A business unit of Leggett & Platt plans to open an underground facility in Kansas City this year to install parts on Ford Motor Co.’s new Transit van.
The facility will be in Hunt Midwest’s SubTropolis underground complex. It is expected to open in the second quarter and employ about 50 people.
Ford builds the Transit at its Claycomo plant, about two miles north of SubTropolis. The plant is also home to the F-150 pickup truck.
Leggett & Platt Commercial Vehicle Products signed a lease for 72,000 square feet in the underground limestone caves. The lease includes a 13.5-acre underground parking lot that can hold 1,200 Transit vehicles, Hunt Midwest said. Other lease details were not disclosed.
Leggett & Platt, based in Carthage, Mo., said the facility will install interior racking shelving systems, wall liner packages, exterior ladder racks and decals, and mobile offices.
“SubTropolis is a good fit … because of its proximity to the Ford Kansas City assembly plant,” said John Forest, vice president of operations for Leggett & Platt’s vehicle operation.
Leggett & Platt will be the seventh Ford supplier to locate in what Hunt Midwest calls its Automotive Alley. The automotive supplier business encompasses more than 100 acres of developed land in 470,000 square feet of leased space, Hunt Midwest said.
The suppliers, combined with a Ford outbound shipping facility, have room in the development to accommodate more than 7,000 vehicles.
Hunt Midwest is a Kansas City-based privately held company owned by the family of the late Lamar Hunt. SubTropolis, considered one of the world’s largest underground business developments, is home to more than 50 companies and about 1,600 employees.
Leggett & Platt designs and manufactures products for homes, offices and automobiles. It is widely known for its residential furniture and bedding products.