Putting the Pieces Together - Gladstone and developer CBC Real Estate Group work with academic institutions to create a new model for public instruction. What began as a conversation over coffee soon blossomed into one of the largest office projects in the Northland in recent years. The Northland Innovation Campus (NIC) was the vision of two leaders - Kirk Davis, Gladstone's City Manager and Dr. Todd White, former Superintendent of North Kansas City Schools.
Each had an idea of how to leverage the strengths of the other to bring their unique vision to life, and as simple conversations often do, the ground work was laid for the NIC on that very day in 2013. For Davis, the City of Gladstone had already embarked on an ambitious redevelopment agenda, which resulted in the construction of a state-of-the-art community and aquatics center, a new civic plaza called Linden Square and a new apartment destination for the Northland - The Heights. The NIC was to be yet another chapter in Gladstone's real estate renaissance. For White, the ability to increase the school district's square footage for classroom space and additional programming was ideal. "Leasing space not only provides a learning environment tailored to the specific needs of such programs, but it also helps address some of our crowding issues across the district," said White. "With more open classrooms, we can hire more teachers and lighten the load on class sizes."
The City of Gladstone issued an RFP for developers in early 2014, and following several rounds of interviews, CarrBaierCrandall (CBC) Real Estate Group, a full-service commercial real estate development firm located on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City Mo., was selected. Established in 2010 and led by Kansas City real estate veterans, Dan Carr, Rick Baier and Bill Crandall, experience working on some of the metro's highest profile projects like, Village West and the Sprint Campus, is not uncommon for CBC.
"Our firm has been honored to be a part of a great deal of the progressive development work occurring in the Northland such as the Liberty Triangle and The Shoppes at Shoal Creek Village. To add the Northland Innovation Campus to our resume is extremely gratifying," said CBC Principal, Dan Carr.
The NIC was further buoyed this past spring when Northwest Missouri State University announced it would occupy the fourth floor of the campus. According to the university, the NIC will have, "A number of offerings including seven undergraduate completion programs in the areas of recreation and wellness, elementary education, special education, early childhood, computer sciences, business and marketing along with graduate programs in education and business. Northwest also will offer dual credit coursework as part of its partnership with Northland Center for Advanced Professional Studies (CAPS)."
Northwest President, Dr. John Jasinski, speaking at the Northland Innovation Campus groundbreaking ceremony on May 19 said, "We are proud of this public-private partnership and know this is a significant, but only one piece, to our disrupting from a position of strength as we drive continued strong performance, connect to and implement strategy, accentuate strengths, ensure relevant profession-based learning and provide for organizational viability and vitality."
"Northwest is delivering significant economic value within the green and white circle per our recent third-party economic impact study and our Northland Innovation Campus will enhance the economic value proposition while serving the needs of students, employers and the region," Jasinski concluded.
A drive by the construction site at 69th and North Oak Trafficway shows the progress that has been made despite near record-breaking rainfall in the region. Foundation walls have been installed and the steel erection has started on the first 3 floors. Major completion and installation of tenant furnishings is projected for summer 2016, just in time for the start of the fall semester. Plans for a Phase 2 are currently being evaluated by CBC and the development team, which includes Hoefer Wysocki Architects, McCownGordon Construction and BHC Rhodes Civil Engineering.