Lenexa mayor, Kansas governor credit City Center vision with helping attract Kiewit investment in new headquarters

Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm (from right), Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer and Kiewit Corp. leaders Tom Shelby and Kevin Needham turned the dirt at a ceremony marking the start of construction on the engineering firm’s new headquarters at City Center.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer was in Lenexa Thursday to celebrate the start of construction on a regional headquarters facility for Kiewit Corp., one of the largest construction and engineering firms in North America.

The project will include construction of a new six-story building on the vacant lot adjacent to the current Kiewit Corp. offices at 8900 Renner Blvd. The new building will be approximately 182,000 square feet. Combined with the existing facilities, the Kiewit campus will have about 385,000 square feet of office space housing around 1,300 employees. The project, which has a total budget close to $100 million, is scheduled to be complete in January 2020.

Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer spoke at the Kiewit groundbreaking ceremony Thursday.

Lenexa approved a public finance incentives package for the project earlier this month.

At a groundbreaking ceremony on the site Thursday, Kiewit leaders Tom Shelby and Kevin Needham thanked Lenexa and the state government for the partnership in the project.

Lenexa Mayor Mike Boehm told the crowd that the company’s decision to make the investment in the City Center area validated the governing body’s work toward realization of a vision that started 20 years ago to bring city offices, public amenities, entertainment and dining, and commercial projects together in the same area. City Center’s combination of uses as well as its walkability had given it an edge over other potential locations for the Kiewit project in the metro, Boehm said.

“A happy employee is a productive employee,” Boehm said. “And an employee near a bar or a restaurant and a recreation center is probably better than an employee in a field out in the middle of nowhere.”

Colyer, who became governor when Sam Brownback took a position in the Trump administration and is seeking the Republican nomination for this year’s gubernatorial election, characterized the investment as part of an improving Kansas economy.

“We’re starting to turn the corner in a direction that I think in the long term is so critical. And having Kiewit here as part of that is really important for us,” Colyer said.

He credited the Lenexa community with creating the setting that encouraged the company’s investment.

“What impressed me a lot was the community involvement in this whole process,” Colyer said. “You had a vision…And that vision became real.”

A rendering of the planned six-story headquarters building for Kiewit. Rendering credit Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, Inc.