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Kansas City Animal Health Corridor - SubTropolis

SubTropolis emerges as leading logistics location for animal health industry

SubTropolis emerges as leading logistics location for animal health industry
Krista Klaus – MetroWire Media

Hunt Midwest SubTropolis is carving out a niche in the animal health logistics space, growing its veterinary industry footprint to 250,000 square feet. Over the past 12 months, three animal health companies – French veterinary pharmaceutical company Virbac, Ceva Animal Health, and IodiTech – have announced new or expanded warehouse and distribution operations in SubTropolis, which offers commissioned facilities in a naturally cool underground environment.

SubTropolis is the total package for animal health companies and their unique requirements for product safety and climate control, providing significant operational cost efficiencies,” said Hunt Midwest President and CEO Ora Reynolds.

Virbac is currently consolidating its North American product warehousing and distribution operations in the underground business complex. According to Virbac President and CEO Paul R. Hays, the SubTropolis location will help the 8th largest veterinary pharmaceutical company better align itself within the Kansas City Animal Health Corridor, which churns out more than half of the sales generated by the global animal health industry.

“By bringing processes and people together at this Kansas City facility, we are boosting collaboration and efficiency within our manufacturing operations,” Hays said.

In addition, Ceva Animal Health and IodiTech Inc. both announced expansions in the Energy Star rated facility over the past year. Hunt Midwest Vice President Mike Bell attributes SubTropolis’ success in the animal health space to a “compelling value proposition” for companies that must adhere to industry product standards by maintaining strict temperature and humidity levels.

“The underground’s protective layer of limestone essentially offers ‘natural’ cooling that saves companies between 70 and 80 percent on utilities and equipment compared to a building on the surface,” Bell said. “There’s an ‘Aha Moment’ when companies fully realize how a SubTropolis location can substantially improve their bottom line.”

Ceva Animal Health is a case in point. CEO Craig Wallace says that consistent conditions and the ability to easily expand underground were two key reasons Ceva chose SubTropolis for a new North American warehouse and distribution center in 2015. Within a year, Ceva had outgrown its space and was able to quickly scale up to meet ongoing demand.

“The underground location is a great solution for Ceva’s current and future warehousing needs,” Wallace said. “As we add products and expand into new categories, we require scalable space and partners like Hunt Midwest who can accommodate our growth and evolve with us.”

Kansas City-based IodiTech Inc. opened a distribution operation in SubTropolis in 2016. The company manufactures and ships a variety of iodine derivatives – including animal feed minerals – throughout North America and the world.

“The ability to ship to up to 85 percent of the U.S. within two days was of critical importance,” IodiTech President Curtis Thomas said. “Our location in SubTropolis is the perfect complement to our nearby manufacturing facility.”

The growing collection of animal health assets within SubTropolis is creating an “industry cluster within a cluster” for Kansas City’s Animal Health Corridor, which will hold its annual Animal Health Investor Forum and Animal Health Homecoming Dinner August 28-29.

“Hunt Midwest SubTropolis is a valued strategic partner as we work on behalf of the Kansas City Area Development Council to attract global animal health companies to the Greater Kansas City region,” said Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor.

FSW SubTropolis 475,200 SF facility

Virbac Selects SubTropolis for North American Distribution Center

Virbac Corporation Selects KC Animal Health Corridor for North American Distribution Center
Company consolidating distribution operations in Hunt Midwest SubTropolis for central location, flexibility
Ashlie Hand – Kansas City Area Development Council

Company consolidating distribution operations in Hunt Midwest SubTropolis for central location, flexibility
Virbac Corporation, one of the largest independent veterinary pharmaceutical companies in the world, announced today that it will consolidate its North American product warehousing and distribution in the KC Animal Health Corridor. The company will locate in an approximately 150,000-sq.-ft. facility in Hunt Midwest SubTropolis in Kansas City, Missouri.

“By bringing processes and people together at this Kansas City facility, we will be able to boost collaboration and efficiency within our manufacturing operations. By choosing this Midwest location, we’re better aligning ourselves within the animal health industry, and we’re excited to continue building a strong partnership with the KC Animal Health Corridor,” said Paul R. Hays, president & CEO, Virbac Corporation.

Virbac selected Hunt Midwest SubTropolis due to its central location, transportation access, and unique underground environment. SubTropolis offers operational cost savings with its constant temperatures that meets the climate-controlled requirements critical to Virbac’s business.

“The SubTropolis location presents an exciting opportunity for Virbac Corporation; it will allow us to be more responsive than ever and therefore provide better service to our customers, while also being able to accommodate the expected growth in our product lines,” said Michael Albo, vice president communications & customer service, Virbac Corporation.

The company expects to occupy its new facility in April and be fully operational before the end of the year.

“Virbac represents one of the most respected names in the global animal health industry and we are honored to grow its presence in the KC Animal Health Corridor,” said Kimberly Young, president of the KC Animal Health Corridor.

“The KC Animal Health Corridor is an important industry growth initiative of the Kansas City Area Development Council (KCADC),” said Tim Cowden, president and CEO, KCADC. “We are proud to have Kimberly Young representing our organization and our region in attracting global animal health companies to the Corridor.”

KCADC was proud to work with a number of regional partners in attracting Virbac to the region: Missouri Department of Economic Development; state of Missouri; city of Kansas City, Missouri; Clay County Economic Development Council; KCP&L; Block Real Estate Services, LLC (BRES); Hunt Midwest; and the KC Animal Health Corridor.

This will be Virbac’s second site in Missouri with its manufacturing operations located in Bridgeton.  In 2016, the company announced its decision to expand the plant in the St. Louis area where it currently employs more than 250 people.

“It is great to see a company continue to grow in our state and create job opportunities for Missouri families.  Missouri’s highly-educated workforce, commitment to scientific advancement, and expertise in the manufacturing sector has made us the top destination for research and production in both animal health and plant science,” said Acting Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development Mike Downing.

About the KC Animal Health Corridor
Companies with a business location in the KC Animal Health Corridor account for more than half of the sales generated by the global animal health industry. The Corridor, anchored by Manhattan, Kansas, and Columbia, Missouri, is home to more than 300 animal health companies, representing the largest concentration in the world. For more information, visit KCanimalhealth.com.

About Virbac
Founded in 1968 by a French veterinarian, Virbac is an independent laboratory that has always been dedicated to animal health. Currently ranked 8th worldwide, the company is present in more than 100 countries, offering a comprehensive and practical range of products and services covering the majority of species and pathologies. Virbac innovation, based on both technological advances and listening to the customers, relies on reactive production facilities which met the highest international quality standards. For nearly fifty years, these specific features have allowed the company to build a personalized relationship with veterinarians and farmers in every country. Through this privileged partnership, in which social, health and environmental issues come together, Virbac contributes, day after day, to shape the future of animal health.

About Hunt Midwest
Hunt Midwest is a full-service real estate development company with a focus on industrial, commercial, retail, mission critical, multifamily, senior living and residential real estate. Its portfolio is anchored by SubTropolis, the world’s largest underground business complex. Hunt Midwest is a Kansas City-based, privately held company owned by the Lamar Hunt family. The Hunt family business is a diverse portfolio of entities involved in real estate, sports/media, energy/resources, private equity and investments. Marquee entities include the Kansas City Chiefs, Hunt Midwest, Hunt Southwest, FC Dallas Soccer Club, Toyota Stadium, Chicago Bulls and United Center.

About Block Real Estate Services, LLC (BRES)
BRES is a full-service commercial real estate company managing over 37.85 million square feet of retail, office, industrial property and nearly 7,500 units of multifamily property for equity partnerships and third party owners. BRES’s portfolio of services continues its role as the most comprehensive commercial real estate firm in Kansas City by providing and specializing in: real estate brokerage services, tenant representation, investment services, asset and property management, economic incentives consultation, financial services, construction and development services, and the Block Funds.