Copaken Brooks leaps into industrial development with big splash

Copaken Brooks, a big name in Kansas City-area office and retail development, is leaping into the hot industrial market with a big splash.

The firm announced Tuesday that it plans to develop Midwest Gateway, a two-building, nearly 500,000-square-foot industrial park next to BNSF Railway’sintermodal facility in Edgerton

Although Copaken Brooks has invested and marketed industrial properties in several markets, Midwest Gateway is the firm's first industrial development.

General contractor ARCO National Construction is scheduled to begin construction on the project next week. Midwest Gateway will include a 301,603-square-foot building and a 186,107-square-foot building — both being constructed on a speculative basis, meaning before tenants are signed.

The project is designed to accommodate warehouse, distribution and manufacturing users, and the smaller footprints of its buildings are aimed at addressing demand from tenants that require 50,000 to 300,000 square feet.

“The supply-and-demand drivers for this size of building are unmet at the BNSF intermodal,” Aaron Schlagel, vice president of development at Copaken Brooks, said in a release.

Midwest Gateway is being developed at 32180 W. 191st St., less than a half-mile from the BNSF intermodal facility and adjacent to NorthPoint Development’s1,700-acre Logistics Park Kansas City, which has capacity for 17 million square feet of industrial facilities.

By the end of this year, NorthPoint will have completed 16 buildings totaling nearly 9 million square feet at LPKC, where the largest structure is a whopping 927,000 square feet.

Construction of both smaller buildings in Midwest Gateway is expected to be completed in time for tenant occupancy in February.

“We are excited to deliver Midwest Gateway to the burgeoning Kansas City logistics and distribution market,” Bucky Brooks, a principal at Copaken Brooks, said in the release. “Midwest Gateway is an ideal project for us to extend our infill development expertise and deliver a state-of-the-art industrial project on a premier site at the heart of the BNSF intermodal.”

Edgerton Mayor Don Roberts said he welcomes the project.

“For the last several years, we have not had product available for tenants interested in smaller-scale, flexible space,” he said in the release. “This unique project fills a gap in our portfolio that will allow us to service a greater number of tenants wanting to be in Edgerton, particularly those that may provide support to other intermodal-related businesses.”

Located closer to the intermodal facility than any other development site, Midwest Gateway will help tenants reduce their cost of “drayage,” which in this case means the transportation of goods between rail and the tenant’s facility. Located along a heavy haul corridor, it also will allow shippers to send heavier loads to and from the intermodal yard.

The buildings will feature tilt-up concrete walls and architectural glass, minimum 32-foot clear heights, 7-inch floor slabs and T-5 motion-sensor lighting. To accommodate multiple types of industrial uses, the buildings also will include abundant docks, with the ability to expand, plus truck parking and trailer storage.

The property is being co-listed by Brooks and Nathan Anderson and Russell Pearson of NAI Heartland.

Other project team members include GMA Architects; Schafer Kline & Warren, civil engineering; Krudwig & Associates, structural engineering; and Metro Air, mechanical, electrical and plumbing engineering.

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