Fueled by spike in e-commerce, here are Kansas City’s top real estate deals of 2020


This aerial overlay rendering shows Blue River Commerce Center’s planned seven manufacturing and warehouse buildings. (Photo courtesy the city of Kansas City)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Covid-19 pandemic was a force in commercial real estate in 2020, but it touched various projects and parts of the market in very different ways.

Retail deals more likely involved delayed payment, not new leases. Office tenants pondered whether work-from-home meant they need less space — or more to allow for social distancing. Far and away the most unambiguous success resulted from an explosion of built-to-suit and speculative industrial developments in all corners of the region.

The year saw a steady drumbeat of distribution center announcements from big-name tenants such as Amazon.com Inc., Chewy Inc. and Urban Outfitters Inc.

In all, the 13 companies local and state economic development officials attracted to the area will generate $1 billion in capital investment and have pledged to add more than 3,789 jobs, according to the Kansas City Area Development Council. 

The broader economy’s volatility in 2020 ultimately played to the strengths of Kansas City’s steady industrial market, KCADC CEO Tim Cowden said.



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