Sprint campus and Village West tourism district developer Hugh Zimmer is dead at 88

Kansas City developer Hugh Zimmer
Kansas City developer Hugh Zimmer Submitted

Prominent Kansas City developer and community leader Hugh Zimmer died Friday after a brief illness. He was 88.

During his long career, Zimmer oversaw development of such high-profile projects as the Village West shopping and entertainment district in Kansas City, Kan., the Sprint World Headquarters campus in Overland Park and Kansas City’s NNSA National Security Campus..

He founded the Zimmer Companies in 1953 after graduating with degrees in finance and real estate from the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania. Zimmer retired in 2015 after having developed 2,900 acres of business parks and more than 30 million square feet of commercial buildings during his long career.

Many of those projects, such as Lenexa’s Southlake Technology Park, were in the Kansas City area. But Zimmer also did business in several other large cities in the South and Midwest.

He was active in civic affairs, once serving as chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Missouri Kansas City. He served, as well, on the boards of many business groups, including the Kansas City Area Development Council, Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Economic Development Council, all of three of which he chaired.

Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Eulalie, son David Zimmer, daughter Ellen Darling, brother A.W. Zimmer III and four grandchildren.

Services are 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Kansas City.

Mike Hendricks is a member of The Star’s investigations and watchdog reporting team. Send tips and story ideas in confidence by email to, Twitter direct message @kcmikehendricks, or anonymously via Signal encrypted message at 816-234-4738