Kansas City’s streetcar starter line helped a South Dakota developer make a quick $2 million-plus by flipping the so-called Flashcube Building at 720 Main St.
Cushman & Wakefield’s Kansas City commercial real estate office announced Tuesday that Riverside-based Worcester Investments had closed on the nine-story, 207,000-square-foot building, more formally known as the Executive Plaza Office Building, for $5.7 million.
The Kansas City Business Journal reported in July that Worcester Investments had placed the building under contract and planned to spend $43 million (including the purchase price) converting the long-vacant structure into 181 apartments.
Kerr said Stencil Group bought the building for a little less than $3.5 million.
“I think it was undervalued before,” Kerr said of the building, “and I think a lot of people overlooked it. When they put a streetcar stop in from of the building, there’s no question it added a lot of value and definitely created an opportunity.
“Stencil made a great buy and was planning to develop it, but they got busy with a lot of other projects in Minnesota, and they said if someone was willing to pay (the new) fair market value, they’d sell.”
Completed in 1974, the office building was designed by HOK and has historic significance as a late-modern curtain wall structure with a “slick-tech” glass container design. The sale included an adjacent surface parking lot, where Stencil had planned to develop a second building at some point but which Worcester has not announced plans for thus far.
“We are excited to broker the sale of this landmark property for a $43 million development project that will breathe new life into an otherwise quiet corner of Downtown,” Kerr said in a release. “This project is one more example of the transformative effect of the new streetcar line, which stops in front of the property at Seventh and Main streets, and played a major role in attracting (Worcester Investments).”
Often referred to as “the Flashcube Building” due to its shape and reflective exterior, the structure has sat vacant on the north side of the downtown freeway loop since 2006, when Commerce Bank moved an operations center out of it.
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