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KANSAS CITY, MO-Service Management Group, a company that handles surveys for stores and restaurants, is looking to buy the former Kirkwood Building for less than $10 million. The 48,000-square-foot building at 1733 McGee St., in the Crossroads Arts District, is owned by Levitt Enterprises.

Andy Fromm, president of SMG, tells GlobeSt.com that Levitt had planned a redevelopment of the building, but decided to sell the site to his company instead. He says his firm plans to spend another $9 million to renovate the building into office use, with assistance from a 25-year property tax abatement issued recently from the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority.

Fromm’s firm is moving from a 20,000-square-foot building it owns at 210 W. 19th Terrace. He says that the company hopes to lease or sell the building by the end of next year. “We’re in the due diligence timeframe for the new building purchase,” he says.

He says he loves investing in older buildings; his current offices are in a former bakery. “We still have the stalls out back from where the horses used to stay,” Fromm says. The new building was originally an Auburn car dealership, built in 1920. The building was last used as a printing plant by Missouri Color, and is now vacant. “The building had the same architects as a local art gallery built around the same time, it’s got a lot of character. There’s classic architecture, nice brick and marble, there’s some really cool features.”

The area is also up-and-coming, he says. “We’re in an area where property values have doubled, and the Kirkwood is close by, where the values haven’t increased as much yet. It’s four blocks from the massive Power and Light District, it’s really in the changing face of the downtown.”

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