The 18-story office and garage tower under construction at 14th and Baltimore originally intended to be Waddell & Reed’s headquarters has been renamed “1400KC” and is being marketed nationally by CBRE.
The $148 million development is expected to be available for sublease and tenant improvements by April 2022, according to a CBRE press release.
Local economic development officials believe having the 260,000 square-feet of premium office space available on relatively short notice to tenants should help the downtown office and job market.
The construction of more quality speculative office space has been an important goal of downtown advocates for several years.
“1400KC is an excellent addition to the Kansas City region’s Class A office market and an exceptional option for out-of-market employers considering a highly attractive region for tech and high-growth companies,” Tim Cowden, president and CEO of the KC Area Development Council, said in a statement.
The project is being developed by a joint venture comprised of Burns & McDonnell and Financial Holding Corp., an entity controlled by Michael Merriman. It had been intended to be the headquarters for 900 employees of Waddell & Reed.
The firm had signed a 15-year lease with the developers, but the company was acquired last December by Macquarie, and Australia-based global financial firm.
Macquarie then laid off more than 200 Waddell & Reed employees and announced in March it would not be occupying the building.
Bob Fagan and Matt Eckert of CBRE have been assigned the marketing and leasing for 1400KC.
“A property of this quality and size will draw national attention because of the available employment resources,” Fagan said in a statement.
The tower will be eight stories of office space atop at 10-story, 913-space garage. The lobby itself will be on the 10th floor accessed by either the garage or an elevator lobby at ground level.
That design was criticized by many for being too car-centric and turning its back on its downtown surroundings, particularly at pedestrian level–it has one, small street-level retail space at 14th and Baltimore.
The City Council approved a six-year property tax abatement at 75 percent and nine years at 37.5 percent in December 2019. The development received a sales tax exemption on building materials as well.
In its marketing materials, CBRE notes the building has one of the highest parking ratios of any office building in the central business district, 3.5 spaces per 1,000 square feet of office. There will be three driveways accessing the garage.
It added the building will be close to the streetcar and the garage will have 50 electric charging stations.
Each of the 34,000 square-foot office floors will have two outdoor spaces and there will be a penthouse outdoor gathering area, according to CBRE.
The marketing materials note 1400KC’s “branding opportunities” include exterior signage visible to over 110,000 vehicles daily passing by on the South Loop. The building also will feature soundproof garage on the side overlooking the freeway.
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