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SPRINGFIELD, MO-Opus Northwest is set to begin construction by October for a new 109,000-sf office building here, most of which will be occupied by accounting firm BKD LLP. The company, which is now at Hammons Tower in the city, will occupy about 80,000 sf of the new building. The rest of the building, going up in the parking lot of University Plaza, will be available multi-tenant space.

The new building will cost more than $20 million, says David Harrison, general manager of the Kansas City Opus office. His company will receive about $21.5 million tax abatements in the next 15 years, the term of the BKD lease, with a bonus if the company is able to gain LEED Silver certification. The city recently approved the incentive package. “Now we’re just down to the final elements of the transaction, we should be able to close on the ground and begin the project in the next 30 days,” he tells GlobeSt.com. The project should be complete by late 2009, Harrison says.

The other 20,000 sf will be leased out to smaller tenants, he says. “We anticipate tenants in the 2,000 sf to 15,000 sf range. I don’t think we want just one other tenant. We’ve had a few calls already, though we think we’ll see more activity in the market next year, when tenants of that size in the area will be looking for space,” Harrison says. The asking rate will be around $23 per sf, full service, he says.

He says the market is a ways from Kansas City, but that it’s “extremely interesting. There’s Missouri State University, and four other universities in that area,” Harrison says. The community, the third largest city in the state, also has developments such as a new baseball stadium and indoor arena in the Downtown.

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