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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4 comments

  1. Farmer Ted says:

    > It will house an online sales fulfillment business, developers said tonight, although they did not mention the future tenant’s name.

    Just a guess, but Amazon.

  2. Carol Rasdall says:

    I would like to know how this is going to effect traffic on 65Th St.
    It is already a very busy street.

  3. Carol Foster says:

    How does this equate to raising property appraisals and then learning that everything east of 72nd St is going to be torn down, which is all residential homes that have been here for way over 35 years? I live west on 72nd St south of Riverview and if this occurs then I will have to look out of my home everyday and see an eyesore of industrial buildings for what? I have lived and was raised in KCKS all of my life. I am almost 60 years old. Kcks under Holland has fell apart and become nothing but a big money pit. On one hand you have farm animals abounding in this area but on the other hand they would rather take residential homes that have been here for a lifetime and put these stupid industrial areas into a residential area. What are you going to call this area? Now on one side of the street will be these big buildings that cause rats and mice to abound and then trash abounding everywhere on the other side. Where I live there are farm animals that are allowed to use my land anytime they want because I am disabled and not able to get outside without help. I cannot have a dog in my yard because years ago I was told my dog bit the neighbor kid who was beating my dog. This city is in shambles and is run by a bunch of either devils or Republicans. I worked all of my life and now have to deal with this. This is unreal. Protesting appraisal because it is industrial or it is the farm either has both cheaper taxes than what KCKS is trying to do.

  4. H. Church says:

    Carol Foster,

    To what are you referring? Are houses east of 72nd Street and south of Riverview Avenue slated to be torn down? Which homes? For what reason? Is this part of the Amazon Fulfillment Center development? I live on Riverview Avenue, very close to the northern entrance of Amazon and this is the first I’ve heard of this. The Riverview Avenue bridge has now been demolished. Riverview Avenue is now closed to thru traffic and any access to the Turner Diagonal. For all intent and purpose, I now live on a cul-de-sac / dead end. My tax assessment also increased this year by 9%, much like everyone else’s that I’ve spoken with. Of course, I am appealing my 2017 appraisal. You can appeal your appraisal too. No attorney is necessary. Maybe you can get your appraisal reduced. Fill out the back of your 2017 Appraisal and drop it off at the Appraiser’s office located at 82nd and State Avenue (Unified Government building, where you can also get your vehicle tags). The last day to file such an appeal is tomorrow: Monday, April 24th 2017.

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