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SPRINGFIELD, MO-Opus Northwest LLC started work on the four-story 109,000-sf office property that will be mostly occupied by CPA advisory firm BKD. The $20 million building will be across from the Hammons Tower, where BKD is moving out of more than 50,000 sf, and a new 150-room Embassy Suites hotel.

The property attracted BKD as a new headquarters because of the promise of more space for employees. The company is moving into 80,000 sf in the new building, says Dave Harrison, VP and general manager of Opus Northwest. “Where they are now has 9,000-sf floor plates, the new building has 27,000 sf floor plates,” he tells GlobeSt.com. The company will occupy the second, third and fourth floors on a long-term lease, with 325 employees.

Remaining space will be available for lease, at $23 per sf, full service, Harrison says. He says the company hasn’t started marketing the office, though he anticipates tenants in the 2,000-sf to 15,000-sf range.

He says the Hammons building will be okay, as there’s enough demand for well-positioned office here. “There’s a brand new stadium a block away, the US courthouse, the exposition center a block away, many universities and the new hotel,” Harrison says. “I’ve talked with two other groups that are looking for build-to-suit opportunities here, this is a very strong economy.” Plaza Realty, run by John Q. Hammons, is building the 150-room hotel. Officials from Hammons company were not available for comment.

Harrison says the new office will be built with green standards, including plumbing fixtures that use less water, energy-efficient heating and air conditioning, water-efficient landscaping and a white roof designed to reflect sunlight and reduce heat consumption. “We’re shooting for LEED Silver designation,” he says. The building is set to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2009.

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