same address as the USAA Real Estate Co.

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