DTC celebrates with business intelligence + reception
- Reality One: Demand for office space is accelerating – An improving economy paired with strong office-using employment growth is driving office space demand. Leaders recognize the value of bringing employees together, even if less frequently. Tenants are taking advantage of a favorable market with an eye to long-term space needs, especially in the technology, financial services, healthcare, and life sciences industries.
- Reality Two: Hybrid is here to say – Now is the time to embrace hybrid; close expectation gaps between leaders and employees; and cultivate a common understanding to optimize employee experiences. Organizations must answer “What does hybrid mean for us,” or run the risk of eroding employee engagement and business performance.
- Reality Three: The role of the office has changed – Culture, collaboration, and innovation now drive the office purpose. As offices and portfolios built for another time catch up to new needs, it is forcing different kinds of business conversations and relationships between leadership, and employees around the workplace.
- Shortest commute times of any major city in the United States
- 8th hottest job market in the U.S. by The Wall Street Journal and Moody’s Analytics
- 55% of all employees in Kansas City have returned to the office, ranking KC 5th among the largest cities in the United States. This data was collected by Kastle, which collected key card swipe data from office buildings and workplaces.
Tommy Wilson, who oversees business recruitment for the DTC, added to Kerr’s data by reporting that more than 70 businesses have either relocated or renewed their lease in Downtown Kansas City since March 2020. In addition, more than 50 new retailers have opened throughout Downtown neighborhoods and districts.
“This growth in the midst of the pandemic speaks loudly to Downtown Kansas City’s resilience,” Wilson said. “Together, these businesses are moving Downtown forward and setting the stage for an exciting future.”
For a full list of businesses that opened during the pandemic, visit the DTC’s new webpage – downtownkc.org/welcome-back/.
The panel was led by Christina Franklin, Director of Interior Design, at Generator Studio. Christina has considerable experience working with companies across the country, as they make decisions on how to return to the office.
The panel featured three Downtown leaders, including:
- Vince Bryant, Founder of 3D Development. Vince is currently redeveloping the former Kansas City Star headquarters at 18th & Grand into a new mixed-use building. Grand Place will be the first WELL Certified building in the metropolitan region.
- Kevin Kramer, Kansas City Market CEO, BOK Financial. BOK Financial is expanding its Downtown presence and designing a new office building at 17th & Grand.
- Shawna Wright, Director of Talent Management, Commerce Bank, one of Downtown’s largest employers. Shawna provided insights about how Commerce navigated the pandemic, stayed connected to their employees while they were working from home, as well as how they rolled out a strategic return-to-the-office plan.
- BOK Financial – BOK Financial purchased part of the Grand Place redevelopment site at 17th & Grand in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District. They will build a new 10,000-square-foot, two-story building and be part of the Grand Place campus.
- Menlo – In 2019, Menlo, a growing tech services company, purchased and renovated the 22,000 square foot former Derma Doctor building at 19th & McGee in the Crossroads. The building was nearly five times larger than their former office in the Northland to accommodate their growth. Currently employing 65 people, Menlo plans to grow to more than 100 employees over the next 5 years.
- State Street – State Street, one of Downtown’s larger employers, has been located in Quality Hill for the past 25 years and recently renewed its commitment to Downtown by announcing they will move into WeWork inside Lightwell at 12th & Main. They will now occupy 30,000 square feet at WeWork to accommodate their new hybrid working model.
5 to know: Downtown KC in the news