Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City will relocate its headquarters to the 1400KC building, marking the culmination of an office evaluation the company began almost three years ago — and filling a new-build Class A tower that unexpectedly came available.

Blue KC announced Friday that it will lease the entire 18-story building at 1400 Baltimore Ave.

The coming move solidifies the company’s place in the heart of Downtown and ends rampant speculation about who would fill the 260,000-square-foot space after Waddell & Reed Financial Inc. acquirer Macquarie Asset Management announced in March 2021 that it no longer would take occupancy.

“We have been a part of the Kansas City community for almost 85 years and are dedicated to being here for years to come,” Blue KC CEO Erin Stucky said in a release.

“This move ensures we are best positioned to support our customers and members now and well into the future. We need a workplace that will evolve with us as we drive change to advance affordable access to health care and improve the health of our members. Our new location at 1400 Baltimore will enable us to do that.”

Founded in 1938 and the largest nonprofit health insurer in Missouri, Blue KC employs 1,400 people locally.