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KANSAS CITY, MO-The first phases of the CenterPoint – Kansas City Southern Intermodal Center, a project that will include more than five million sf of industrial buildings and 18 million sf of underground warehouse space, are now underway. The Kansas City Southern Railway Co. is hosting a March 14 groundbreaking for its intermodal center, and CenterPoint is now working around the clock to put in infrastructure and roads. The development on the site is expected to exceed a $416 million cost.

The project is a redevelopment of Richards-Gebaur Airport, itself a former US Air Force Base, and encompasses 1340 acres at US Highway 71 and Missouri 150. The intermodal will take up 370 acres, says Fred Reynolds, SVP of development for CenterPoint. His company will develop on top of the rest of the property, starting with a 370-acre portion. Hunt Midwest is reportedly working on a $216 million underground industrial park, which will include about 18 million sf of space under 100 acres of the site, similar to the company’s SubTropolis, a five-million-sf underground storage and office complex in the city.

Reynolds says the intermodal will be a great way to move goods throughout the Midwest. “They’re able to import shipments from a deep-sea port in Mexico up into Kansas City, and for export in reverse, and all can be sent out through the Midwest on a hub-and-spoke type of distribution,” he tells GlobeSt.com.

He says CenterPoint is now removing about 200 cubic yards of dirt for the infrastructure placement. “We’ve been working for the past five months around the clock, we’ve got headlights on the equipment,” Reynolds says. “We should start going vertical with the buildings in the fall.” The initial phase will have five million sf of buildings, which will cost at least $200 million, with more to come as demand warrants, he says.

CenterPoint reportedly bought the land for $10 million from the city and the Port Authority of Kansas City. The company is leasing the land for the intermodal center to the railroad. About 11,340 feet of main line track borders the site, and the railroad already operates an automotive distribution facility, the International Freight Gateway, on the property. About 70,000 cars a year pass through the facility a year.

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