Crown Center lands law firm Sedgwick LLP

02/28/2014 6:19 PM

02/28/2014 6:19 PM

A California law firm moving its back office operation to Kansas City said Friday its new home will be the 2301 McGee building at Crown Center.

Sedgwick LLP — which announced the move of its 100-employee Shared Services Center in February, but not its exact destination — will lease 20,000 square feet at 2301 McGee. Most of the jobs are expected to be filled locally, with a only few employees of the San Francisco-based firm expected to make the move here.

“Making Crown Center the home for our new state-of-the-art Shared Service Center will allow us to enhance the world-class client service for which we are known,” Sedgwick chairman Michael A. Tanenbaum said in a statement.

Sedgwick employs 370 attorneys in offices around the country and in London and Bermuda. The service center will include the firm’s finance department, information technology, litigation support, human resources, marketing and research.

“Crown Center is thrilled to welcome Sedgwick to Kansas City,” said Bill Lucas, president of Crown Center.

The law firm is working with Metropolitan Community College to recruit employees. Those interested should go to

sedgwicklaw.mcckc.edu

.

Officials at Sedgwick said they wanted their operation in the downtown area because its environment is appealing to the younger professionals they seek to recruit.

The cost of business here also is substantially lower than downtown San Francisco, where the Sedgwick operation is now. The average rent for premium office space in downtown San Francisco is $56 per square foot, compared with $18.65 in downtown Kansas City, according to the Cassidy Turley real estate firm.

Larry Glaze of Jones Lang LaSalle represented Sedgwick in lease negotiations. Crown Center was represented by Evan Warwick, vice president with Colliers International.

The firm’s decision to lease space in 2301 McGee is the second positive announcement in recent months for the building. Spring Venture Group in September announced it was moving its headquarters from Leawood to 2301 McGee, leasing 25,000 square feet and bringing 105 jobs.

The building lost a huge tenant in 2011 when the National Association of Insurance Commissioners moved to the Town Pavilion tower downtown. The association had occupied 120,000 square feet.

Lucas said that with the addition of the Sedgwick operation, the occupancy at 2301 McGee will be about 75 percent.

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