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2020 a Record Year for KC Industrial Development

by Mary Rooney | Jan 12, 2021

2020 was a challenging year for a number of reasons. Most notably from a supply chain perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations and regions were forced to quickly pivot and adapt to the challenges they faced. In Kansas City, like the rest of the country, the industrial real estate and supply chain sectors saw significant growth. In fact, 2020 was a record year for industrial development and the attraction of freight-based companies across the KC region. 

On the industrial development front, close to 16 million square feet of new industrial development (build-to-suit and spec) was either completed or started construction in 2020.  On the attraction front, the trend toward increased capital investment continued, with the SmartPort team coming just shy of a record $1 billion in new capital investment with twelve projects selecting the KC region. The total payroll attracted to the KC region for 2020 was $123 million and 3,269 new jobs were created by these twelve companies. Capital investment for 2020 totaled $889.9 million.

KC SmartPort continued to lead the efforts to attract freight-based projects to the region. Companies including Dots Pretzels, Tuthill, Chewy, World Pantry, Urban, UPS, Phoenix Package Logistics, Project Frosty, BoxyCharm, Pretzels, Inc., Kenco Logistics and Melaleuca chose the KC region in 2020. Other notable companies that selected the KC region include Pepsico and Amazon, which announced an additional 1 million square foot facility.

Growth in eCommerce as well as food and beverage operations continued through 2020, and we will see the results of new attraction success early in 2021. These two industry sectors will be priorities in 2021 with increased focus on sub-sector targeting.

Kansas City is in a unique position to deliver speed-to-market solutions with ongoing speculative development occurring throughout the region. We expect continued growth in 2021, with the KC area remaining a leader in the industrial real estate market.

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