KANSAS CITY, MO-The commercial real estate market vacancy rate throughout the KansasCity area increased to 9.5% during the first half of 2000, upfrom 8.5% at the end of last year.

A large lease in the South/Southeast submarket by American Century totake over space formerly occupied by the American Academy of FamilyPhysicians helped keep the absorption rate down. However, Sprint leasedmore than one million sf in the South/Southeast market and maybe leaving the area to move all its employees to its Overland Parkcampus when the leases expire over the next two years.

“While a few notable leases took place, such as American Century’sdecision to take 118,000 square feet in the south/southeast submarketand Sprint’s PCS’s lease of the entire 112,000 square foot 5901 CollegeBoulevard building, the overall market saw a decrease in the number oflarge deals during the first six months of 2000 compared with earlierperiods,” according to Melissa Augustine, research manager at Grubb &Ellis/The Winbury Group.

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