Overstock.com, the Utah-based online retailer of surplus and new merchandise, has signed a large lease on a distribution center in Kansas City, Kan., where it plans to employ more than 100 workers.
The company leased 517,000 square feet at a distribution center at 5300 Kansas Ave., which was made available when the previous tenant, automobile logistics company Comprehensive Logistics, moved to the Fairfax District in KCK.
Overstock.com’s new fulfillment center allows the company to reach 99 percent of its U.S. customers with two-day shipping, the company said.
For the Kansas City area, Overstock.com’s entry into the market meant another large online retailer saw the upside in the metro region’s highway infrastructure and railroad network for fulfillment and distribution centers.
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Kansas City was a top 10 market for industrial real estate absorption and completion, according to a report by CBRE. That means Kansas City is the only top 10 market in the Midwest aside from Chicago for building and leasing industrial space.
“I think this really points to the efficiency that e-commerce companies like Overstock and other users that have come into the market can attract from being in Kansas City, in the middle of the U.S.,” said Tim Cowden, chief executive of the Kansas City Area Development Council.
Chris Gutierrez, president of freight-based economic development firm KC SmartPort, said he met Overstock.com officials at a retail logistics conference in February where he was promoting the city as a distribution hotbed.
Greg Kindle, president of the Wyandotte Economic Development Council, said the Overstock.com facility in KCK would pay “better than average” industry wages.
“We’re seeing these developments move closer to the urban core for the purpose of being closer to the workforce available to us,” Kindle said. “Our goal is we would work with this company and several others to connect underemployed in Wyandotte County to those positions as much as possible.”