Feds Moving in Both Kansas Cities (Missouri and Kansas)

As we reported back in February, GSA has been planning to move about 1,000 employees from its Heartland Region Headquarters at the Bannister Federal Complex to leased space in downtown Kansas City, Mo.  Earlier this month (on Dec. 5), GSA announced that it is seeking 146,572 to 153,901 square feet of office space within the downtown area, which it defined as being bordered by I-70 on the north, 27th Street on the south, Campbell Street on the east and I-35 on the west. The agency informed potential landlords that it prefers vertically contiguous space and rules out long or narrow runs of space or other configurations that do not promote efficient use.

The deadline for expressions of interest is this Friday (Dec. 21), with formal offers due by around September 2013. GSA is seeking a seven- to 20-year lease, and expects employees to be moved into their new offices by December 2014, when the Bannister Complex is scheduled to close. The move is being seen as an economic boost for downtown Kansas City, Mo.

Meanwhile, downtown Kansas City, Kan. (KCK), lost a major federal agency when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) moved its Region 7 Headquarters—which had been housed in KCK’s Strawberry Hill neighborhood for about 20 years—to suburban Lenexa, Kan., on December 4. The move came after a long battle, in which county officials filed complaints and a lawsuit, then dropped the lawsuit last summer.  The new headquarters building is an adaptive reuse of the former Applebee’s headquarters, which has been redeveloped and is now certified LEED-Platinum. EPA expects the move to save the agency an estimated $22.5 to $25 million over 20 years, primarily through lower rent payments and operating costs.

About 90 EPA employees remain in downtown KCK at a specialized laboratory facility built specifically for the agency. The move leaves vacant the former EPA headquarters building at 901 North 5th Street.