SWJCEDC Newsroom

VanTrust Sets Groundbreaking at New Century Commerce Center

A long-anticipated, 9.5 million-square-foot industrial space in one of the Kansas City area’s largest multitenant parks is expected to turn dirt in the spring.

Master developer VanTrust Real Estate LLC will break ground on the first of four phases on the southwest corner of 159th Street and Highway 56. The estimated $71-million project will be 2.5 million square feet on 250 acres. Read more.

Gardner aims to turn itself into the gem of Southwest Johnson County for future residents and businesses.

The city’s former and current mayor are working together to double Gardner’s size to the east and south on 5,000 recently annexed acres now open for development. City Administrator Jim Pruetting said that about 1,500 to 2,000 rooftops are on the horizon, with a new 300-home subdivision expected to break ground in the spring and more than 1,200 apartments under construction or through the planning process and ready to break ground. Read more.

New Century AirCenter Becomes a BNSF Certified Site

The 667-acre thumbnail of SWJC.BNSFCertifiedSite.v1-1rail-served property at New Century is the first BNSF certified site in the Kansas City region and only the second in the state.

BNSF’s industrial site certification program supports the railroad’s larger initiative of developing business parks and/or rail-served sites along its network. The program identifies optimal rail-served sites and conducts in-depth reviews of 10 economic development criteria to determine if the site meets BNSF’s stringent readiness standards, which are intended to minimize development risks customers may face.

Certified Sites are a part of BNSF’s Premier Parks, Sites and Transload program. The program is a strategic approach that addresses the increasing demand for customer site locations by developing various types of facilities across BNSF’s network. Businesses looking to locate at any of these properties could save six to nine months of construction time as a result of this analysis.

VanTrust Named Master Developer of New Century Expansion New Public/Private Partnership Bolsters First Multimodal Hub in Southern Johnson County

New Century Business Park is expanding with the development of more than 845 acres on the north and east sides of the airport. The Airport Commission (JCAC) recently recommended approval of a Master Development Agreement that named VanTrust Real Estate as the Master Developer, with the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) subsequently approving that recommendation on October 8, 2020.


In keeping with the density and variety of uses contemplated in the approved Preliminary Development Plan for the existing airport business park, the proposed conceptual master plan contemplates having up to 6.5M square feet of new vertical construction. The development will have a variety of building sizes up to 1.5M square feet, along with approximately 150 acres of rail laydown yards.


Most unique about this development plan is that many of the sites have the ability to be rail-served. These proposed new facilities and improvements represent a private investment at the New Century AirCenter Business Park of $278,415,690 over the span of approximately 10 years.


“Creating new economic development opportunities at the New Century AirCenter have been a long time coming,” said BOCC Chairman Ed Eilert. “This is going to bring jobs and added revenue to Johnson County, which will help the county’s airports continue to be as self-sufficient as possible and not rely on tax dollars.”


“We are thrilled to work with VanTrust on this exciting development opportunity,” said Aaron Otto, executive director, Johnson County Airport Commission. “VanTrust’s wholistic approach will unlock the economic value of these properties and generate a substantial and durable revenue stream through long-term ground leases that will enhance the Airport’s financial self-sufficiency for years to come.”


As a statutory requirement, a cost benefit analysis of the proposed project was performed by the county, which illustrated a positive return on investment for all taxing jurisdictions ranging from 33.3% to 387.5%. Property taxes on the new construction are projected to generate approximately $135,000,000 over the next 33 years, as compared to an estimated of up to $178,000 over the same time period, under current conditions.


According to Otto, the benefits of this development include railyard improvements, approximately 2,675 new, permanent jobs, more than $672,813,505 in estimated payroll, along with an estimated 1,875 construction jobs with payroll earnings of $96,750,000 over the next 10 years. 


In addition to its prime location within the Southwestern Johnson County submarket, this development is the only site in the metro area that offers available land allowing laydown yards, outdoor storage, access to a major railroad via short line railroad services, and access to domestic air transport via New Century AirCenter.


“We knew when we first received the RFP for this project that it represented an opportunity to partner with the Johnson County Airport Commission and the county in the execution of a long term vision that would bring lasting benefits to the residents of Johnson County,” stated Rich Muller, executive vice president of VanTrust. “We are excited to have been selected to lead this effort and look forward to kicking off what will be a significant expansion of the Southwest Johnson County industrial submarket.”

QuikTrip Announces New Travel Center in Gardner

QuikTrip Corporation has announced plans to build a new travel center at the southwest corner of South Gardner Road and West 188th Street. This will be QT’s second location in Gardner, but first travel center in the area. “The location is a perfect fit for the expansion of our Travel Center Network,” said Jeremy Crosby, Real Estate Manager for QuikTrip. “We hope to have the store open by Spring or Summer 2021.”

“We have a stellar relationship with QuikTrip, and we are thrilled they have chosen to extend their services to the south end of Gardner,” Gardner Mayor Steve Shute said. “QuikTrip is at the heart of the city and an asset to our community. If we measured the success of the second location based on the first, we expect QuikTrip to continue to thrive, offering its massive array of products and top-notch customer service.”

Business Retention Visit: Upfield

27080 West 159th Street • New Century, KS

As a global company, Upfield is the #1 producer of plant-based spreads with more than 60 brands, including iconic brands FLORA, RAMA, BLUE BAND, PROACTIV, BECEL and COUNTRY CROCK. Headquartered in Amsterdam, Upfield sells its products in over 95 countries and have 17 manufacturing sites throughout the world, including one here in the New Century AirCenter!

Home to over 250 employees, the Upfield plant in New Century recently launched a new dairy-free plant butter that tastes like dairy butter. Country Crock Plant Butter is made with plant-based oils and features oils from olives, avocados and almonds.

Upfield continues to see growth and is well-positioned for future success as more people around the world are consuming plant-based foods.

Business Retention Visit: Vestcom

301 Gardner Drive • New Century, KS

Founded in 1985 and headquartered in Little Rock, Arkansas, Vestcom is the leading provider of technology-enabled shelf-edge solutions for the retail industry. The nation’s most successful retailers such as Target, Walgreens and Albertsons rely on their shelf-edge solutions to connect with shoppers, build loyalty and increase basket size. In addition, Vestcom helps reduce costs by helping cut stocking time by a third or more, enabling retailers to redeploy labor to “higher value” activities, reduce operating costs and reduce out-of-stocks by 50%.

Currently, 180 Vestcom employees call their 165,000 square-foot warehouse in New Century AirCenter home. In addition to manufacturing labels, they store one-third of the company’s inventory in this warehouse.

Business Retention Visit: Steel and Pipe Supply

401 New Century Parkway • New Century, KS

Headquartered in Manhattan, KS, with a Service Center in New Century, Steel and Pipe Supply is a privately-held carbon steel distributor with extensive value-added coil processing and logistic capabilities. They are a leader in flat-rolled steel processing and are invested in computer-controlled equipment. Steel and Pipe Supply has continued to invest in state-of-the-art equipment and their people to provide the best and most efficient solutions to meet customers’ steel requirements.

EDC Becomes First Organization to Adopt New KC Heartland Campaign

New Century, Kan. (January 9, 2020) – Southwest Johnson County EDC has updated its logo to include the KC Heartland heart. An initiative spearheaded by KCADC, the KC Heartland campaign’s primary objective is to promote the Kansas City region with one symbol and message for visitors, new residents and to attract business.

“Since KCADC’s launch of the KC Heartland campaign, we have been eager to adopt the region’s new vision,” said EDC President, Greg Martinette, “As one of KCADC’s economic development partners, we have the ability to help amplify the KC Heartland campaign with local and global audiences”.

The EDC’s decision to update its logo aligns with KCADC’s goals and vision for the campaign. KCADC aims to facilitate the community’s adoption of the KC heart brand, then focus on branding opportunities out of market with the intention of exposing as many people as possible to the KC heart, an invitation to a relationship with the KC region. These efforts will ultimately help the region remain competitive into the future.

Business Retention Visit: Russell-Hampton Company

110 W. Leawood Drive, New Century, KS

Founded in 1920, the Russell-Hampton Company is a 4th generation promotional product marketing agency with expertise in brand recognition, graphic design, distribution/fulfillment and product sourcing. Russell-Hampton partners with a diverse range of businesses from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, helping them manage and promote their brands. From the very beginning, they have been Rotary’s ORIGINAL licensed vendor and continue to be the go-to supplier of quality products for Rotarians with the largest selection of Rotary emblem merchandise.

Located in New Century AirCenter, they are a one-stop shop providing all capabilities in-house, including graphic design, embroidery, etching/engraving and distribution/fulfilment.

Next year will be an exciting year for Russell-Hampton as they will be celebrating their 100 Year Anniversary. As they like to say “We’re not the best because we’re the oldest. We’re the oldest because we’re the best.”

Congratulations on all your success Russell-Hampton Company!