River Market Lands New Office Tenant

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WSP USA cited the nearby River Market streetcar stop as one of the reasons for opening its new office in the 3Y building seen in the background. (Photo from WSP USA)

WSP USA, an international engineering firm, has opened a 42-person office in the River Market, encouraging news at a time when downtown officials are striving to attract more private employers.

The firm has leased space in the 3Y building at 300 Wyandotte, bringing it close to 90 percent occupancy. The former Populous building opened in 2005, but was left mostly vacant when the sports architecture firm relocated to new digs in the South Plaza in 2015.

It was purchased in August 2016 by New York-based Somera Road and rebranded 3Y. Somera Road also has purchased and plans to renovate the City Center Square office tower.

WSP has had operations in the Kansas City metro since 2001. It currently employs 70 engineers, planners and scientists in the metro with the bulk now working in the new River Market space, according to a press release from the firm.

“When we considered our new office space, we wanted a location that would help better serve our growing client base in the region, and one that would be a collaborative, comfortable and inspiring work environment for our staff,” Agnes Otto, senior area manager, said in a statement.

“We are excited about our location because it’s within a reasonable commute time for all of our team, and there are plenty of walkable options for lunch or after work activities,” she said.

“We also wanted our staff to be able to take advantage of transit options like the nearby streetcar stop.”

The Kansas City office serves WSP transportation and infrastructure operations in Kansas, western Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa and Oklahoma.

Among the firm’s local projects have been a feasibility study for the proposed extension of the streetcar to Berkley Riverfront Park; the design of the 87th Street and I-35 interchange in Lenexa; the Midtown Complete Streets Plan for the City of Kansas City, and a four-story addition to Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park.

In her statement, Otto said the design of the building also met her firm’s environmental goals.

“The building we’ve moved into was built using sustainability standards that were very appealing to our firm, including daylighting and an open plan format,” she said.

The 3Y office building at 300 Wyandotte originally was built for Populous architecture in 2005.

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