More than 100 commercial real estate leaders gathered Aug. 25 at The Gallery in Kansas City’s Power & Light District for REjournals’ fifth annual Kansas City Commercial Real Estate Summit. And the focus of the event? Optimism.
Yes, Kansas City and its surrounding Missouri communities have seen their share of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic and, most recently, during the rise in cases caused by the Delta variant. But the CRE professionals speaking at the summit said that despite these challenges deals are still getting done.
Some markets — multifamily and industrial, in particular — are still booming. Industrial, in fact, is hot in the Kansas City area as the rise in online shopping inspires ever more companies to open new distribution centers in the area.
And next year? CRE pros filling the panels at the summit predicted that 2022 will be an even stronger year for the Kansas City market as the pandemic, hopefully, fades.
Speakers on the Multifamily and Adaptive Re-Use: Opportunities and Challenges panel had plenty of good news to share with attendees. This isn’t surprising: The multifamily market has remained a strong one in Kansas City, despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking on this panel were Jason Carter-Solomon, Senior Vice President of Commercial Banking with Landmark National Bank; Audrey Navarro, Managing Partner with Clemons Real Estate; Chip Walsh, Founder and Principal with Mercier Street; Jeff Stingley, Executive Vice President with CBRE; and Parker Webb, Chief Executive officer with FTW Investments.
Different sectors have been hit in different ways during the pandemic. That was evident during the Kansas City Market Update: Office, Industrial, Retail, Capital Markets, Investment panel. While the industrial market is soaring now, sectors such as office and retail face significant challenges as the pandemic drags on. Speaking on this panel were Sara Greenwood, Principal with The Greenwood Consulting Group; Alfredo Gutierrez, Founder and President with SparrowHawk; Sheryl Vickers, Chief Executive Officer with Select Sites, LLC; Josh Goldsmith, Senior Director and Kansas City Office Division Leader with Cushman & Wakefield; and Nathan Anderson, Partner with NAI Heartland.
Downtowns across the country have struggled mightily with COVID-19 as many companies continue to push a return to the office deeper into the year. But again, commercial deals are still taking place in the center of cities, something that the speakers on the Downtown and Suburban Development — Game-Changing Projects panel addressed. At the same time, commercial activity remains strong in suburban areas. Participating in this panel were Rita D’Agostino, Director of Real Estate Development with Opus Development Company; Aaron Mesmer, Senior Vice President for Development & Acquisitions with Block Real Estate Services; Mike Berenbom, Managing Partner with LANE4 Property Group; Chad Stafford, President with Occidental Management, Inc.; and Matthew Severns, Industrial Brokerage and Principal with Kessinger Hunter.
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