Overland Park, Kan., March 23, 2009 -- Black & Veatch has announced one of the largest real-estate transactions in the Kansas City region with an agreement to purchase the 11401 Lamar Avenue building in Overland Park, the world headquarters for the engineering, consulting and construction company.
Black & Veatch's announcement comes as a strong boost to the local economy during a time of increased uncertainty. The company's site development, enhancement and expansion plans provide an opportunity to stimulate the region's economy.
"This is a strategic and vital long-term decision that helps facilitate the efficient management of our growing integrated global workforce and improve the company's financial strength," said Len C. Rodman, Chairman, President and CEO of Black & Veatch. "The company is well-positioned to help address the global demands for $42 trillion in infrastructure projects that are needed during the next 25 years.
"The state of Kansas and city of Overland Park were immensely helpful in working collaboratively with Black & Veatch to make this visionary plan a reality."
Kansas Lieutenant Governor Mark Parkinson said, "This is a great example of how, even in these tough economic times, companies that are looking to the future can not only survive, but prosper. Black & Veatch is leading the way, supporting sustainable jobs at their world headquarters right here in Kansas."
Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach added, "I want to congratulate Black & Veatch on the company's assurance to sustainability, whether economic, social or environmental, as it sets a standard for others to follow. The direction and commitment Black & Veatch has shown to Overland Park, the state of Kansas and the metropolitan area demonstrate innovative leadership."
Black & Veatch agreed to purchase the building for $60 million, and the company plans to secure financing through local banks to help facilitate the building purchase. The transaction will be finalized in mid-2009.
"This agreement allows us to implement at our world headquarters the same types of innovative and sustainable solutions we provide every day for our clients," Rodman said. "With guidance from Overland Park, we are now able to plan for an additional 250,000-square-foot complex on the site when needed for future growth, as well as formulating significant enhancements to the existing facilities."
Rodman added that the multi-phased site development, enhancement and expansion approach also demonstrates how the company tackles complex challenges.
"This decision to adapt an older facility to tomorrow's design standards brings a much larger technical challenge and will ultimately result in a more sustainable solution than constructing a new campus," he said.
The company's two-year real-estate analysis included evaluation of approximately 40 alternatives and resulted in a decision to purchase the existing site and begin innovative redevelopment of the existing building, as well as addressing the interests of Black & Veatch professionals currently in the facility.
Enhancements will include extensive workspace, common area and facility upgrades; improved HVAC and energy management systems; external landscaping and improvements in controlling storm water run-off and providing rainwater reuse systems. In addition, a solar courtyard, solar canopy, bio garden and an innovation pavilion are planned for the world headquarters.
"We now have the flexibility to begin making significant and sustainable building upgrades, an effort that will result in the development of a premiere facility serving as a benchmark for our future growth," said Rodman.
He added that the company has piloted many of the design concepts at its more than 100 global offices and will draw on its LEED-certified experts and architecture, engineering and construction talent to bring more innovative design concepts to the world headquarters.
Black & Veatch has been the sole occupant of the building since its original construction in 1976. The building was expanded to 600,000-square-feet in 1996 and is the largest office building in Kansas.
With a potential total of 850,000-square-feet in the campus, the site could ultimately accommodate a total workforce of more than 3,400. The existing facility currently houses more than 2,300 of the company's 3,800 workforce in the Kansas City area.