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KC Industrial Market Continues to Grow

by Morgan Bell | Nov 29, 2016

As reported in the Kansas City Star, General Motors is investing $55 million in a new operation that will employ about 500 workers at a building near its Fairfax assembly plant in Kansas City, Kansas. The 830,000-sq.-ft. industrial building under construction by NorthPoint Development in the Fairfax Industrial District will be used as a logistics optimization center that will help make its assembly plant operate more efficiently. The plant builds the Chevrolet Malibu and Buick LaCrosse.

The Kansas City market has seen a resurgence of industrial development in the last few months thanks to speculative development of industrial warehouse and distribution spaces throughout the Kansas City area. 9 million sq. ft. of speculative industrial space has been built in the KC region. It’s the type of risk-taking that’s not seen in other real estate sectors.

Earlier this year Amazon announced it would build fulfillment centers in Edgerton and Kansas City, Kansas, each hiring more than 1,000 workers. A number of factors have traditionally leaned in Kansas City’s favor in the industrial and manufacturing sectors, including ample rail lines and highway systems, and a central location - 85 percent of the United States population can be reached from a Kansas City location in two days or less.

Companies tied to the logistics and transportation industries have added 14,600 jobs in the metro area since 2009, according to Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics reported manufacturing jobs grew 2.2 percent metrowide from 2015 while the rest of the country saw a decrease in manufacturing jobs.  

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