New Office Building Planned for Kansas City

Jul. 4--The developers of a proposed 12-story office building near the Country Club Plaza think they have an edge on the competition: offering tenants the choice to buy or rent.

Their Promenade Tower proposal calls for demolishing the existing Holiday Inn at 45th and Main streets and replacing it with a building that would include 230,000 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of retail. The retail component calls for a grocery store and restaurant.

"We are actively marketing it now," said Michael T. Mayer of Colliers Turley Martin Tucker. "What we need is a 60,000- to 70,000-square-foot tenant to kick it off. We're in active negotiations with three of them right now."

While the Plaza area office market is the hottest in the metro area, commanding the highest rents and lowest vacancies, the Promenade project has significant competition.

H&R Block will vacate its 144,000-square-foot building at 44th and Main soon for its new downtown headquarters; the 16-story Plaza West building at 4600 Madison St. will lose a 130,000-square-foot tenant, Bernstein-Rein, when the West Edge project opens; and the West Edge itself will have 70,000 square feet of additional space to offer.

Mayer said the developers, who own the 3Ă‚Ľ-acre Holiday Inn property, plan to offer potential tenants the opportunity to buy a floor in the building or be partners in the project.

"Our angle here is giving people the opportunity to condo a floor or buying equity in a floor or the tower itself," he said.

Jeff Berg, one of the five developers who own a share of the Holiday Inn, said its setting would help sell it. He said the group can afford to be patient.

Besides him, the others in the group are Tom and Mike Boyd of Wichita; David Hickman of CB Richard Ellis; and Doug Gamble of Gamble Hospitality.

"The hotel is making money," Berg said.

<<Kansas City Star (MO) (KRT) -- 07/05/06>>