Cargill is expanding its operations in the Kansas City area and is leasing new space at the Southlake Technology Park in Lenexa with plans to hire 60 white-collar employees by the end of the year.
The agribusiness giant, based in suburban Minneapolis, has offices for its grain and feed agricultural operations in Overland Park. Company spokesman Mark Klein said additional space was needed nearby.
“We should hire 60 or so by calendar year end and have the capability to increase after the new year,” he said. “Kansas is an important state to Cargill and the Kansas City area is a good place for a regional office.”
He described the jobs as white collar, including accountants, and he said salaries would be competitive. The firm is leasing 25,000 square feet — enough space to ultimately accommodate 100 workers there.
Southlake Technology Park was purchased last year along with the Lenexa Industrial Park by Hines LP for $90 million. Southlake and the Lenexa Industrial Park were originally developed in the late 1980s by Kansas City developer Hugh Zimmer. It’s located along College Boulevard from Interstate 35 to Renner Boulevard.
Ned O’Connor of Waterford Property, who represented the building owner in the Cargill deal, said there has been strong leasing interest in Southlake. The development features ample parking, and large blocks of Class A and Class B office space that’s in great demand in the southern Johnson County market.
“The volume of prospective tenants has exceeded expectations,” he said. “We have several deals at an advance stage.”
Bob Fagan, the broker at CBRE representing Cargill, said the firm has been impressed with the quality of the local workforce.
“Cargill has had a presence in this market for many years and felt the employment base in the Kansas City area was strong enough to grow their presence,” he said.
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