On the Commercial Side...
Everything in life they say is about timing. We all look back in hindsight and think, should we have done something when we did? What would have happened if I had waited to do that, or what if I had gone a different direction when I made a certain decision? Certainly I had many people ask me that when I joined ReeceNichols to start Reece Commercial in 2009. “You are starting a commercial real estate company in the worst commercial real estate time in recent history?” “You are starting a commercial company inside a residential company? Good luck with that.” My responses mostly centered on, “Anyone can start a business in good times. What’s the challenge in that?” So as Reece Commercial rolls into its 4th year in business, where are we as a company and where are we in the commercial real estate cycle?
We have had many great successes in our company, primarily with winning the Gold Award from Ingram’s Magazine this fall for Best Commercial Real Estate Company in Kansas City. That is a tribute to my team of agents that have been delivering a remarkable commercial real estate sale and leasing experience. We now have a team of 10 full time agents with a combined 250+ years of commercial real estate experience. We have approximately 300 listings in the Metro KC area. Every day I hear from other agents, prospects, and friends about how they see our signs everywhere! Our branding is working. The great news is that Reece Commercial has built its business foundation in the tough times and managed to be profitable in the process. (Profit is not a dirty word!)
Now we can benefit from the US economy recovering as we continue to grow our company. I have heard a statistic that 25-30% of the United States economy is driven by real estate. Our thanks goes out to our sister company ReeceNichols and all the companies that make up Home Services of America for driving the economic train in America. How do improving home sales help commercial real estate? When someone buys a new house what do they do? In the case of a resale, probably paint, new landscaping, bathrooms, kitchens, roofs, driveways, HVAC, electrical, and plumbing. So as all the associated trades get busier, the add new people to help them grow their business.
The next thing you know, they need more commercial real estate space, or perhaps they decide to buy a commercial building instead of leasing. As our new home sales pick up, all of the above applies, but you have the added impetus to commercial real estate. New subdivisions are coming on-line. Those new areas need grocery stores, dental offices, daycare, etc. That helps all of the associated businesses. People ask where Kansas City is growing. What are the hot spots? Truthfully, it’s all over the metro area. A few of the highlights are as follows. The intermodal developments in Gardner and in Grandview are huge for the metro economy. Another is Village West, where Cerner added 190,000 square feet of new offices and 4,000 jobs. Cerner announced its Bannister Mall plans which projects building a campus over the next 10 years of 4.5 million square feet that can house up to 15,000 employees. Teva built a new HQ in Overland Park, occupying 145,000 square feet.
AMC Theaters built a new HQ in Leawood, bringing in 400 jobs. Freightquote built a new HQ in Kansas City bringing in 1,000 jobs. Finally, there is the 3 million square foot Honeywell Plant in Grandview that has opened this year, bringing 2800 new employees. These employees have to eat, drive cars, get gas, and live somewhere - all are great things for the commercial real estate economy! We probably need to keep our attention on the new streetcar line and see what that does for the metro area. This week GSA announced its new office location next to Union Station.
One of the reasons they chose this location was its proximity to the streetcar line. While we are on the subject of Downtown, is it just me, or is there a lot of life downtown? We are developing a vibrant downtown with the Power and Light District, Kaufman Center, and loads of apartments and restaurants. I must say and fully believe that the bad times in commercial real estate are behind us (but not forgotten). There are so many things to be excited about in the Kansas City area that I can’t wait for in 2014 and beyond. Reece Commercial has a great foundation built; now it will be fun to see what kind of building we build on top of it!
What Ingrams' Says About Reece Commercial: