CBRE’s Lindy Meyer builds on family foundation

As part of an ongoing series on commercial real estate’s newbies and industry veterans, we sat down with CBRE’s Lindy Meyer to talk about what an influence her father’s career was, the three-pronged approach she takes to business, and how her interests have propelled her career in retail brokerage. Here’s what she said.

Lindy Meyer is a retail broker with CBRE.
Lindy Meyer is a retail broker with CBRE.

How did you enter the industry?

My dad and his brothers started a construction company from scratch in the 70s, Meyer Brothers Building Company. I always grew up around the development and construction side of it, and was always fascinated. I loved watching them build different things and really shape the trajectory of the communities we were building in. It was interesting to see the full cycle: to see the piece of dirt, see a building going up, and then watch tenants moved in. When my dad got into the brokerage side (with Heise-Meyer), I loved the flexibility of my dad’s schedule, but also saw that he got out what he put in. It was seeing his hard work ethic pay off.

Hawthorne Plaza is being redeveloped and will be unveiled in the spring. Rendering courtesy of Hoefer Wysocki Architects, which designed the project.
Hawthorne Plaza is being redeveloped and will be unveiled in the spring. Rendering courtesy of Hoefer Wysocki Architects, which designed the project.

What projects have you been working on recently?

David Hickman and I recently sold Brookside Shops. These are historic infill irreplaceable properties that are amazing to work on, and really the ownership of the center had only changed hands essentially twice until we sold it. It was great to be a part of that sale and now leasing the center. We only have one vacancy now: the former Hallmark space, which we’re splitting into two spaces with separate storefronts. We have a lease out for signature on the east side and a lot of activity on the west side as well, working with some very cool local boutique best-in-class operators. It’s really fun to work with the top talent and entrepreneurs in Kansas City; To get into their heads and see things from their perspective is very interesting. I’m also working on the redevelopment of Hawthorne Plaza, where we brought The Container Store and are working with other retailers through construction as all the stores are getting re-skinned and will be unveiled in the spring.

What kind of trends are you seeing in retail these days?

You hear about internet replacing bricks and mortar, and while I think it will affect everything, I don’t think it will be so drastic. As a shopper myself, I want to touch and feel and look at things in person. But a trend for retailers right now is everything is leaning toward being very experiential. It’s more than going to the coffee shop and grabbing a cup of coffee; It’s watching them craft a latte, and at a restaurant, it’s about the theater of watching food being prepared and being entertained. Retailers want to make sure they provide their customers with that niche experience that they won’t find anywhere else.

Meyer recently completed the sale of Brookside Shops, a shopping center that had only changed hands twice before its most recent sale.
Meyer recently completed the sale of Brookside Shops, a shopping center that had only changed hands twice before its most recent sale.

Is it a challenge or an advantage to be young, a woman, and relatively new to the industry?

Some people think it’s a disadvantage, but it’s all I know. It probably gives me a bit of an advantage in the fact that I’m inherently a shopper. I think women in general understand merchandising of the retailers at a shopping center. It really makes sense to me the placement of different retailers in a center, which is critical to a shopping center’s overall success. I understand that aspect well and that’s a skill that I can bring to the field. It’s a shame there aren’t more women in the commercial real estate field.

On spending 5 years in Arizona:

One of my sisters went to Arizona State, and I visited quite a bit and loved it, and decided I wanted to do something different and get away. I lived in Scottsdale, Ariz., for 5 years working for Cassidy Turley. It was a great experience, but 120 degrees is hot no matter how you slice it!

Who helped shape your business philosophy?

My dad really instilled in me and my sisters a sense of work ethic. He’s definitely been a great mentor and someone to look up to. He always taught me a three-pronged approach: work hard, give back, and be kind and that will get you far.

(Brokerage) is very much an entrepreneurial business. You have to be very proactive in everything. The business is not sticking a sign in the ground and waiting for calls; You’re going out and actively pursuing the right retailers for your spaces and the right clients to purchase your centers.

What do you do in your free time?

Free time? (Laughs.) My free time is somewhat limited so I’m big into stress relief. You can find me at Fusion a couple mornings a week, doing these intense, hour-long workouts. I started going a year ago and became hooked. I also have a golden retriever, so you can find me out walking her around Loose Park, shopping and checking out different restaurants and retailers, and exploring the unique things Kansas City has to offer. I’m also very involved in Junior League, an organization for like-minded women to give back to the community. Next year, my placement is on the retail committee for Holiday Mart, so I get to work with retailers and help with merchandising on that and I’m really excited about it.

Cassidy Turley’s Deal of the Week

One Kansas City Place, 1200 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.
One Kansas City Place, 1200 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.

Mike Mayer, Jeff Winters and Tom Houts of Cassidy Turley represented Hays Companies in the relocation of its Kansas City offices to One Kansas City Place. The insurance firm, which relocated from 10 Main, is scheduled to move in in March, taking 15,766 square feet on the 23rd floor.

Jeff Kembel with JLL represented the landlord. It’s the first new tenant to move into the 840,000-square-foot downtown office building since Gaw Capital Partners purchased it in early 2014.

Do you have a recently completed deal to submit? Contact us and we may feature it as our deal of the week!

BBN Architects elevates employees to shareholders

BBN Architects' newest employee-shareholders, from left to right: Austin Massoth, Scott Bingham, and Erin Quigley. Manhattan-based employees Dan Crouch and Nancy Burton (not pictured) were also elevated to shareholder status.
BBN Architects’ newest employee-shareholders, from left to right: Austin Massoth, Scott Bingham, and Erin Quigley. Manhattan-based employees Dan Crouch and Nancy Burton (not pictured) were also elevated to shareholder status.

Three long-term employees at BBN Architects with a combined 70 years of experience have been elevated to shareholders, announced principals Brent and Lorie Bowman and Patrick Schaub.

Austin Massoth (far left) joined BBN 10 years ago after graduating from Kansas State University. Today, the Prairie Village resident plays a role in all phases of design and construction. Scott Bingham (center) has been with BBN since 1996, and will serve as principal-in-charge for landscape architecture. He also serves as chairperson for the 47th and Mission Development Committee and an active member of the Prairie Gateway Chapter of ASLA. Erin Quigley (right) has developed an impressive portfolio since joining the architecture firm in 2008. She’s also the chair of the USGBC Central Plains Emerging Professionals, and sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board for the College of Architecture, Planning and Design at KSU.

Two BBN employees out of Manhattan were also elevated to shareholders: Dan Crouch and Nancy Burton (not pictured).

CCIM, KCCREW pack Boulevard for holiday festivities

Don Gessen of Block Real Estate Services and Connie Kamps of Hunt Midwest.
Don Gessen of Block Real Estate Services and Connie Kamps of Hunt Midwest.

Members of the Kansas City CCIM Chapter and Kansas City Commercial Real Estate Women (KC CREW) packed into Boulevard Brewing Co. on Thursday evening to celebrate the end of a great 2014.

Check out more fun holiday pictures on our Facebook page!

NorthPoint reveals plans for 196 luxury apartments in Liberty

NorthPoint Development has proposed a 196 luxury apartment project on a 21-acre site in Liberty, and it promises to be the firm’s greenest project yet. Sitting across six buildings at Highway 291 and Forest Ave., the project would be 67 percent green space – 7 percent higher than any other NorthPoint project. A conservation easement also would be placed over an 8-acre wooded area that buffers the project from the surrounding single-family homes.

The buildings will be a muted color with material made of “smartside” faux cedar panels with veneers of stone or brick with woodgrain trim. Four/five-story split buildings are intended to accommodate for the 5-to-1 slope of the project.
The buildings will be a muted color with material made of “smartside” faux cedar panels with veneers of stone or brick with woodgrain trim. Four/five-story split buildings are intended to accommodate for the 5-to-1 slope of the project.

“This is the most green space I’ve ever seen on a project I’ve been involved in,” NorthPoint’s Mark Pomerenke said. “The unique part of this site is the natural forested area… We need to preserve as much of the site as we can because we know it’s a huge draw for the project.”

The 8-acre green space toward the top of this prelimnary development plan shows the wooded area that will serve as a buffer between the proposed multifamily project and the surrounding single family homes.
The 8-acre green space toward the top of this prelimnary development plan shows the wooded area that will serve as a buffer between the proposed multifamily project and the surrounding single family homes.

Forest Avenue Apartments will consist of two four-story buildings totaling 123,947 square feet just west of North Forest Ave, while four buildings with a 5/4-story split totaling 254,290 square feet would sit to the east. Street parking, surface lots, garages and carports will provide 493 stalls.

The product would be a mix of one- and two-bedroom apartments with standard high-end finishes: stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, wood floors, washers and dryers, and balconies.

“We focus on one thing: quality,” Pomerenke said. “We’ve developed a specific prototype and product that we build, and this 4- and 5-story luxury apartment we’ve had a lot of success replicating throughout the Kansas City metro at a number of sites.”

Click to see a larger version of this preliminary development plan.
Click to see a larger version of this preliminary development plan.

NorthPoint is asking the City of Liberty to rezone the land to allow for higher density – a move necessary to make the project economically feasible, Pomerenke says. He’s also asking for a parking rate to be lowered from 2 stalls per unit to 1.69, a rate that resembles similar projects like Barrewoods, Carrington Place at Shoal Creek, and Cordillera Ranch.

“We operate our own projects and are also a management company, so we’re very in tune with what the needs of the property are, and it’s something we constantly evaluate,” Pomerenke said. “1.7 has always been our sweet spot; It helps us minimize our footprint and have less of an impact on stormwater and tree clearing.”

NorthPoint is asking for the 21-acre plot of land to be rezoned to allow for higher density buildings necessary to make the project “economically feasible.”
NorthPoint is asking for the 21-acre plot of land to be rezoned to allow for higher density buildings necessary to make the project “economically feasible.”

Addressing concerns of the increased traffic the project will generate at Highway 291 and Forest Ave., NorthPoint says it will make a $750,000 investment in area infrastructure – including the addition of a new turning lane and lane and signal enhancements – as well as pay increased property taxes of $2 million over the first ten years.

Pomerenke says NorthPoint is presenting a new housing option to Liberty residents, and that his research shows that first-time home buyers tend to move two miles from their first dwelling, and thus tenants who rent apartments on Forest Ave. would remain in Liberty in the future.

Liberty City Council will do a second reading of the plan on January 12, when it will be considered for a vote.


Stellar Development gets tapped to lease 4M SF retail project

A 4 million square foot retail development in The Colony, Texas, will boast the largest volume single store furniture retailer in the U.S., Nebraska Furniture Mart. A Leawood company has been tapped to lease the project.
A 4 million square foot retail development in The Colony, Texas, will boast the largest volume single store furniture retailer in the U.S., Nebraska Furniture Mart. A Leawood company has been tapped to lease the project.

A Kansas City company is taking on a new job leasing a massive 4 million-square-foot mixed-use development in Texas. Stellar Development of Leawood was tapped for the assignment to lease Grandscape, a retail project in North Dallas anchored by Nebraska Furniture Mart’s fourth U.S. store. The firm is led by Steve Graham, who in his 10 years with RED Legacy helped develop Legends Outlets Kansas City.

The center will be developed in phases, but Nebraska Furniture Mart is set to open in March 2015.
The center will be developed in phases, but Nebraska Furniture Mart is set to open in March 2015.

“Steve has a rare combination of tenacity and creativity,” RED Legacy Managing Partner Dan Lowe said. “The end result is a professional who is ideally suited to bringing tenants to destination retail centers like Grandscape.”

Plans for the 433-acre project include a hotel, retail, restaurant, office and residential components. Nebraska Furniture Mart’s store alone will be a whopping 1.86 million square feet store, made of a 560,000 square foot retail space and 1.3 million square foot distribution center.


Call for nominations:
ULI’s Development of Distinction awards

Dan Maginn of el dorado architects discusses the design concept of the Johnson County Justice Annex, a 2014 Development of Distinction awards winner. Check out the video here.
Dan Maginn of el dorado architects discusses the design concept of the Johnson County Justice Annex, a 2014 Development of Distinction awards winner. Check out the video here.

The Urban Land Institute of Kansas City has set a date for its 2015 Development of Distinction awards, which highlight impressive local projects that demonstrate the best practices in development. Last year’s award winners include esteemed projects like Plaza Vista, the Johnson County Justice Annex and Linden Square.

Do you have a completed project that fits this criteria that you’d like to see recognized? Nominations from the private, public and non-profit sectors will be considered. Fill out an application here.

The awards program will be held April 28, 2015.

First PACE financed project launches in Kansas City

A new green initiative in Kansas City has launched with its first project on the Country Club Plaza. The new Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financed project will help Signature Property Management save more than $55,000 a year in utility and operating costs for Wornall Plaza Condominiums following $670,000 worth of renovations.

Wornall Plaza Condominiums, 310 W. 49th St.
Wornall Plaza Condominiums, 310 W. 49th St.

The project was led by Energy Solutions Professionals, which guarantees its energy efficient upgrades through an Energy Performance Contract.

“This project will reduce energy use, improve comfort in the historic building, and replace aging equipment that would have otherwise required increased fees or special assessments to our residents,” Signature Property Management President Jerry Miller said. “It’s truly a win-win for owners and for the environment.”

Jerry Miller, president of Signature Property Management, and Jeff Flathman, president of Energy Solutions Professionals.
Jerry Miller, president of Signature Property Management, and Jeff Flathman, president of Energy Solutions Professionals.

Renovations included the installation of low-wattage LED and fluorescent lighting, renovating key parts of the building’s heating and cooling system to make it more efficient, and adding building controls with remote monitoring capabilities.

ESP is currently working with KCP&L to get rebates for qualifying improvements to Wornall Plaza and is recommending giving the property “a more favorable rate.”

These were the former broilers at Wornall Plaza that were replaced as part of the $670,000 renovations.
These were the former broilers at Wornall Plaza that were replaced as part of the $670,000 renovations.

The initiative is thanks to the Kansas City Council’s unanimous vote in October 2013 to join the Missouri Clean Energy District in order to access PACE funding. Through the program, project financing is provided or arranged by a local government for up to 100 percent of a commercial project’s costs, repaid with an assessment over a term of up to 20 years.

“Energy-saving projects are a priority for the City,” 4th District Councilwoman Jan Marcason said. “The PACE program allows commercial property owners to make renovations and repairs to their buildings that reduce energy costs, while at the same time creating jobs for local businesses involved in the energy-efficiency and construction fields.”

With these new broilers and other improvements, savings in utility and operating costs will top $55,000 annually.
With these new broilers and other improvements, savings in utility and operating costs will top $55,000 annually.

The program’s financing is available for all types of commercial and industrial properties, and potentially for nonprofits and government facilities as well. PACE funding removes barriers for property owners who want to upgrade their properties but can’t afford upfront costs and want to avoid debt.

“PACE is key to opening up energy efficiency opportunities for commercial property owners, but being the first to do anything means that you have to deal with some unexpected challenges,” Energy Solutions Professionals President Jeff Flathman said. “Now that we’ve been through the process, we feel we’re better positioned to help other business owners navigate the system.”


Deal of the Week

Bunzl Distribution, 7503 NW 106th Terr. Photo courtesy of CBC Real Estate Group.
Bunzl Distribution, 7503 NW 106th Terr.
Photo courtesy of CBC Real Estate Group.

A newly completed warehouse and distribution center near Kansas City International Airport has sold to a New Jersey-based firm. Monmouth Real Estate Investment Corp. purchased the 158,417-square-foot building for $9.6 million, or roughly $61 per square foot.

The building is home to Bunzl Distribution, a grocery and retail supplier based in St. Louis that recently signed a seven-year lease.

Monmouth, which is publicly traded, owns and manages 11.8 million square feet across 86 properties in 20 states.


CRE Marketing celebrates the holidays

Front row: Steve Daniels, Copaken Brooks; Ashley Terrell and Kelly Fox, Cassidy Turley; and Jocelyn Rivard, Keller Williams Realty. Back row: Scott Rohr, Newmark Grubb Zimmer; Mallory Stanley,  Emily Jansen;  Whitney Kane, RED Brokerage; and Paige Salveter of Block Real Estate Services.
Front row: Steve Daniels, Copaken Brooks; Ashley Terrell and Kelly Fox, Cassidy Turley; and Jocelyn Rivard, Keller Williams Realty.
Back row: Scott Rohr, Newmark Grubb Zimmer; Mallory Stanley, Colliers; Emily Jansen and Whitney Kane, RED Brokerage; and Paige Salveter of Block Real Estate Services.

Members of a relatively new commercial real estate marketing group got together Thursday night to celebrate the holiday season and the winding down of 2014.

Hosted at Cassidy Turley’s office, more than 20 firms were represented at the soiree, including Block Real Estate Services, RED Brokerage, Colliers International, Newmark Grubb Zimmer, Keller Williams Realty, Cassidy Turley and Copaken Brooks.

Check out more party pics from this and other events on our Facebook page!