Demand for Space Below Ground Is Increasing in Missouri; a Steady 65 Degrees
By Max Taves, November 26, 2014
It is easy to underestimate the size of the Kansas City, Mo., industrial real-estate market. That’s because a big chunk of it is hidden from sight — underground.
Occupying more than 21.8 million square feet, Kansas City’s industrial underground space—80 to 150 feet deep, in former limestone mines—is the largest in the U.S., comprising more than 7% of the metropolitan area’s total industrial area.
And demand for the space is growing, buoyed by resurgent manufacturing and expanding distribution centers seeking low-cost real estate requiring less energy to operate.
Next week, FoodServiceWarehouse.com, a restaurant-equipment supply company, will be moving into 475,000 square feet of space that sits more than 100 feet below the surface in a facility called SubTropolis, the largest underground industrial space in the U.S. Signed in May, FoodServiceWarehouse’s lease was the largest by square feet—above or below ground—in all of Kansas City last quarter and the second-largest this year, according to real-estate data firm CoStar Group Inc.
“It’s kind of what we call an underground city,” says Ora Reynolds, president of SubTropolis owner Hunt Midwest Real Estate Development. SubTropolis has 8.2 miles of paved roads, 2.1 miles of railroad tracks, more than 500 truck docks, 1,600 parking spaces and 50 million square feet of space below ground. It’s 6 million square feet of leasable space is fully occupied by 55 companies and their 1,600 employees. Go to WSJ.com for more…