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Kansas City's Unique Industrial Market

by Mary Rooney | May 09, 2023

The Kansas City region has the location, infrastructure and workforce to quickly respond to a variety of industrial market demands. 

  • Located in both the U.S. geographic center (Kansas) and population center (Missouri), KC is perfectly positioned in the nation’s heartland as a centralized inland logistics port. 

  • KC’s logistics infrastructure provides immediate access to all modes of transportation throughout the area, ideal for warehousing, distribution and manufacturing operations. Companies operating in the region include Ford, General Motors, Chewy, Urban Outfitters, Niagara Bottling, Melaleuca, Home Depot, Panasonic Energy and more. 

  • The diligent, Midwestern work ethic and access to education are just a few reasons why the workforce in Kansas City is one of the best in the country. There are several local training programs in the area focused on preparing the labor force for current and upcoming jobs in the transportation and logistics industry. 

With these unique factors, the Kansas City region is one of the most active industrial markets in the U.S., ranking No. 4 in the percentage of net absorption to market size, No. 5 in percentage of total deliveries to market size and No. 12 in percentage of under-construction square footage to market size (Newmark Q1 2023 report). With a unique mix of urban and rural sites that provides companies multiple real estate options, existing projects under construction are spread throughout the region. 

The KC market has seen multiple years of record industrial development, and construction continues to flourish throughout with a focus on Class A spec development and build-to-suit projects. 

  • Over the past 10 years the Kansas City market delivered more than 65.5 million sq. ft. of new industrial space. A total of 45.1 million sq. ft. (69%) was delivered on a speculative basis and 20.4 million sq. ft. (31%) was developed as a build-to-suit project. (CBRE Q1 2023 Report)

  • The Kansas City Industrial market has demand of more than 13 million sq. ft., pointing to continued strength in 2023. With nearly 7.7 million sq. ft. under construction and a total of 10.2 million sq. ft. of Industrial development expected to deliver in 2023, there will be continued options for tenants in the market.  (JLL Q1 2023 Report)

While there is uncertainty with the current macro-economic situation, the data indicates the Kansas City industrial market has not been overbuilt nor are there signs of a dramatic slowdown in interest. With the current and forecasted industrial activity, Kansas City will remain one of the strongest industrial markets in the country. (Cushman & Wakefield - Q1 2023 report)

About KC SmartPort 
Promoting the KC market’s status as a leading North American manufacturing and logistics hub, KC SmartPort is the region’s industrial business attraction organization, representing 18-counties in Kansas and Missouri. Read more about KC SmartPort.

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