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Industrial Development Continued at Record Pace in 2021

by Mary Rooney | Jan 12, 2022

2021 was a year of supply chain challenges and disruptions coupled with continued sales growth for many industries. As companies re-evaluated their supply chain and optimized their networks, there was an increased demand for industrial space across the country, and industrial speculative development responded with record builds.

The Kansas City region responded to this increased demand with another record year of industrial development, including the ground breaking of its first cold storage spec development. The KC market saw construction in all four corners of the region, with a continued focus on Class A spec development and build-to-suit construction. In 2021, the KC region surpassed the 300 million-sq.-ft. total industrial footprint, joining only 15 other U.S. markets with that level of space.

KC SmartPort continued to push for the attraction of new freight-based investment in 2021, attracting companies such as Niagara Bottling, Walgreens, ALPLA, EPAC Packaging, Amazon Air and National Fulfillment Services to the KC region. Other companies that expanded within the region included Hallmark, Glazers, Pepsico and Amazon, adding more than 4 million sq. ft. to the local industrial market. 

Growth in eCommerce as well as food and beverage operations continued through 2021, and we anticipate new attraction success early in 2022. The region also saw a spike in electric vehicle related projects considering KC. Multiple attraction efforts are being applied to this sector and KC will see the results starting early this year. 

Kansas City continues to lead the national market with speed-to-market solutions and ongoing speculative development occurring throughout the region. We expect this to include several additional cold storage developments in 2022.

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