KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s a new real estate listing for one of Kansas City’s most recognizable buildings. For sale or for lease, it’s the building formerly used to print The Kansas City Star newspaper.
The giant building is located at 1601 McGee Street. The newspaper still uses office space at the location but has previously announced its intentions to vacate the building by the end of 2021.
Certain things have already changed. For example, Kansas City Star newspapers are now printed in Des Moines and trucked in to subscribers early in the morning. The last newspaper printed at the building covered Super Bowl Sunday.
Previously reported by the Kansas City Star, the printing transition means 68 full-time and 56 part-time employees were planned to be laid off. These changes came as the Star’s parent company McClatchy filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection one year ago.
The building is the result of a $200 million investment. It was completed in 2006, according to the real estate listing.
Greg Swetnam, principal and director of office brokerage for Kessinger Hunter Commercial Real Estate, said to sell the space there will likely need to be changes to the property.
“With a 400,000-square-foot facility and the way that it’s designed because it’s free span in certain areas, maybe you go inside and create a building-in-a-building. Or an office where you float floors in the property as office space or a corporate headquarters scenario,” Swetnam said.
“This will be dismantled and sold or it will be left in place for someone who wants to print with it,” Dan Jensen said while pointing to the four printing presses that span two city blocks. Jensen is a principal and director of industrial brokerage and development, also at Kessinger Hunter.
“You have to look at it as a blank palate. it could be anything you want it to be,” Jensen said.
That is how the space is being marketed. It could be a data center. It could be apartments. It could be grocery store. Or it could be all of those things.
“People who are looking at mixed use development who value the presence in the central business district area and believe that by adding their investment beside the T-Mobile center and across from the entertainment center, that there’s value that they can create,” Jensen said.
“It clearly is going to be a ‘reuse’ because it’s probably not going to be a newspaper operation again. Correct,” Swetnam said.
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