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KANSAS CITY, MO-A group of investors that includes former developer Ted Ehney Jr. has proposed a 16-building, mixed-use development on 18 acres just south of the junction of Interstates 29 and 435, north of LP Cookingham Drive, just east of the International Airport. Max Kosoglad with Block & Co. Inc. Realtors, which is marketing the project, says the investors are looking to build almost one million sf, mostly hotels, with office buildings and restaurants as well.

The project, to be called Seabiscuit Park, will surround the former headquarters of Farmland Industries Inc. at 12200 N. Ambassador Dr. The 260,000-sf property, owned by the Kansas City Aviation Department, is now called the Ambassador building, and is about 50% occupied. “It has mix of different users, but is not related to what we’re doing,” Kosoglad says.”

He says he doesn’t have the exact sf breakdown, but says the proposed park will have at least a couple hundred rooms in three-to-five hotels. Though the area is around the airport and hotels exist, there’s still demand, he tells GlobeSt.com. “We’re working with several different upscale, select-service hotel users that are looking for a place to land here, with restaurants who like to follow them around the country,” Kosoglad says.

The project will also have some five-to-10-story office buildings, he says. “We hope to have an office user within the next two months, and to start construction right after that,” Kosoglad tells GlobeSt.com. The project would be complete by 2016, he says. It’s not clear how the office market would be served by the new additions, as the north submarket of about three million sf is about 30% vacant, the worst market in the Kansas City area.

Ehney isn’t a stranger to developing in the area, though he reportedly served prison time in the 1990s for defrauding two lenders. He could not be reached for comment, but reportedly has said he has an unidentified lender lined up for this project. The property is properly zoned, Kosoglad says, but the investors are working with the city on issues such as platting and final construction plans.

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